Greetings Group Leaders,
I know that this letter is long. But I want to share some things that we all know are important.
About the “Follow Me” Series:
This is our last week in the “Follow Me” campaign. Our purpose has been to help the church focus together on why we’re here – to glorify God by following Jesus in love, obedience, and mission.
I know that these studies have mixed responses. Some have been encouraged and challenged. Some have felt grace was missing. Some people have fresh direction, some have felt overwhelmed or even beat up. Some think that he writes primarily to a young audience.
It’s true that his style is to make shocking statements and ask penetrating questions – some of which could feel condemning or shaming. We know from Scripture that, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). I have chosen to believe that his exhortations and warnings can be for good. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:14, “I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.” What we don’t want is for believers to feel shamed. And we absolutely don’t want people to confuse what we do to love and obey Christ with somehow attempting to earn salvation. Both salvation and our growth in Christ are by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. In summary, there are many styles we use to encourage people to love and follow Jesus.
If I were counseling a couple who were struggling in their relationship because of a man’s habit of coming home and plopping down on the couch every night, I could choose one of two coaching approaches. I could meet with the man and ask him, ‘Don’t you love your wife?’ That might be alarming and inform him about what he is doing or not doing. Or, I could ask him to tell me about the wonderful things he sees in his wife. This might awaken a new passion to love her with his actions. I think David Platt primarily uses the “alarming” approach. However, he also chose to have an entire chapter on “Delight in God.”
Platt’s strength, I believe, is that he has a passion for people to be real with God and themselves about very important matters. Many commands in the New Testament challenge are to examine ourselves and be willing to grow. Hopefully, growth will come from our time together in our desire to follow Jesus’ call, to be Christlike, to delight in God, to know God and submit to His will, to commit to love and team up with God’s people, the church, and to follow our Lord Jesus in His mission to make disciples.
About Week 6: The Mission
The overarching purpose of this chapter is to focus on following Jesus’ mission to make disciples. I believe his passion is sometimes missing in the church in America. We have become consumer driven and also forget the great joy of making disciples.
Platt presents the mission to make disciples. However, he presents a limited approach or method. The question I have heard from many people is ‘How?’ we make disciples.
Let me suggest that you supplement your group discussion with a few other Scriptures and methods clearly taught in the Scriptures. God uses our many different styles, gifts, and abilities to make disciples. Some are going to be more through serving, some speaking, and some by using their resources. In short, God uses our lives, including our words, works, and praise to make disciples. The following are a short list of the ways that we promote God and the gospel:
- Missionary mindset (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
- Prayer (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
- Public praise and worship (1 Corinthians 14:25)
- Daily conversations (Colossians 4:2-6)
- Use of your money (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)
- Hebrews 12:14-15 (holy living)
- Sharing the Word (Romans 10:14-15)
- Imparting to others (2 Timothy 2:2)
- Witness (Acts 1:8)
- Sharing your hope in Christ (1 Peter 3:15)
- Ambassadors to help others can be reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5:11-21)
- Acts of love and kindness (Acts 9:36-39)
As we abide in Christ, we live as He lived in deed and word. He promises to produce fruit that lasts. (John 15:16)
In many ways, these days in our church can be challenging. I am praying and asking our Father for wisdom, strength, and passion in Him. As I was reading in the book Revelation, I read Jesus’ message to the seven churches. (Revelation 2-3) Repeatedly, the words “tribulation” and “toil” and “tested” are found. And regularly, Jesus told them (and us) to continue to follow Him with “perseverance, endurance, not grow weary, be faithful, hold fast, and overcome.” Our world desperately needs the Lord Jesus. Will you please join me in praying for God’s great power and encouragement to enable us to “overcome”?
I’m grateful for your partnership in the gospel,
Steve SpringstedClick Here To Open Leader’s Guide