This Easter season I've been thinking a lot about change. In almost every area of my life, I need to change. Physically, I need to change some things in the way I work out and eat. As a husband, I need to change--a lot! In my spiritual walk with God, I need to change to be more like Jesus. And in our mission work, we are constantly looking at helping others change as well.
Speaking of our mission work, this past month, we have gathered a brainstorm team to talk about how we can be more effective in our Play. Story. Eat. process of evangelism and discipleship.
But we have this problem. Change is hard!
Resurrecting dead things to life requires more than we can do! Even the great Apostle Paul was tormented by this.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing...What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Roman 7:18-22
Ever been there? Me too. I really want to change. I feel motivated, but something happens in me that works against my own initial desire.
In our research on effective change, I am learning that most of the time, I don't have a personal motivation problem, I have a math problem.
Social scientists tell us that when making changes, there are always six sources of influence working either for us or against us. If I am personally motivated, that is one source. But if that's all I have, I could be playing tug of war against 5 other sources of motivation. To win, I need to have a whole team pulling for me.
With that idea in mind, we have a team of volunteers working behind the scenes to test and work through our Play. Story. Eat. discipleship model with the idea of getting all categories of influence pulling for us. So far we have been brainstorming a lot on how this could help us encourage more clusters of people to come to faith in Christ, grow, and pass it on to others.
Our Secret Advantage
In doing our research and in putting our ideas on paper, I am getting excited--not that we are going to be able to manufacture spiritual changes because we are so smart or strategic. No. I am getting pumped up because we have an extra player on our side who can help us do so much more than we have the ability to do.
Paul reveals this advantage we have when he answers his rhetorical question above about his insanity of not being able to follow through on what he wants to do.
Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:23
The resurrected Jesus is our ultimate source of change. He gives us both the model to follow and the power to do it. In another letter, Paul said it this way.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
By God's grace, every day men and women like you are riding wild broncs of obedience to God and following Christ in simple but profound ways. We believe some of you are ready to bust loose with greater effectiveness in pointing your friends to Christ and inviting them to join you in taking some bold steps of obedience as you follow Him. We think we can help you. Will you help us? You can help in three ways...
10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)
Pray for our team of folks working on refining our discipleship and evangelism processes. We hope to have a road-map for the next year of putting together the best resources we can for individuals and groups using the Play. Story. Eat. process.
Would you consider helping us financially? Bill Burrows and I have been grateful for the time you have given us to strategize and work on our mission processes without the burden of painting houses. Thank you! And may your tribe increase!
If you would like to join in our strategy discussions, let us know. And if you have a story or testimony of how God is changing you through His resurrected power, please let us know about it! We might need to pass your story on to encourage others.
Hope you have a wonderful Easter!