the weblog of Alan Knox

Growing, Learning, Changing

Posted by on Sep 15, 2008 in blog links, discipleship | 4 comments

Jeff, from “Losing My Religion: Re-Thinking Church” has given us a glimpse of how he has grown and what he has learned in a post called “Just Some Stuff I’ve Learned“. I can relate to these:

  • I used to see God as a Person to be communicated with only through various spiritual exercises like prayer, worship and Bible study. The more of these you did…the more spiritual you were.
    Now I see God as Someone who is actively engaged in my whole life, and I can see the signs of His presence throughout my existence–and I see spirituality as the ability to perceive and commune with God in the mundane as well as in the other activities.
  • I used to see “worship” as specific actions directed toward God (i.e., singing, raising hands, bowing, dancing, etc.), whether in private or in a corporate worship setting.
    Now, as a believer, I see worship as interwoven throughout life–that all of a life lived unto God can be worship, including acts of service and kindness to others, developing Christlike character, and even the pure enjoyment of the life He has given us. All of life is worship, and I don’t have to turn worship on and off by specific activities.
  • I used to see “the ministry” as a coveted calling and vocation, a profession relegated to a few people selected by God. While I recognized the priesthood of all believers, I still saw “the ministry” as something above. And as one called to “the ministry”, I saw it as a job more than anything else–something I turned on and off. The ministry was “the Father’s business.” I used to see my position in ministry as a position to be protected at all costs; and protect it I did.
    Now I see the ministry as interwoven into the fabric of every follower of Jesus, a calling inherent to all of us, and something we can walk in naturally as as we live our lives. I believe there are still those God leads to devote themselves full-time to ministry pursuits, but “the Father’s business” encompasses any endeavor or profession that is productive and life-giving. And full-time ministry (done the right way) is not a life of entitlement, but of service.

What have you learned recently? How is God changing you during this part of your journey with him?


4 Comments

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  1. 9-15-2008

    I used to see ministry as a special calling for those who were paid for the profession.

    I now see it as every believer equipped by the Spirit to serve ONE ANOTHER.

    I used to see church as a building and it would be impossible to have a church without some type of building.

    I now see the church as a called out people redeemed by the Lamb and who may gather in a building, house, or even a local coffee shop if necessary.

    I used to see leadership by position (pastor, elder, deacon, reverend) I now see it as a loving relationship where maturity is the indicator not position.

    I used to see true Christianity as “reformed” Christianity.

    I now see true Christanity as all who have submitted to the Lordship of Christ maybe expressed differently theologically.

    Finally I used to see the pulpit as the purpose for us to gather.

    I now see Christ and the imperatives to serve one another as the sole purpose of our gathering.

    I still have a lot of growing to do but over the last year my paradigm has shifted in those ways the most

  2. 9-15-2008

    I used to see evangelism as only for the special licensed people.

    Now I see evangelism as a proclamation by all who are born again.

    I used to see giving as a burden driven by a fear of being cursed, having to support professional ministers, buildings and programs.

    Now I see giving as God using His children to bless those who are in need.

    I used to see the building as the House of God

    Now I see that Christians are the House of God.

    I could go on and on.

    Thanks for your blog Alan you have been so helpful.

    Phillip

  3. 9-15-2008

    I can’t begin to catalog the changes I’ve seen lately, but here are a few:

    I used to see music as “worship”, to express ourselves to God. Now I see it as a means of discipleship as we teach and admonish one another with songs, hymns and spiritual songs.

    I used to think of scripture memory as a chore. Now I see it as a way to train my thoughts to God’s way of thinking.

    I used to think that humility meant living as a failure. Now I am able to live in freedom.

  4. 9-16-2008

    Just catching up on my blog reading…didn’t get here until now. Thank you for the mention.