And Jesus said to them, "Follow Me..."Matthew 4:19
The news media tells us that we are dissatisfied with our government and our leaders. We say our leaders are failing us.
And, it seems it doesn’t stop there. Many of our respected institutions are losing their effectiveness and influence and are losing their followers as well. And that includes our many of our churches.
We hear the call, “follow me” but it seems like "they" really don’t know where "they" are going. For example, we hear comments like “My vision for our church is _________. Follow me!” Or, “God has told me our church is supposed to _____________. Follow me!”
Or have you been instructed to read books like “The purpose driven life” or “The purpose driven church” so you could be ‘driven’ to do things for God by following a series of steps and methods?
It seems that pastors and church leaders are forever discovering new and inventive ways to ‘lead’.
I thought it would be interesting to see what Jesus says about His Vision for His Church and His Methods to get it done:
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
(Jesus message was simple: Repent. Look it up.)
18 ¶ Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
(Jesus went out. Funny, they have never found a Jesus church building, have they?)
19 And He *said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
(His instructions were simple and direct. You knew what you would be doing)
20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
(Funny thing. No alter call. No filling out connection cards. No 'praying about it first'. No four year degree, no seminary training. They just immediately followed Him. On-the-job training made them experts at being Disciples.)
21 Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father,
mending their nets; and He called them.
22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
23 ¶ Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.
(Here is a method for you: 1-GOING OUT 2-Teaching in THEIR snynagogues 3-Proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom (That's all. No sermon series on contemporary issues) 4-Healing every kind of disease 5-Healing every kind of sickness (There is a difference; look it up)
24 The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.
(The NEWS ABOUT HIM spread. No bulletins, no TV air time, no social media.)
25 Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.
(The results? Large crowds FOLLOWED Him. Having trouble filliing pews? Read this again, then.)
1 ¶ When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
(Need a good follow up program for discipleship? Read this verse several times. It'll sink in.)
2 He opened His mouth and began to teach them…
(So, what do you do or say when you open your mouth?)
I guess the fair question would be "was He an effective leader?" I would answer my question by saying, yes. He changed the way the world thinks. He set a standard that is still in effect today. Even those people who do not agree with the Bible, the Gospel or with Jesus, find their basis for dispute in His Standards. Jesus' Teachings are their means of rebellion.
Would you like to change your life for the BEST?
Well, Jesus said, in John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father."
Yes, go to church. Yes, follow and support your pastor.
But, if you are not DOING THE WORKS THAT JESUS DOES, AND EVEN GREATER WORKS THAT THESE, then you are following the wrong person.
Confused? Then, I would say "Figure it out before it's too late", because you can if you WILL.
Talk to me...