Posted tagged ‘Total Church’

Every Life Has a Story

February 8, 2012

Watch this video . . .

And apply that to my recent blogpost about structuring for maximum edification.  Every person has a story to tell, indeed.  If Chick-fil-a is willing to read them for the asking of a chicken sandwich, are not willing to take the time to read them for the sake of their souls?

A church unwilling to read and address the stories of people will be satisfied with skimming the surface with conversations that probe no deeper than a “Hey, how are you doing?” which almost always is met with a disingenuous response.  No gifts of the Spirit are exercised because no one is listening.

Now, imagine if we took just one of those stories, one of those individuals and placed them in a context where every member listened, understood the story, and felt personally responsible to play a redemptive part in contributing through the spiritual gift entrusted to them by the Holy Spirit? What role would an exhorter play? A giver? An agent of mercy? A leader? Someone with wisdom? Someone with great faith? And so on?

Paul Tripp nailed it when he said that we are all called to be instruments in the Redeemer’s hands because we are helping others change while at the same time we ourselves are in need of change.  Every person you meet is a mess needing someone willing to get messy.  Every person is a sinner needing someone to help them walk in repentance and faith, growing in the gospel, extending mercy and forgiveness to other sinners.  And the Holy Spirit animates the life of the church by His work in and through Christians sovereignly gifted to do good to one another and so edify the church.

Next time you see people, consider why their lives (the subtext) might be really saying. Everything in us militates against listening and engaging–our comfort zones, our busy schedules, fear of man, selfishness, etc.  Yet, we have in us the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead giving life to our mortal bodies. He intends to do in us what no strength of the flesh can accomplish. I pray the stories of people we encounter will be rewritten by the gospel of Jesus as it is applied to their hearts and transforms their lives.

Margin for the Marginalized

February 25, 2010

From Tim Chester and Steve Timmis:

Jesus’ eating with sinners is a wonderful declaration of the riches of God’s grace. But notice how this grace plays out in practice. It results in Jesus spending time with the despised and marginalized.  It means Jesus has time for the needy.  They are his priority. He does not focus on the professional classes, the lawyers, the doctors, the respectable middle classes. Such people are welcomed if they will associate with the ragtag group who makes up the community of Jesus–after all, Luke himself is a doctor. But Jesus goes out of his way to welcome the poor, the marginalized, and the needy.  (emphasis mine)

Have you ever thought about Christ-likeness in this way?  If the goal of the Christian life is to be transformed into His image, to become more like Christ, then shouldn’t our lives display margin for the marginalized, making the poor and needy our priority?  Does our community of believers look anything like the community of Jesus?  Are we demonstrating the grace which we have received vertically from God in a horizontal way to others in our city?

Mike McKinley Interviews Steve Timmis

January 26, 2009

One of the more significant books of 2008 was Total Church: A Radical Reshaping of Gospel and Community by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis (#9 on my top 25 list).  Mike McKinley (from IX Marks) recently interviewed Steve Timmis on various issues including preching, membership, leadership, evangelism, and missions. I thought the interview was well done and worth the read.  Here are the links:

#1 – McKinley and Timmis on Preaching
#2 – McKinley and Timmis on Membership and Leadership
#3 – McKinley and Timmis on Evangelism and Missions