A #BeMakeXSend Movement

(This article is in the August 2018 edition of our church’s upcoming newsletter.)

For some of you, what I’ve just written will only make partial sense. If you were to say it, it would be, “Hashtag, be, make, multiply, send.” A hashtag is a useful tool on social media, allowing others who use this to come into community with each other. We saw this with the #metoo movement, where men and women used this hashtag to share stories of victimization and shame they experienced at the hands of authority figures. A community came together and thus started a movement.

I believe Christ wants to start a movement among us as well. Remember our mission—being, making, multiplying, and sending hopeful, joyful disciples of Jesus. Why? Our aim is to help all of Denver and the nations believe Jesus is enough.

Starting August 12th through the end of November, we will take four weeks on each step of be, making, multiply, and send as a way to get a running start on 2019. How will this look?

From August 12 to September 2 (four weeks), we will look at Luke 14:25-33 with a fine-toothed comb at what it means to be a disciple. We’ve already learned that being a disciple is about growing in our worship of the Lord Jesus by attending worship gatherings, connecting with each other in small groups, serving Jesus on a ministry or team, then going Monday-through-Saturday with the name of Jesus. Jesus tells us without question what it means to be a disciple. Let’s hear from the Master.

From September 9 to September 30 (four weeks), we will examine Matthew 28:18-20 in understanding what it means to make disciples. This is our Commission from Jesus: having others identify with Christ, teaching them to observe the teachings of Christ, and knowing they are not alone for Christ is with them. Through prayer, encouragement, one-on-one and two-to-four discipleship, we accomplish two things here: disciples who strengthen the church and who share with the lost. Our responsibility is both helping keep believers strong in Jesus and sharing Jesus with those who are far from Him. Churches are strengthened as they gather together, but also (as mentioned earlier) one-to-one or two-to-four groups or in their small groups in Sunday School or otherwise. We share Jesus with the lost in our circle of influence, our FRANs, our friends, relatives, associates, neighbors, and strangers.

From October 7-28 (four weeks), we will look at multiplying disciples from various passages of Scripture in the New Testament. You see, the natural tendency of groups in the NT were to gather together and stay together. Only when God intervened would the groups begin to scatter intentionally. We multiply disciples who will then multiply groups (smalls groups, one-to-ones, two-to-four groups, Sunday School classes, Bible studies, etc.), who will then make us to where we will gather in multiple gatherings at ARBC. And those gatherings could turn into other gospel presences such as church plants or replants.

From November 4-25 (four weeks), we will look at sending disciples, as implied with the planting of churches and other gospel presences. Acts 1:8 says that Christ’s power will come upon us and we will be witnesses from close-by to the ends of the earth.

  • How wonderful would it be to start a new class, a new service, a new church? Pray for God to bring the harvest in, not just to the building but the Kingdom!
  • How wonderful would it be to strengthen other places in Colorado like Sugar City and see them thrive physically and spiritually? Pray for God to open doors.
  • How wonderful would it be to plant a church somewhere in North America, to raise up those planters here at ARBC? Pray for God to raise up men and women ready!
  • How wonderful would it be to one day have a gospel influence or presence on every continent on the planet? Pray for God to give us those connections!

It is here that we are moving! It is here that we must say, “It starts with me! It all starts with me committing to Jesus to Be the One—to be that disciple He calls me to be!”

It started with Jesus 2000 years ago at the empty tomb. Begin again with Jesus now as this all starts with us. You. Me. Us. All in this together.

In Getting Strong, Don’t Get It Wrong

But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ (Acts 9:22).

After Saul’s conversion, he needed strengthening in his walk and mission. What can we see from Acts 9:19b-22 how this happened?

  1. By fellow believers. Ananias brought Paul into the Damascus church. Ananias’ advocacy helped Paul receive that acceptance.
  2. By the beauty and truth of the Word that redeems from brokenness. Paul argued from the Scriptures that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of God, the fulfillment of all the prophecies. He was strengthened at how God opened His eyes to see the way He put His plan of rescue in early on.
  3. By his love for his Jewish brothers. He wanted to see his brothers come to Christ at all costs (see Romans 9:1-5). This was part of his mission (Acts 9:15-16) and gave him a God-ordained purpose.
  4. By Jesus Himself. Jesus rescued Him. Jesus was the anointed Messiah who would deliver them from their sin and brokenness. Jesus provides all Paul needed to do all He commanded.

So, come to church, read the Word, share the gospel, and connect with Christ at all points!

What Our Country Most Desperately Needs

This past week, I was reading a book by Bruce Ashford from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, called Letters to an American Christian. The book contains ‘letters’ written from him to a young conservative, evangelical Christian who seeks to make his way into journalism as a conservative, Christian writer (or should I say, a writer who happens to be Christian). As many who are Bible believing Christ-followers know, they have their work cut out for them in most state universities. Ashford is helpful in categorizing most political ideologies into four groups:

  • Liberalism: in the beginning, liberalism was committed to constitution and representative government that emphasized liberty and personal freedom. The trajectory took a turn that now absolutizes someone’s independence—their ‘right’ to be free from external control or influence.
  • Conservatism: As the root word shows, it’s goal is to ‘conserve the social norms and cultural heritage of a particular nation, usually it seeks to conserve a particular era of that nation’s heritage.” So any change, any reform agenda is often met with chagrin. Usually, those who embrace this embrace the values of their childhood. The principles are simply, “This is how it was!”
  • Nationalism: Emphasizes a “nation” and usually identifies one criterion—such as language, culture, race, homeland, constitutional order—as the unifying feature of the nation.
  • Socialism: An agenda that centers on redistributing society’s wealth in order to force economic equality among its citizens.

These are the political ideologies are what dominate our culture in general and the political landscape in particular. And when issues arise dealing with abortion, marriage, racism, and immigration matters, you can find yourself talking about a bunch of matters. And I know for sure that once these matters are brought up even in church, we do not hesitate to open our mouths about our beliefs on these matters, do we?

What our country desperately needs is for Christians to open their mouths. Being a liberal, conservative, nationalist or socialist are matters of conversation. Each of them need discussion in our culture to show the implications of each. And there is a place and a time to examine each of these prevailing agendas and how to approach each of them biblically as followers of Jesus.

If we are going to open our mouths as Christians, let’s never forget and never neglect to open our mouths for what our country most desperately needs: gospel conversations which will lead to gospel conversions!

Here’s a way to go about it: