INFUSION of New Life - weekly encouragement from Pastor George & News to Note, PLUS... Updated Constitution & Bylaws
to listen to this past Sunday’s message, click here: www.newlifechurchmo.org/sermons
Kevin Miller, (of Wheaton, Illinois) wrote the following which I share with you as a reflection of what “discipling others” might look like.
Kevin asks, “Is the Church More Like an Old-Fashioned Hardware Store or a Home Depot?”
Then Mr. Miller goes on to explain that:
When I was a kid, Saturday mornings were chore day. Often my dad would say, "C'mon kid," and I'd hop in the station wagon, and we would drive down the street to Hooper Wolfe's hardware store. Hooper Wolfe's had an old wood door, painted white—except where the paint was worn off near the handle. You walked in, and you could hardly move. There were two narrow aisles. The counters were filled with merchandise, shelves were overflowing, and stuff was hanging from the ceiling. You'd think, No way am I going to find anything in here.
But you didn't need to. As soon as you walked in, Clarence from behind the counter would say, "Help you today?" My dad would say something like, "I want to hang a light out back."
Clarence would come out from behind the counter and ask questions. "Where you going to hang it? Over the patio? Well then"—and he would start rummaging through shelves until he pulled off just the right light—"you want a light like this. And don't use these bolts here; they're good for indoor stuff, but for outdoor, you want something galvanized."
"Your wall is brick, isn't it?" Clarence asked. (Even though our town was small, I was impressed he knew what our house was made of.) "Well, to run the conduit through there, you want a masonry drill bit at least ¾ of an inch. If we don't have that in stock, you can get one over at Miller's Lumberyard." Then Clarence would pull a flat carpenter's pencil off his ear and get out a little piece of paper and sketch it all out. "The conduit goes here … and make sure you don't mount the light too close to the soffit."
Today, when I have a project on Saturday, I head to Home Depot. Unlike Hooper Wolfe's, where you had to parallel park on the street, there's an ocean of parking. And inside, Home Depot is huge. The ceilings are 30 feet high. Home Depot has forty times the inventory of Hooper Wolfe's. It all looks great under bright, argon lights.
There is a guy in an orange apron—a block away. If you run him down, he's likely to say, "Sorry. I usually work in paints. I'm just covering in electrical because someone called in sick." So you're pretty much on your own.
A similar thing has happened in the American church. We have programs that are amazing, with Disney-level quality and technological sophistication. But something's missing: Clarence. We all need a Clarence, someone who knows more than we do and who will guide us to grow in Christ.
Throughout the Bible this is the primary way faith has been passed on. Moses trains Joshua in how to lead; Eli trains Samuel in how to pray; Jesus teaches the apostles; Timothy's grandmother Lois trains up her daughter Eunice, who trains up her son Timothy; Paul calls Titus his "son" in the faith. When it comes to helping people grow into spiritual maturity, the Bible gives us "the Clarence Principle": the older teach the younger, and those more mature in the faith guide those who are newer in the faith.
*Who is your “Clarence”? Who is the one who has disciple (is discipling) you?
**To whom are you being a “Clarence”?
Based on John 1:35-42:
Jesus turned and saw them [two of John the Baptists disciples] following and said to them, “What are you seeking.” (v.38)
A Prayer to Pray:
Lord, You called the willing to follow you. When they did so they witnessed you teaching others, helping others, praying for others and even correcting others. Then You sent them out two by two to do as You had done. Eventually, Jesus, You simply instructed Your followers to ‘Go and make disciples’. As I read of You in the scriptures, help me Lord to catch glimpses of how Your great love drove You to teach, pray, help, and correct others. Strengthen me, too, that I might go and do the same. In Your precious and Holy Name, I pray. AMEN.
Prayer Points from NLC Prayer Ministry
This week all are encouraged to pray for the Leadership team and Pastor George in the following areas:
1. Pray that we realize that our inheritance and hope as a church family is in God's incomparable and incredible great power which is available to us (Gal. 1:12; Eph. 1:18-19; Phil. 3:10)
2. Pray that our church, leadership, and pastor becomes more surrendered and poured out to Christ, so they can have spiritual breakthroughs by seeking the fear of God and the mind of Christ and the Spirit's leading. (1 Cor. 2:16; Gal. 2:20-21)
3. Pray that your church and pastor continue to take hold of a growing, consistent walk with Christ with a devotional life and prayer that is steadfast. Pray that they allow Christ to work and use them as they grow in their faith, spiritual formation, maturity, and love (Psalm 16:8-11; 73:28; Rom. 8:31; 2 Pet. 1:5-7)