Let's open with this question...
This one leading question is designed to cause a brainstorm to brew within the Think Tank of this Men's Ministry. Our goal is to figure out how to solve the mystery with Church Growth Decline. Another goal of mine is to point you to Jesus and let Him be our homeroom teacher of the truths that exist in His Word as documented in the Holy Bible and His teaching by the Holy Spirit. No one in this group of men including myself will have authority over anyone. We will have a mutual love and respect for each other.
Two essential parameters must be kept within the scope of our thinking process to make sure we are properly focusing on the leadership of the Holy Spirit. They are as follows...
We, as born again Christians, are single significant parts of His Body whose purpose is to reflect God's Love and Redeeming Grace by serving others as a unified team to glorify God and achieve his ultimate goal of establishing His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Please read and study First Corinthians Chapter Twelve to better understand what our role is as individual members of the Body of Christ.
Let me add God works in mysterious ways so NEVER second guess our jump the gun on what we may consider to be the perfect will of God. I have done this many times in the past and it resulted in a NOT SO NICE outcome.
Every member of the body of Christ has a significant and assigned role that is of equal importance to be shared with common purpose in ensuring that the body functions together in a manner worthy of repentance by producing nutritious spiritual fruit and good works by the measures of faith given to each of us. Like the Apostle Paul, I am prone to write run-on sentences.
Read what the Apostle John has to say in 1 John 2:26-27.
“These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and YOU HAVE NO NEED FOR ANYONE TO TEACH YOU; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”
It is also important to read what Jesus taught his disciples in regards to their humble servitude in ministering to lost souls who do not KNOW Jesus as their personal moral teacher and their Savior from their sins. Read John 13:4-16 as follows:
Jesus got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.” So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you KNOW these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
Our Men's Ministry format on how we conduct church will be the same way the original church conducted itself as explained in the New Testament. The mainstream church has GREATLY PERVERTED how we as a church body should operate in our effort to carry out Jesus' command to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that Jesus has taught us.
Our study of the Bible will be topical rather than expository in practice. John MacArthur is my favorite modern day theologian. His sermons are expository in their presentation. Jesus taught on topics and not by means of expository teaching as is common practice by many preachers today. This is one of the few disagreements I have with John.
The biggest disagreement I have with brother John is that he believes President Trump's former Pastor, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, was instrumental in starting the Prosperity Gospel. I am starting to believe that John's biggest weakness in his spiritual walk is his unhealthy fear of the Power of the Holy Spirit which is the Power behind Positive Thinking. Unfortunately, many prosperity preachers distort the meaning of the faith that pleases God. Please read Point Fifteen of my thesis for a further explanation of what I mean in our understanding of things that are spiritual or psychological in nature. These two terms are synonymous if you have not figured this out yet.
Expository study should be done on an individual basis as the hermeneutic means of interpretation allows us to get the most meaning out of each Bible passage in our individual private study of God's word.
The New Testament church met in homes with everyone participating by sharing their personal experiences, their ideas, their spiritual gifts, their finances, their resources, their talents, their vocational skills, their prayer requests, their knowledge of scripture, their academic knowledge, they shared the gospel with those who do not know Jesus, they offered their hospitality skills, they confessed their sins or admitted their mistakes to one another, they disciplined each other in love, they worshiped together, they bared each other’s burdens, they watched each other’s back, they ate and enjoyed fellowship together, they celebrated the Lord’s Supper together and all for the purpose of developing close intimate relationships in order to unify and edify the Body of Christ as the future Bride of Jesus. They did this with mutual love and respect for one another.
The accountability factor was mutual between each and every member not just a few.
Too much structure and scripted church services hinders the Holy Spirit from working in the hearts and minds of every church member who assembles together to worship and grow in the likeness of Christ. All of us as Christians has something to offer to edify and unify the Body of Christ. Too much man made structure, constraints on time, canned programs and one sided lectures (sermons) from the pulpit stand in the way of the Holy Spirit being able to work spontaneously in and through every believer.
It should be a "no brainer" to see why the present man made church is not growing and is becoming spiritually stagnant today. My strong subject is Science so I KNOW the importance of making sure all the molecules in a body of water keep moving to prevent stagnation. Now do you see the importance that EVERY MEMBER in the Body of Christ participates in a church ministry of some sort? I can assure you that most men will choose not to be a part of any ministry if they are not allowed to speak their mind during the assembling together in a church setting. This is without any doubts true for me and I am sure its true for other men too. Do you share my opinion?
My advice to all men and boys is to learn to think on our own. Never ever let someone else do your own thinking for you. Why would any man trust another man to interpret what the Bible teaches from the original writings? It is good to hear other people’s opinions on what they think a particular Bible verse means but don’t automatically assume it to be Gospel truth. This could be fatal when Jesus checks our essay answers on our final exam on Judgement day. Why would any person trust another persons answers to questions Jesus may ask that pertain to our Spiritual destiny?
Let me stress the point of being objective rather than subjective in our thinking process. This is imperative if we want to enter into the infinite mindset of our best friend Jesus.
Being objective means to look at the Big Picture in life. It means being hypothetical when asking all the what if questions. It means looking at an issue from different perspectives. It means not letting our emotions, our fears and our prejudices distort what really matters. Another good way to define being objective is to have a “Balanced Perspective” of opposing views when figuring out a difficult problem. Ultimately, it means putting away all our personal biases and consider other people’s thoughts to be as important as our own.
No One Person, other than Jesus, has all the answers... Amen?
Being subjective means to narrow our scope in our thinking process and focus on a minute part of the Big Picture of Life. It means paying special attention to minute details. Folks who think like this are the nerds and geeks among us. They don't get bored with excessive details and intricate work like many of us do. This is a special gift God has designed in their biological brains. Nerds are known to focus at great length on a narrow aspect of a particular phenomenon. I believe this is the reason they are so narrow minded and fail to understand the mindset of Donald Trump who is a macro rather than a micro type of thinker.
Mike Bloomberg is a great example of a narrow minded nerd who has a narrow understanding of human nature. He made all his money because of his intricate knowledge of computer technology in the age of computer science.
Picture a nerd looking through an electron microscope to study DNA chromosomes. What does he see? He only sees a very small microcosm of our Universe, right? He is totally unaware of what is going on around him. These nerds are all the progressive liberals in Silicon Valley who have become very wealthy because of their technical advances in the realm of computer science. They are the ones who follow and promote progressive liberal ideology. They are very NARROW MINDED in their understanding of human nature. There are no Leonardo Da Vinci’s in this group of people. Does this make sense?
Let me close the think tank page with this instruction from Peter...
"For as you KNOW him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us! And by that same mighty power he has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings he promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us his own character.
But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you MUST LEARN TO KNOW GOD BETTER AND DISCOVER WHAT HE WANTS YOU TO DO. Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have his way with you. This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply. The more you go on in this way, the more you will grow strong spiritually and become fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ."
Let's have a conversation...hope to hear from you.
Founder and Facilitator of Bible Think Tank Men's Mentoring Ministry
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