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Gaining By Losing, Wk#6 (2)

Gaining By Losing Wk #6  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The main goal is to make disciples, be on mission and make the invisible God visible through our church.

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Colossians 1:9–23 ESV
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Plumb Line - “The Point in Everything Is to Make Disciples.”

Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 133). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
On paper, President Abraham Lincoln couldn’t have hoped for a better general than George B. McClellan.
Referred to flatteringly as the “Young Napoleon,” McClellan was a phenomenon. At the age of fifteen, he had been the youngest member ever to be accepted at West Point. He graduated second in his class, only because he couldn’t draw maps well. He served in the Mexican-American War and then in the Crimean War, both with distinction. Perhaps McClellan’s greatest gifts, however, were his ability to recruit and organize. When Lincoln appointed him to head up the new Army of the Potomac formed in July 1861, McClellan immediately expanded its ranks from 50,000 to 168,000, all the while bringing a level of organization and precision to the troops that stunned McClellan’s superiors. Furthermore, his troops loved him. Even amidst the grueling conditions of the Civil War, he kept their morale high, inspiring them to give more and do more because the cause was worth it. And that’s all the more amazing, considering they had been decimated at Bull Run just prior to his commission. Under McClellan, they started to believe again. No one was surprised when, in October 1861, President Lincoln made McClellan his General-In-Chief. McClellan had the resume. He had the experience. Now, he had a powerhouse army behind him, outnumbering his enemy more than two to one.
There was just one problem.
The man wouldn’t fight.
Ulysses S. Grant.
The greatest asset of a military man is his ability to fight. Without that, all other assets are useless.
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 134). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Many skills make for an effective believer, but there is one without which everything else we do is useless:
Make Disciples.
Apart from that, all the money we raise, buildings we build, ministries we organize, sermons we preach and songs we write won’t move the mission forward. Without that one thing, we fail. Everything else we do is ultimately in support of that one thing.
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 134). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Robert Coleman said In the book The Master Plan of Evangelism,
The great commission is not merely to go to the ends of the earth preaching the gospel, nor to baptize a lot of converts into the Name of the Triune God, nor to teach them the precepts of Christ, but to “make disciples” — to build men like themselves who were so constrained by the commission of Christ that they not only followed Jesus themselves, but led others to follow him, too. The criteria upon which any church should measure its success is not how many new names are added to the roll nor how much the budget is increased, but rather how many Christians are actively winning souls and training them to win the multitudes.
Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board (the domestic church planting arm of the Southern Baptist Convention), said that the greatest obstacle to planting churches today is not a lack of funds, but a lack of qualified planters.
Southern Baptists claim 16 million adherents in 42,000 churches,
and we have a problem finding 500 qualified planters?
Only 1 of every 320,000 Southern Baptists — 1 planter out of every 840 churches — needs to become a church planter in order to have more planters than we can support.
How are we not producing that many?
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (pp. 134-135). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 134). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
If faith, study, programs and events are the strategy of how we do ministry, then evangelism is the actual fight.
Do you fight? Or, will you fight?
Remember the Holy Huddle
We have to run the play.
To reach more people, we don’t need better gathering techniques; we need better discipleship. Larger audiences and more “decisions for Christ” are just not cutting it. If we are going to move the mission needle in America, we have to turn unbelievers into church leaders, atheists into missionaries. We have to get good at making disciples.
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (pp. 134-135). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 136). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Ironically, numerical growth can deceive us into thinking we are advancing the kingdom, when we really are not.
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 136). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Shifting sheep
Destroying churches
Offering desireable services.
What are some other ways you could see numbers without disciples?

Plumb Line - Every Pastor is a Missions Pastor, Every Believer is a Missionary.

Ephesians 2:10 ESV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Romans 12:3–8 ESV
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
2 Timothy 1:6 ESV
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,

Disinfecting Versus Discipling

Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 150). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
The goal is not to disinfect Christians and separate them from the world but to disciple them and send them back into the world:
Whereas disinfecting Christians involves isolating them and teaching them to be good, discipling Christians involves propelling Christians into the world to risk their lives for the sake of others. Now the world is our focus, and we gauge success in the church not on the hundreds or thousands whom we can get into our buildings but on the hundreds or thousands who are leaving our buildings to take on the world with the disciples they are making.1
Discipleship is going from “mission field” to “missionary.”
It is going from someone needs to go, to, I’ll go and take others with me.
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 150). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Matthew 4:19 ESV
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
God is like a spiritual cyclone: he never pulls you into himself without hurling you back out into mission.
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 150). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Inherent in the call to follow Jesus is a call to the nations. The Great Commission, given to every disciple says:
Matthew 28:16–20 ESV
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 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.”
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 151). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
And if a church has not embraced the global dimensions of the Great Commission, it has not understood the mission of Jesus.
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 152). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Habakkuk 2:14 ESV
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
The desires of our heart should be to see the Glory of God be known and the praise of God to be sung in every tongue, tribe and nation.
That begins with good discipleship.
Good discipleship is introduced, reproduced and multiplied.
So, how do we do that?

Plumb Line - The Church Makes Visible the Invisible Christ.

Galatians 2:20 ESV
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 119). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
This verse, early in my walk, made me ask this question.
If you have been crucified in Christ, do people see more of you or more of Him in you?
The invisible man
J.D. Greear states, “I suggest that the local church is the paint that makes the invisible Christ visible to our community. In its fellowship, its holiness of life, its multicultural diversity, its selfless acts of love, and its forgiveness and boldness, it reveals the contours of the eternal, heavenly Christ that dwells within them.

How has God been visible to you through the local church?

Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 119). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Discovering where our city was hurting and applying Christ’s healing in those places.
Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 120). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
So, Here is an exercise, Partner up and on the handout, write a list of places where you see hurting in our community.
Then list a few ways that applying the Love of Christ could help make Christ visible.
Finally, list a few ways that the church could hurt these places in seeing Christ.

Plumb Line - The church is God’s demonstration community.

Greear, J.D.. Gaining By Losing (Exponential Series) (p. 122). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
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