WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES

 
 
TUESDAY TEACHINGS
 
 

 

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH

Changes God requires in His church today in order to produce the perfected 'bride of Christ'

 

 

INTRODUCTION

We continue with the 2nd of 3 relational aspects this week.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

CHURCH
CHURCH
CHURCH GOVERNMENT

 

The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
DEFINITIONS (For serious students only)

 

 

Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue

 

THE RELATIONAL CHURCH

 

For God's New Testament church is simply RELATIONAL. Relational in 3 ways.

1. RELATIONAL WITH GOD - Considered last week.
 

 

2. RELATIONSHIP WITH FELLOW BELIEVERS

 

The second relationship we are to have is with fellow believers.

This is something I have struggled with over the years. For I am not naturally a hugely relational person! Along with most men, I am task rather than people oriented. It is reality that women fit more easily into Christian ways, as 'relationship', both with God and people, comes more naturally to ladies. Two thirds of the church world-wide, consists of women! The proof is in the jaw movements! Men use about 15000 words per day, while women manage 30000!

 

 

 

Personally, I would rather listen than speak in a general conversation with another. A quiet type - most of the time!

A major key to developing discipleship in both our own lives and in others is sharing experiences. Or 'testimony', as we call it in the church.

 

 

 

As we mentioned last week, small, new, 'churches' are more effective in evangelism than their larger, established counterparts. A large part of this is due to the development of closer relationships between the members of the group. Being small and new they need to relate more closely in order to develop the group. Once a group, a church, matures, the patterns, traditions and ways of doing things develop and formalize, which reduces the need for close interpersonal relationships.

It reaches the point where we go to church on Sundays, praise God, which is great, hear a sermon about the 'right way' to do things, be nice to the people we meet ('everything is wonderful') and go home depressed, to face the reality of our own, less than perfect lives, not realizing that other congregants are facing the same challenges we are. While we may have a 'testimony time' in the Sunday service, the testimonies are always positive stories with good outcomes, of difficulties overcome, which is also excellent, but may or may not help us in the difficulties we are facing that day. Testimonies easily become surreal rather than real, for none of us want to be seen in a bad light when we testify. Been there, done that!

 

 

 

Our church services are very much organised on a 'receiving' rather than a 'sharing', relational, basis. This becomes more pronounced, for practical reasons, the larger the congregation gets.

 

 

 

Churches endeavour to overcome this through the institution of small groups, of whatever name. These can be help people relating more closely, one to another. However, if the groups become structured 'mini churches' where the majority of the input proceeds from the leader downwards, there is little difference to a 'Sunday situation'. This remains a major problem in the House Church Movement, where a house has simply been substituted for church building, but the downward 'preaching' principle continues unchanged, negating the worthy objectives the Movement is trying to achieve.

In recent years too, here in New Zealand, I have noticed an increasing tendency for church home groups to become more controlled by the hierarchy, their purpose becoming more to reinforce what the speaker said last Sunday rather than necessarily dealing with the positives and challenges of the reality the attendees are facing in their daily lives.

Of course, it is easier to see the problem than to find a practical solution! Particularly for men! Women are more likely to get together over a coffee and discuss their lives.

 

 

 

I would like to share with you the approach of the international men's organisation, 'Promise Keepers', regarding this. For you may find something in this you can apply to your personal life and that of your church.

BANDS OF BROTHERS
Reaching the Goal Together

At Promise Keepers we constantly talk about Men’s Small Groups – “Bands of Brothers” - building relationships that hold fast through thick and thin so that we are not isolated and alone. A lone soldier cannot win a war. Others can encourage and challenge us to build our life on integrity, righteousness and holiness. These are the characteristics of God.

Promise Keepers promotes '4-Wheel Drive' groups. These are ideally 4-5 men, meeting weekly in a closed group (not open to visitors), building relationships and accountability. This is the Rolls Royce gold-plated version. It may not be suitable or attainable to everyone. So what are the other options?

Open groups - These are usually church-based and larger, meeting on a weekly basis. A committed core group is always there and others come and go.

Casual meetings - Lunch or coffee with one other guy once a month or so may be a starting point, or a maintenance option. Three men works okay, but the dynamic is different from a larger group. If one guy can’t make a meeting, the dynamics are different again.

Our life as Christians means that we should be growing more Christlike – more like Christ. That growth reflects Christ’s glory to others. It is a relationship built on love, not rules. Love comes from knowing Him. As men, we can find building our relationship with God difficult as the day-to-day problems of living and issues with other people demand our attention. Sometimes life just isn’t working out the way we expected or hoped. So how can real change happen? It can take men to reach men. Men who take time to care enough to help each other in a common goal of growing more like Christ.

In today’s busy climate, face-to-face meetings can be supplemented with other communication like phone calls, email, texting and messaging.

Because of the importance of standing strong together in the spiritual battle for souls, Promise Keepers is committed to supporting groups by publishing study books for small groups and providing other resources and information here on this site: Promise Keepers New Zealand

Decide to get involved, if you are not already, and to make it work. Be a friend to others and look for ways to meet some of their needs - not just your own needs. Together we can achieve more than we can alone!

 

 

 

We need to be encouraging one another, through honest sharing of both the successes and the challenges we face in our lives. For relationship and agape love are intertwined.  

 

John 3:23

 

 

KINGS require subjects, those who will do as they are instructed by the king. This is the foundation upon which much of the church is based, having developed in this fashion over the past 2000 years. We have denominational and individual church kings. All too readily we accept it as the 'normal' way of doing things.

 

 

 

However today, God is calling us into KINGDOM relationships, intimate relationships with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ of like minds. Those who have a deep hunger for more of God and truly desire to become more like Jesus. It is through such relationships, guided by the Holy Spirit, that God's kingdom on earth will expand in a way we have only dreamed of in the past.

 

 

NEXT WEEK: TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 3. FROM KINGS TO KINGDOM continues

 

We will consider the 3rd remaining relational aspect, relationship with the world, next week.

 

 

 

Church needs to be a family, not a showplace. In a family we do not always agree, but we do share in the ups and downs of life of our family members.

God's family is to operate in a similar way, being a place where we can share and deal with the things that are of real concern in our lives.

JESUS: BACKGROUND
Historical Overview


Jesus Written as in Ancient Documents Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew Y'Shua or Yeshua (Yahweh is Salvation), a common Hebrew name at the time. Ancient documents reproduce Jesus' name this way in Hebrew. Jesus is Greek for the Hebrew name, Joshua. In New Testament times, however, common people spoke mostly Aramaic in daily conversation. Thus, Jesus would have answered to Jeshua or Yeshua.

Source: http://www.bible-history.com

 

 

So until next week.......
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD!

His servant and yours

Learn more about us at...

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Previous parts of this Series (When applicable) are available to be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

 

A DAVID'S DOODLING

47. I’m far from perfect – but allowing God to work on it!

David Tait         

 

 

 

Earlier Series of "Tuesday Teachings" can be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

Check out the WWJ website for….

More David's Doodlings: www.wwj.org.nz/dd.php
Waxing Lyrical: http://www.wwj.org.nz/waxing.php
If Only I'd Thought of it: http://www.wwj.org.nz/thought.php
Laughing at Ourselves: http://www.wwj.org.nz/laugh.php
A look at some of lifes curious questions: http://www.wwj.org.nz/why.php

 

 

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