< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Good to Great in God’s Eyes Chapter 9 Part 2

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good to Great in God’s Eyes Chapter 9 Part 2

So to continue from yesterday's post, how do you leave a legacy?

A. Help many, but train a few. You have to invest wisely. Jesus helped a lot of people but He trained 12. And those 12 changed the world. How do we know who to invest our lives in?

1. Pray

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

If we don’t know what to do ask God. The people in the Bible who left a great legacy were great prayers. Chip says we could start by praying, “Lord, I want to focus and invest my life in a few people, so I need to be discerning. Please guide me in this.” And God, who is interested in our being a great Christian, will answer.

2. Look under your own roof.

Start with the people you are morally responsible for. In 1st Timothy 3:4 Paul says that a leader must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. Don’t be so busy helping others that your own kids grow up rebellious and disrespectful. There have been studies of top executives showing their kids and spouses have a much higher note of depression and suicide. Only the very poor have a worse track record. So put your family first. They are your first responsibility.

3. Look for FAT people: Faithful, Available and Teachable.

Faithful people are the ones who complete an assignment. Who show up when they promise. Don’t just listen to what they say – watch what they do with their responsibilities. But by itself, that’s not enough – sometimes faithful people are scattered; involved in too many things. You also need someone who’s available and then teachable. We should all be open to instruction and guidance. We can all still learn something new. People who are teachable are in a position to grow and bear fruit. We should take constructive criticism with humility. We should respond with character and perseverance.

Don’t fall into the worldly view that thinks every person with a sharp mind, great personality and the right education will be the one to make a big impact for Christ. God often chooses the lowly in order to shame our worldly standards.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him.

He looks beyond our history and at our hearts. If they are faithful, available and teachable, we can become who God really wants us to be.

Chip uses Jesus as an example of leaving a legacy. Jesus never traveled more than 60 miles from His home, but had 11 close followers totally committed to His message and more than 120 others more than loosely committed. Now His message is spread all over the world.

How did He do it? Jesus had a four fold process of empowering great people. He brought them in, built them up, trained them for action and sent them out. His disciples were ordinary people – mostly blue-collared workers – who were faithful, available and teachable.

So here’s how we can do it:

1. Bring them in. Start with exposure. You first have to model the message. Then you invite them into the action and engage them in authentic relationship. Jesus called the disciples to be with Him (Mark 3:14)

We can do this with our children. They certainly watch the way we live; so start by modeling Christianity. We can teach them to study the Bible, memorize verses, show them ways to share their faith, keep an open dialogue about how a Christian reacts to what’s going on, how a Christian does marriage and family. We pass on our values and authenticity to them in this way. Jesus’ method of Discipleship was to live with His disciples. They went everywhere He did, heard what He heard, saw what He saw, and talked with Him about everyday matters.

Bring them in.

2. Build them up.

This is nurture. Jesus told His disciples that if they followed Him, He would make them fishers of men. He affirmed their strengths. He told them they would do it. He gave them a dream. Chip says part of empowering great people is inspiring their dreams.

But then he said you need to confront their flaws. Basically character problems. We should always encourage people to be their best and do their best for Christ.

3. Train them for action

Instruct their minds, develop their hearts and equip their hands. Church staff should be doing this for their members: helping them to become disciples, giving them plenty of opportunity for service and learning and living out God’s will. There are lots of ways people can help us learn or we can help them learn: to study the Bible, manage finances, to articulate their faith, to handle relationships…

Instruct their minds, develop their hearts and equip their hands.

4. Send them out

This is the challenge stage. Jesus sent His disciples out on missions. The early missions were small, very specific and followed by times of debriefing, encouragement and evaluation. Until the big one. (Matthew 28:19-20 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.") and He followed it with the promise that the mentoring would continue. That He would be with them always. God made the body of Christ to be dependent on Him and interdependent on each other. Everyone has gifts. Some are more noticeable then others, but they are all important. Our goal, whether it’s with our children or our successors, is to help them be great.

Empowering great people is about letting our ceiling become their floor so they can go further. You equip them to start where you leave off. Everyone can leave a legacy – if we don’t it’s because of lack of vision, lack of discipline or lack of focus. Paul had great discipline. He used himself as an example to follow quite often.

1 Cor.4:17 For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

Can we say to our kids or grandkids, “Drive like I drive” “spend like I spend” “Love your husband like I love your father”?

It takes discipline to become exemplary.

The lack of vision is our failure to see beyond our own life-span. Lack of focus means we need to stop dabbling in 20 things and focus on the one important thing. You can spread yourself thin trying to do everything or help everyone: or you can empower a few. Chip says “good Christians serve the Lord well. Great Christians serve Him and empower others to do it too.”

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