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LUKE 10: MISSION AS MANDATED AND MODELED BY JESUS PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 16 August 2010 18:41

Editors Note:
This is an excerpt from the Luke 10 Manual. You can find this book here on our site at this link in the resource section:
http://simplechurch.com.ua/en/resursy/knigi- materialy/336-rukovodstvo-luki-10.html

The Luke 10 Manual is an inspiring and practical training manual that looks closely at the mission given to us by Jesus.

Using Luke 10 as the background scripture passage, the book answers very practical questions about finding a man of peace, making disciples, and planting churches. The book will challenge your heart as well as give you practical tools for reaching your family, friends, and neighbors.

INTRODUCTION

It is a privilege to present this material to you . Let me begin by stating that the Bible, in its cultural assumptions, is an eastern book and that Jesus was an eastern man. The cultural background was Hebrew not Greek and the geographic back ground was the Middle East not North America. Thus, you, as easterners, are better able to understand what Jesus was teaching than I am.

However, let me use my authority as a westerner to emphasize one thing, “Do not do church as we have done it in the west for the past hundreds of years. It has not worked very well for us. Why should it work for anybody else?”

Historically we have tended to start with our traditions of how we do church (leader, congregation, building, weekly preaching services, supporting prayer and small groups) and then build our understanding of mission around our practice of church. That practice of special place and special time where special things are done by a special person which you do not do for yourself and which you pay the special person to do for you, is the mark of all religions around the world. Thus we start with our religious tradition.

When we start with how we do church, our understanding of mission becomes trying to get people to come to the meetings and support the program of the church by attendance, volunteer labour and finance. That can hardly be called mission. At its worst, this is marketing aimed at already Christians to get them to come to you rather than the church down the road. At its best, this is sincere and dedicated people doing all they know how to do in order to serve their communities in the way that they have always done it. However, in this context, discipleship becomes an indoctrination into the doctrinal distinctions and authority structures of that particular denominational movement. This is a very thorough indoctrination into all that makes that movement different and better than all the others. After all, these things are believed and practiced because they are right and everybody else is, if not wrong, at least not as right as we are. Hardly helpful in seeing Jesus and His followers as one Body or in seeing Jesus and His Kingdom.

To put this in big words, we start with our ecclesiology (how we do church) and let that form our missiology (how we do mission) and trust that somehow through all of this folks get to know something of Jesus (Christology). This means that church and mission look pretty much the same in every culture except for the denominational differences which, unfortunately, tend to be even more entrenched in the second and third worlds than in the first.

Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.” Another saying I use is, “If we always do what we have always done, we will always get what we have always got.” We have insanely done what we have always done while praying for something different to happen!

What happens if we start with Jesus? What happens if we let Jesus direct our mission and then let Jesus build His church? What if the order is Christology, Missiology and then Ecclesiology? What if Jesus directs mission differently in every culture and the church He builds looks different in every culture?

Exploring that through the words of Jesus in Luke 10 is the purpose of this book. When we look at the words of Jesus through the lens of hundreds of years of building centered hierarchical expressions of the church, we fit His words into that structure. We use His words to support our traditions and what we are already doing. This is to be trapped in church as we have always known it. What would the church that Jesus wants look like? What happens if we try to see church through the words and example of Jesus?

Maybe if we would do what He commanded and make disciples (train the nations to do all that Jesus commanded us to do), He could do what He promised and build (personally direct the members of His body and be the real Head rather than the figure Head of His body) His church?

What if we started with mission as Jesus did and commanded it? We invite you to walk with us through the commandments and implications of the words of Jesus in Luke 10.

THE TRAINING PROBLEM

Traditional training can also be a problem. It has become a truism that the more years of theological education someone has, the less likely they are to ever lead another to Jesus. In reality, traditional bible schools and seminaries do not train laborers They train professionals in the art of maintaining and growing an institution. Those so trained, who later prove successful in seeing many become followers of Jesus, often testify that they had to unlearn all they learned in seminary in order to be a successful follower of Jesus and a mentor of men.

Another truism is that the more distance you take someone from their environment for training, the less likely they are of ever returning to that environment to serve. This does not mean much within western culture, but it means a great deal if you take someone from a third world and train them in a western context, or if you take someone from a rural third world culture and train them in the city. Again, such training tends to produce professionals who then want a professional standard of living. It does not train laborers willing to engage in the hard work of the harvest and the life style of the harvest fields. Laborers are trained in the field!

Jesus trained His laborers in the field. We are to be followers of Jesus. We do not have a better way! Jesus trained fishermen and farmers in the field to be fishers of men. He was not interested in training religious professionals. He rebuked, cursed and generally confronted the religious professionals of His day (Matthew 23 is rough reading!) and He would do the same today.

Jesus talked about practical training in John 7:17, “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on my own authority.” We know through doing! The discipline, faith and struggle to work in His will produces dependence upon Him and profound humility. Merely mastering information, detail and knowledge about doctrine, Bible truth and theology can produce the most profound arrogance as evidenced by the Pharisees in their statement in John 7:49 “But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed”.

Jesus also spoke of in the field training in Matthew 28:19- 20 with the commandment to disciple the nations by “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you”. The worst of institutional discipleship is into the doctrinal differences and authority structures of that denomination. This builds separation from the rest of the body of Christ and a sense of superiority since you obviously believe that your stuff is the best! In contrast, the commandments of Jesus involve relational wholeness through forgiveness and restitution and then serving others with relational integrity. The focus is healed hearts and relationships not doctrinal correctness. Unfortunately it is often the brightest and most gifted who are the poorest at relationships. Intellectual arrogance is not a good foundation for loving relationships! Paul, one of the most educated men of his day, observes in I Corinthians 8:1 that “knowledge puffs up but love edifies.”

Which would you rather be, someone who talks about miracles or someone who works miracles? Someone who speaks of the love of God or someone who can embrace another and minister the love of God? In the Kingdom of Jesus we are known by our fruit, not by how much information we have mastered. There are no diplomas on the walls of the Kingdom of God. Jesus entrusted His kingdom to “uneducated and untrained men”. Why do we think we have a better way?

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled and realized that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

Steve and Marilyn Hill.

Steve and Marilyn are the founders and directors of Harvest Now- a ministry committed to making disciples, and multiplying simple communities of disciples with a large focus in Central Asia.

 
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