Pass It On!
Training people for ministry, life skills, and leadership is central to our fulfilling the great commission.
Scripture Reading: Titus 2:1-15 (Also Ephesians 4:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:2)
After being in a home where there was little spiritual leadership by a father, it must have been something to watch a man come into your city boldly proclaiming Christ. But he didn’t just preach, he demonstrated signs and wonders, such that the people wanted to proclaim him a god. When he refused, they turned on him, stoned him, and left him for dead. But somehow HE CAME BACK TO LIFE! When he returns later, he invites you to join him, taking you under his wing as a spiritual son. You watch him preach, heal the sick, cast out demons, lead others to Christ. But he then turns it over to you and watches with pride as you begin to do the same – halting at first, but with building confidence as you practice. You transcribe his letters to churches. He shows you how to make a living sewing tents. You watch him interact with different groups, training them to lead. Then one day he summons you and sends you to a “hot spot” called Corinth to settle some issues there. It did not go well, but he still encourages you. Then one day he announces that he’s confident that you are ready. You are to take over the pastorate of a dynamic church he’s started. It will eventually have members such as Jesus’ mother, Mary, and John, the apostle. He tells you not to let anyone despise your youth. Instead, you are to do to them what he did with you. PASS IT ON!
One of the primary reasons we see an ineffective church today is because we have misinterpreted what was Jesus’ commission to us (Matthew 28:19-20). I’m not referring to our failure to get out of the walls of our churches and make disciples as we go out into our world– though many churches have failed at this. No, I’m talking about the part where Jesus instructs us to teach the ones we reach TO DO ALL THAT HE TAUGHT US! What did Jesus teach us? It wasn’t Bible stories or moral lessons of the Old Testament saints. It was how to pray, how to proclaim God’s advancing kingdom to their neighbors and countrymen, how to heal the sick, cast out demons and even raise the dead. Jesus took a bunch of nobodies and turned them into leaders, world changers and history makers. They became proficient at taking Kingdom values and applying them to finances, relationships, businesses, homes, decision-making, and even conflicts. In case you’re not certain that was what they learned and passed on to others, I suggest you read through the book of Acts as soon as possible with new eyes. Their success as Jesus’ followers was determined by if they “did the stuff that Jesus did” and passed it on to others in such a way that they could do it also.
Church leadership was never meant to do the work of ministry; they were to train the people to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). Paul taught Timothy that his role as pastor was to find faithful men that he would entrust the stuff that Paul had taught him, and pass it on to other faithful ones, who would in turn pass it on to other faithful ones– and so on– and so on (2 Timothy 2:2)!
This wasn’t just Paul or Timothy’s thing. The older men of the church were to instruct younger men the practical things of life. Older women (there is no age mentioned or reproach intended to those thus defined) were to teach younger women– especially things pertaining to conduct, domestic responsibility, even attitudes (Titus 2:1-15). We are to pass on Christ’s life lived out in employer/employee relations; in our response as citizens to political leaders. In fact, there is no area of our lives that the Kingdom of God does not invade and transform. Too many today have bought into the present culture and would consider these things “none of our business.” BUT THEY ARE!!!
As we see the true purpose of the church we have at least two responses: 1) Have we learned to “do the stuff of Jesus” (proclaim, witness, heal, cast out demons, etc.), or have we assumed that such was the stuff for church leaders, the super-spiritual, and just about anyone else except us? 2) Have we accepted our responsibility, not just to learn to do the stuff of Jesus, but to teach them to others who have yet to learn. To be true followers of Christ, we will do both!
- What grade level would you consider yourself in regard to “doing the stuff of Jesus?”
- Have you accepted your role as first a learner, and then a teacher, in carrying out the ministry of Jesus to a hurting world or have you considered that the job of the pastor? What would be the evidence that you have accepted that role?
- What are some practical areas you would like to see the Kingdom invade and transform in your life? Will you ask God to reveal them to you in the days ahead?
Declaration: As you pray today, make the following declaration…
I am the continuation of a great movement that started on a hillside in Galilee 2000 years ago. This movement touches lives, establishes homes, elevates commerce, transform’s cultures, blesses nations and determines eternal destinies. I am purposed. I am potent. I am dangerous. And I will not forfeit my calling and destiny to someone else– I will fulfill it and pass it on!