Jesus was brilliant. I know I sound like Captain Obvious, but Jesus knew how to build something that would last for millenniums. He invested three years in 12 men and then left them right when the church was about to be birthed. The 11 that remained as followers plus a small group of committed women then changed the world.
Why is this idea so hard for modern church leaders to grasp? Why do we continue to use Western marketing principles that ultimately fail instead of using the simple methods of Jesus, which are rock solid?
I am building a ministry to men at New Life and I have decided to spend the next three years building a group of leaders emphasizing relationships and not events or classes. We will have some events and some classes, but we will focus most of our effort on living our lives in authentic community. We are going to go deep before we grow wide.
Most people looking from the outside may think we are not that successful because I cannot point to big attendance numbers as proof. Please pray for me that I will not give in to the temptation to simply get a big crowd to come to an event. My goal at the end of the three years is to have around 200 men from every generation who will help me pastor the 5000 or so men who call New Life home. My goal is not to get the 5000 to show up at some meeting.
Crowds do not multiply, but disciples do. The challenge will be to marinate and not succumb to the microwave mentality that plagues the American church world. We want instant “success” like we want instant rice. We want to be on Top 100 lists even though Jesus would have never made it himself.
Only 120 were in the Upper Room and they were tired, scared and immature. Then they changed the culture of the evil Greco-Roman world in which they lived. They had depth because they had been built from the inside out. The crowds ultimately abandoned Jesus, but those who were in relationship with him stood firm.
I am returning to the ancient because it is the hope for the postmodern world in which I pastor and lead. Come marinate in deep relationships with me. Let’s go deep before we grow wide. Let’s change the world one friendship at a time.
September 27, 2010 at 10:17 am
Really, really good post. I resonate with that idea and I hope that the church at large in America will embrace this “ancient – future” focus. I appreciate your vulnerability.
September 27, 2010 at 11:20 am
Pastor Brady, I’m so excited about what you’re building! I had coffee with a Pastor in our city today and our discussion was the need for TRUE Fathers of the faith. A true father nurtures their sons to adulthood and into fruitfulness. They don’t just preach to masses and say that they’re fruitful because of the number of people listening/following. Fruitfulness is bearing fruit that actually IS fruit! Fruit contains seeds that will be able to reproduce itself. If we are just into producing clones of seedless fruit, we’re missing the heartbeat of God… COMPLETELY. As Jesus walked the earth, he could have moved the masses to follow him. But we read how he often told some to not tell about his miracles to avoid “popularity” for all the wrong reasons. Instead His plan was to disciple twelve men. Men that he called out specifically, and spent quality time with, and sowed into their lives regularly. These twelve men are who we read about that actually changed the world. its the true discipleship model of God.
I love your vision and stand by you in your efforts to make our church exactly this role model! The world doesn’t need empty, shallow clones unable to reproduce. They need Disciplers and true Fathers. Thank you for pursuing nothing less than the heart of God.
September 27, 2010 at 11:36 am
“…plus a small group of committed women…”
September 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm
Love it! Jesus’ way to disciple was within authentic community. He taught and modeled what He taught, then He coached the disciples and sent them out.
I think this is something our church really needs. We can’t just come on Sundays and listen to an incredible message. We need to be trained in smaller and more personal settings to live out the commands of Jesus and be a blessing to those who need Jesus at home and abroad.
September 28, 2010 at 8:52 am
I love your heart and am so honored to be a part of what God is doing at New Live. I totally agree that Jesus did things the best way and that when we model our lives and ministry after him, we will have believers that are able to stand firm in the faith. Thanks for your leadership!
October 1, 2010 at 8:38 pm
Thanks for your leadership. I am ‘all in’!
October 3, 2010 at 9:42 am
Love your heart, Brady.
A wise man once told me that if we are to evaluate the criteria for success in the ministry of leadership, we should be looking at how many are EQUIPPED and SENT, not how many are GATHERED.
Blessings to you as you do His work – His way.
November 8, 2010 at 6:39 pm
Pastor Brady. Since I have returned to Ottawa with the passion for men’s ministry that you and a couple of other men opened my heart to, things have been amazing. I am part of a new group that is working to build those relationships. There is a cry from men for a relationship based ministry. Testimonies are heart wrenching, but we are working to strengthen each other from the inside out. Love your heart, love marinading.
P.S. God is working miracles for orphans here in Ottawa. Kim and I are working with an amazing and passionate pastor. Waiting to iron out the details, but don’t be surprise to hear of a Wait No More event in Ottawa, Canada. GOD IS GOOD.
November 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm
changing hearts will change the world!!! thaks, I A’m ALL IN