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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Skills, Goals, and Mentors

In the past few days I have had a couple of conversations with men that were revealing not just of them but possibly of the state of the Church.  The first remark came from one of the men that is working toward team teaching Philippians in January.  He and his wife have been in the Sunday school I have taught for the past year or so – taught needs to be explained here – I am not a teacher.  That is not my primary motivational gift.  Exhortation drives me.  My goal in a Sunday school class is not to answer questions but to create them.  My friend commented that he would leave with the questions but when he got home when he opened his Bible he had no idea how to find the answers.  After our time together these past seven months he says he does now and he wants other men to have that desire and ability.
We should be helping one another to gain skill and grow in our relationship with Christ.
The second conversation was with a young associate of mine.  He outlined for me very specific goals in an area of his life for which he has great passion.  They were both specific and stretching.  If he accomplishes his goals it will move him far in the pursuit of his passion.  He is a believer.  After he had explained his goals after some hesitation I asked if he had similar goals for his spiritual growth.  He readily admitted that he did not and that he knew that was a problem but he also said that he had no idea how to set them.  I can help him with that, if he will let me.

What this seems to reveal in the Church is a departure from Christ’s mode of ministry.  Mark 3:14 may be the most succinct expression of his method.  Lest one think that method was supplanted by the pulpit, Matthew 28:18 – 20 and John 17:18, 20; 20:21, suggest otherwise.  We are not commanded to lead people to Christ and then leave them to try to figure this Christian life thing out on their own.  We are commanded to engage in the business of investing our lives in the lives of others, giving them an example to follow and instruction in how to pursue Christ.  That applies to our kids first.  But our assignment is much broader than that.

It is a graded assignment.

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