My default as a Western Christian has been to try to get the strategy right. I somehow think that if I can just get it all organized in the right way, growth will happen. But its fundamentally about Jesus. Jesus’ life in me transferred to someone else I invite to imitate me. If I dig deep enough, I realize the thing driving my methodology has been fear of not being successful. Our measure of success is size. Jesus’ measure of success was disciples who are able to do what he did. That’s why at the core of the church we need we must have a discipling culture. Here’s how Bob Roberts Jr describes it happening in China:
Five years ago, if you were to visit China and meet one of many pastors with tens of thousands in his church (and some millions of millions in their church network), you might ask him, “How did you start this church planting network? How does it feel to lead something so large and successful?” Surprise–he wouldn’t know what you were talking about.
I wasn’t as if a Chinese person accepted Christ, followed God’s call into the ministry, and then felt led to start a church planting movement. Instead, it happened this way: Individuals found Jesus, he revolutionized their lives, and as a result Jesus spread from their lives to the lives of their family and friends. Then, so many people would up following Jesus that churches were necessary to assimilate all the people. It was a Jesus movement!
Bob Roberts, Jr. The Multiplying Church
It’s the mantra that’s been our watchword: Start with the church, you might get disciples. Start with disciples, you’ll always get a church.