As a church, we just finished a series which had sermons on topics like discipleship and multiplication. These are the very ideas that underlie the vision statement of our church. We are a church that exists to make, train and send disciples of Jesus who, in turn, make, train and send disciples. You may have a firm grasp on this command to train and multiply and for that I would commend you. You may be clueless as to how you can participate in this commission and in that case I would like to help you. Either way, I ask you to read on.
There is a pithy saying that has been in use for the last several years which goes something like this, “a church should be measured more by its sending capacity than its seating capacity.”1
What this statement means is that a healthy church is marked not by the retention of people and resources, but by the generous releasing of them. However, Satan craftily whispers into the ears of those who lead churches, “if this thing doesn’t grow, you’re a failure. If you send away your best people and resources, you will never gain the recognition you deserve. You will never measure up to those other churches.”
And so as leaders, we need to bring these lies and desires before the radiating light and truth of God’s Word, and to obey what we find therein. One of the ways we tried to demonstrate this last year was through our partnership with the planting of Redeemer Midland. We helped the families of their leaders, Jason Hatch and Cameron Brown, move into their homes as they transitioned from Irving. We gave $10,000 to help with the manifold expenses of planting a church. We gave Jason the opportunity to preach at Redemption, and explain the need for a gospel-centered church in Midland. We encouraged families who drive to church from Midland to consider parting ways with us in order to join in the work with Redeemer Midland. As two families felt the call to Midland, we publicly honored, praised and released them to service with Redeemer.
Another way that we aspire to make, train and send is through leadership development. The truth is that barring the return of Christ, we will all someday pass away. We must be actively involved in multiplying leaders for the sake of the gospel reaching the next generation. In 2016, we started (small as it may be) a line in our church budget called Next Generation for this express purpose.
One of the ways I personally feel called to make my investment into the future is through helping develop worship leaders. Aaron Keyes said, discipleship is giving your life away so that others can do what you do, even better than you.2
With that said, I would like to bring you up to speed with an exciting opportunity that God has opened to our church. I have been asking God to give me a young man who aspires to worship ministry for a couple years, and that request has largely felt unanswered. Then, in November last year, my younger brother Jake called me and told me of how he had been sensing a call to ministry for some time and had finally surrendered to God’s direction for his life. Jake and his wife Desiree will be moving to Odessa in June to begin a 12-month worship internship with us. This ministry will be entirely self-supported, so if you would like to read more or help financially, please click here. We must give away our lives so that others can do what we do, better than we ever could.
1. http://www.jdgreear.com/my_weblog/2014/02/plumbline-13-not-just-seating-capacity-but-sending-capacity.html. David Platt has made this statement many times too so I am unsure who it originates with.
2. Doxology and Theology, pg. 155.