Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10

MY JOURNEY 16

“ARE YOU SMARTER THAN AN… AVERAGE CHRISTIAN?”

  test.jpgKathi and I spent from April 1996 – November 1999 living in West Virginia.  During that time we were meeting with a small group of people in our home.  Meeting with Christians in a living room has, perhaps, been some of the most meaningful times in our Forty-year ministry.  We will always cherish those moments and when we think of those who shared that time with us, we shall do so with only the fondest of memories. 

            In November 1999 the Lord led us to a small church in Louisville, KY, which had just recently lost their pastor of sixteen years.  Complicating the situation was the fact that the Church split before we arrived and we were left with half the previous number, many of whom were reeling from the experience.  Our assignment upon arrival was very plain.  We were to help these people walk through a much needed healing experience.  As I write these words we are in our tenth year at this little Church called Ecclesia Fellowship.  Our walk of healing is not completed but we are well along the way..  Sadly, once a Church goes through something like a split, it is difficult for those who are left to see past their hurts and be willing to stay long enough for God to do a deep and abiding healing within them.  Of course, there are always others who feel the need to move on because theirneeds are different and their goals do not fit with the new vision.  Such has been the case at Ecclesia.  As each person has left, a period of further grieving and healing  has been required. Each of these experiences has become the building blocks upon which our faith in Christ and our walk with him is built. Hopefully, we are becoming a living Temple, a proper habitation for our great God. 

It has been my desire since April 1995 to get to know my Lord and to help lead any, who might have the desire to experience Him in his depths .  I claim no special revelation, nor do I hold to the allusion that I might possess something others do not.  I simply want to know Him; His passion, His presence, and His purpose.  Let me state, “I love the Church, the Bride of Christ”.  Many of the experiences I have passed through, both negative and positive have brought me to whatever level of Christian maturity I have.  Some of the experiences Kathi and I have had in Louisville have assissted in that shaping.  It is our prayer that this shaping will always be to the image of the Son of God. 

          scholar-cat.jpg One of the major burdens of my heart in the last forty years has been the shallowness of many in the Church.  A couple of years ago I gave a test of 100 questions to the brothers and sisters of Ecclesia fellowship.  The test covered basic Bible information which should have been known, especially by people who have spent most of their adult lives in the Church.  I didn’t grade the tests (I was tempted).  Instead, we went over the test on a Wednesday evening and I let them give their answers as they could.  Sadly, a few of the youth could answer some of the questions more accurately than could some of the adults.  Of course, I have to take a portion of the blame.  I felt it was important for me to examine my preaching to see if I were delivering Biblically based messages, and if I were doing so in a manner that fostered a proper retention among my people.  While being willing to take some of the blame myself.  I also realized that listening to one man preach a Biblically based message once per week (month, quarter, etc.) will never get the job done.  The popular movement afoot is to do away with Sunday School, and in doing so a generation of Christians has been raised up, who knows little about the Bible and basic doctrine. However, I’ve also discovered that simply obtaining and parroting Biblical information does not a disciple make.  Christians should know the Bible, but Christians should never fool themselves into believing that good Biblical knowledge is not necessarily a sign that one knows God any more than sleeping in a garage makes one a car. Yet, much of the fault cannot be laid at the feet of the Church, but rather at the altar of the Christian home.  I maintain that God spells “Sunday School”  ‘D-A-D’ and ‘M-O-M’.  Many parents have abdictated their role, and wanted to hire a job done that God intended be theirs.  

           discipleship.jpg I have a friend who related the following story.  Apparently, he had the opportunity to spend some time with the Worship Leader of one of the largest churches in the United States.  In the course of the conversation the Worship Leader asked my friend how things were going in his church.  My friend replied, “Well, nothing like what’s going on at your church.  I’m just trying to love my people and take them deeper with Christ.”  To which the Worship Leader said, and with great thought, “Deeper….Deeper….I surely would like to see some Christians go deeper with Christ.  We have (so many thousand) Christians at our church and every one of them is about one inch deep.”  The brother confessed later to my friend that they just didn’t know what to do with them once they got them saved.  He said, “We have discipleship ‘classes’ (misnomer), but the reality is we just don’t know what to do with them so we just move on to get the next one saved.”

      It seems that present day Christianity has learned well how to get people to come to our Churches…Now, if we can just learn how to get God to come, we’ll be doing well. ARE WE SMARTER THAN THE AVERAGE CHRISTIAN?  Maybe that’s the wrong question.  The tell-tale question is, “Do we know our Lord…not know about him, but do we truly know him?”  I may be able to recite all 66 books of the Bible.  I may even know who was the third king of Israel, or the Apostle who replaced Judas.  But, if I don’t know the heart of my Lord, it really doesn’t matter, if I’m smarter than…an average Christian.

April 13th, 2009 Posted by | Biographical | 5 comments

5 Responses to “MY JOURNEY 16”

  1. So true Dave. I teach Sunday School at an Episcopal church and those kids whose parents that actively engage them are those really being discipled.

    Like the public school, the church suffers from the same parental hands-off epidemic: let “The Village” raise their kids. I was one of those parents who did not actively defend my faith to my kids and provide them reasons and experiences why I believe the way I do as well as disciple them into their own personal relationship.

    …a good step-on-your-toe sermon…..I like it, but it hurts. Thank you. I need more of that!

  2. I see a common thread among the messages that I’m hearing lately. This goes right along with our quest to “Make a Difference” down here. For who can make a difference, who can practice practical Christianity, without being well acquainted with Christ? It’s like going to work, and leaving your brain and heart at home. Thank you for this.

  3. You hit the proverbial nail on the head. True discipleship always demands discipline, which is a quality lacking in too many Christian families and churches. Our theological ignorance creates a shaky foundation, rendering our missional goals impotent.

  4. So true! We live in a society that is entertainment-saturated. Unfortunately, it has spilled over into the church. People want their ears tickled and are loath to get into the “meat of the word.” I thank the Lord that I’m part of a wonderful fellowship of committed believers, but I’m afraid even here the depth of understanding of the word is not that great. Job hungered for the word more than his necessary food. Do I have that kind of hunger?

  5. This kind of topic always brudens my heart. It’s hard to know not only what to do but, more sadly, that not many people will hold to the truth when they do find out. Getting past the mind and will to get to the heart is not an easy task.