the weblog of Alan Knox

I wish someone would show me how to… what?

Posted by on Aug 4, 2011 in discipleship | 11 comments

I wish someone would show me how to… what?

Two aspects of modern American church culture are hindering people from maturing in their life with Jesus Christ. I’m not saying these are the only two aspects of our church culture that hinder maturity, and I’m not saying this only happens in American church culture.

What are those 2 aspects of modern American church culture that hinders maturity among the body of Christ? 1) Self-dependence, individualism, and isolationism, and 2) Lack of sharing life and discipling by example.

I’ve talked with many, many (oh so many) people who desire to share their lives with others in community and learn from the examples of others, but I’ve also found few mature Christians willing to give their lives and examples to others. We’ve been taught for so long that they best way to help others is to stand before them and expound on Scripture. This type of “teaching” may be good at times, but it is only a small fraction of helping people live and mature in Jesus Christ.

So, for those of you who want community and example, I’m going to encourage you to take the initiative. Yes, the more mature should be taking the initiative, but they may need help in this area also.

Ask yourself this question: If there were someone available, what would I want them to show me how to do?

It could be as general as “pray” or as specific as “pray for my family member who is not in Christ.” I could be something like “share the gospel” or it could be “balance my checkbook and live within my means.” Perhaps you’d like help with something like “interpreting Scripture” or you may need help “controlling your anger/emotions.” Maybe you’d like to be better at “showing hospitality” or perhaps it’s “living a healthy lifestyle (diet/exercise).”

Whatever it is, ask yourself, “If someone were available, what would I want them to show me how to do in order to live more like Christ?” Once you have your answer(s) begin praying that God would show you who can help you in that. Keep your eyes open for people who display those qualities. Then, guess what… you may have to approach that person as ask for help!

Finally… why not share it here. Let us know what you’d like help learning to do in order to mature in your life with Christ. Then, we can encourage you and pray with you.


11 Comments

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  1. 8-4-2011

    Alan, I think this is one of the most important and largely missing ingredients among we saints today.

    God’s design is that children are raised by two parents who love each other and love their children. Parents model behaviors, interactions and reactions and the children learn most about life and living from their parents by “osmosis” rather than parents having a weekly class on life. This plan works well most of the time in reproducing healthy, mature adults (there are still the child’s will and choices involved). God is smart (we need to keep reminding ourselves of that today, when we have all our clever plans based on our wisdom dismissing His plans in favor of our own designs).

    Some children (most in our culture) will not have God’s plan in their lives, and yet, some will come out of that as healthy, mature adults.

    God’s plan for the church and for our discipleship is that we are with each other (just as He called His disciples to be “with” Him) and that some in the mix will represent healthy, mature models of being servants wholly submitted to God and one another. We are even to recognize these models and hold them up as examples so we are all clear.

    Many today will not have God’s plan available to them, and most will suffer and grow crookedly.

    Paul did not have these models meant for us in the church set before him. But as you read his life, note how often he mentions the care he took to set a good example for others. He knew the lack and he knew how much it mattered.

    I’m not sure we even know what we need from such examples and models to ask for them from others. I don’t think we can overstate the importance of models teaching mostly by example and learning done mostly by osmosis in the classroom of every day shared shared lives.

  2. 8-4-2011

    Alan,

    What you are writing about is disciples of Christ,making disciples, functioning in the everyday as a mentor and example, as well as teacher, who loves enough with God’s kind of love,to unselfishly invest their own lives in others, demonstrating in their own lives,what Christ lived and taught.

  3. 8-5-2011

    Art and Aussie John,

    Thanks for your comments. Yes, I’m writing about disciples in this post. I’m beginning to see now that sometimes (in today’s church culture) the “children” have to take the first step and approach the “parents” for help.

    -Alan

  4. 8-5-2011

    At this very moment I wish there was a couple that would come alongside my wife and I and help us get a simple gathering going. We’re in a legacy church and we’re tired and feel alone. Or something like that.

  5. 8-5-2011

    Dan,

    My suggestion is that you start meeting neighbors, especially those who are not believers, and inviting them to dinner at your house (or a restaurant if they are hesitant to come to your house).

    Where do you live?

    -Alan

  6. 8-5-2011

    We’ve been thinking along those lines. We live just north of Milwaukee.

  7. 8-5-2011

    It might not necessarily be showing someone a “how to…in order to live more like Christ”. It can begin when a mature Christian(or even an immature Christian who needs to learn how to help others instead of focusing on himself)teaches someone who isn’t a believer how to LIVE…period. Coming alongside anyone who needs help can be an opportunity to impart Christ. “I wish someone would help me learn how to change a tire…bake a cake…do my homework well…raise my children…balance my checkbook.” Teaching others how to survive is a chance for them to see the source that keeps YOU alive and as you sow Christ in the not-so-obvious “preaching” that is giving yourself away, you may be planting a disciple who surpasses you in making disciples.

  8. 8-5-2011

    Dan, my friend Jim London on the Organic Church Today social network posted a great blog that you might want to read. “What Do We Do When There is No Group to Join. You may also need to create an account (if you aren’t a member) to get to it, but who knows, you might meet someone near you on this site. If you lived near us, we would be honored to come alongside you, not to “show you how” but just to learn to “be” under Him together. http://www.organicchurchtoday.com/profiles/blogs/what-do-we-do-when-there-is-no

  9. 8-6-2011

    Thanks Leah, I will check it out.

  10. 8-6-2011

    Dan,

    Please keep us updated!

    Leah,

    Yes, your examples are exactly what I’m talking about.

    -Alan

  11. 8-7-2011

    Hey Dan,

    Here is a resource you might find helpful. A free download book, “Simple Church Revolution” by Roger Thoman

    http://simplechurchrevolution.com/download.htm

    Roger is also offering a six week online course starting Aug 23rd at:

    http://simplechurchrevolution.com/coursedescription.htm

    The course is limited to 15 participants, so you might want to sign up now.