As many of you have heard me say before on previous posts, one of the privileges that I have at my church (besides being an Elder) is to be the leader of our Men's Ministry (called Men of Faith). I was talking to a brother this earlier this week and he was asking me for my input on some things. One of them was what do you do with the brothers that say that they want a mentor (accountability) and that they are looking to be discipled by another brother (or sister). The rub lies in that when they say that they want this, they really don't mean it or really don't want to change their behavior - what do you do (he asked me). Surprising him, my answer was, "Nothing!" Seriously, when we really think about it, God is pretty clear in what He calls us to do as His Stewards of time, talent and treasure.
God is pretty clear in what He tells us (His disciples) what to do:
- Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- Luke 9:23 ESV And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
- Luke 14:27 ESV Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
- 2 Timothy 2:2 ESV And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
- Ephesians 4:11-17 ESV And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
- Matthew 5:14-16 ESV “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
- Acts 2:42 ESV And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
- John 8:31-32 ESV So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
- Matthew 16:24-25 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
- John 15:1-17 ESV “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
- Luke 14:26 ESV “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
- John 13:34-35 ESV A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- Luke 6:40 ESV A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
- Luke 14:33 ESV So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
- 1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
- Luke 9:57-62 ESV As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”
- Titus 2:1-8 ESV But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves too much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
- Galatians 6:6 ESV One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.
- Galatians 5:24 ESV And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
(or women's group) implement this? Short answer: WE DON'T! The Holy Spirit does. God has created a new work in us, we are bought with a price and paid for and given more grace and mercy
than we could ever comprehend this side of Heaven. So what are we to do with this immeasurable gift? How can we do anything for a "gift" that we cannot buy?
The simple matter is to:
- Humble ourselves before a Holy God
- Yield to His word, His preaching (bible believing churches) and His Spirit (We cannot grow disciples without God's Spirit in each of us)
- Yield to the calling of the Lord
- Do not hold back when we can do good
So now what? What is the next step if I am in a men's group:
- Be accountable
- Read God's word daily
- Meditate and get quiet time with God
- Open up to other men whom you can trust
- Be accountable
- Listen to the kind words that are poured out for you
- Ask these questions: Do their words build me up, encourage me, comfort me? If so then, trust in God and in these men that want me to be accountable and grow
- Look for the fruit of the Spirit in the Ministry that I am in (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) If it does have it - trust it! If it has the fruit of the sinful nature (FLEE)
The next step
- Look for the Paul in your life (open up and pray for a friendship to emerge)
- Look for the Timothy in your life (who is where you were? encourage them, identify them, urge them and comfort them in their walk)
- Do not become prideful, but continue to show humility in all things
- Serve others before yourself
- Love others before yourself
Trust in the Lord - ALWAYS
- Your doing it
- Disciples are being made
- People are growing
- The fruit of the Spirit is overflowing
- Pass it on
Thoughts? (more to follow)