Friday, June 27, 2008

What do you do in Brazil?

I am frequently asked what I do in Brazil. I have had to work on my answer over the past three years since what I do in Brazil is so different from what I have been doing for most of my life as the lead pastor of local churches. Answering the question has been a good exercise and has been helpful to keep me focused.

So, here goes.....

What do you do in Brazil? I help leaders clearly define what it means to disciple the people they lead. Through preaching, seminars, retreats, literature and mentoring I attempt to create an ongoing dialog with leaders about discipleship which is the most important thing that Christian leaders do after a person accepts Jesus as their Saviour.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? It is not as simple as it seems. The work is not complicated. The problem is the word discipleship. Discipleship has become a word that is so common it has become almost impossible to use with precision, accuracy and simplicity. That is dangerous and tragic.

Jesus commanded his first disciples to go into the world and "make disciples". He knew exactly what he meant and so did His first disciples. As hard as it may be to recapture a clear picture of what it means to make disciples, we must not lose His true meaning of this word. Confusion about discipleship is tragic to all involved.

I have been led to use John 15 to frame this ongoing dialog about discipleship. Using Jesus' last words I have found that any Christian can accurately and simply describe discipleship. When a Christian can clearly describe discipleship using the Vineyard metaphor of John 15 amazing transformation takes place. It did in my life and I have seen it happen time and time again. Define what it means to abide in the Vine and bear fruit and discipleship is clear and simple again.

The passion I have for this task is surprising even to me! I have never been more motivated in my life. To see people understand how beautiful and simple Jesus' plan has been truly worth the effort. I feel like the person who has discovered the lost cure for the common cold. Seeing people lose the symptoms of weakened relationship with Jesus is truly rewarding.

Consider a few of the statements I often use to describe discipleship and I hope you will be motivated to keep your ideas of discipleship clear and simple.

To be a disciple is to be like Jesus moment by moment. Jesus delivered God's love 24/7 and moment by moment without stopping. We can, too, as we abide moment by moment in Him.

To be a disciple is to deliver God's love as Jesus delivers God's love to us moment by moment.

To be a disciple is to enjoy a barrier-free relationship with the perfect presence of Jesus in us and deliver the fruit of that relationship to others moment by moment.

To be a disciple is to Receive, Rejoice in and Release the perfect life of Jesus moment by moment like a branch receives, rejoices in and releases the fruit of the Vine.

To be a disciple is to enjoy the perfect satisfaction Jesus provides moment by moment and release that satisfaction to those God puts in our path for His purposes and glory.

To be a disciple is to be 100% satisfied in God moment by moment just like Jesus was.

What do I do in Brazil? I watch Christians learn to enjoy God moment by moment like Jesus did. It is awesome!

If you want to follow up on these ideas, you can always e-mail me with comments or questions at or get a copy of my new book The Satisfying Life by e-mailing from the site www.satisfyinglife com.

Enjoy the Christian Life that is in you right now. Remember, Jesus is the Christian life so you lack nothing to live the Christian life at this very moment.

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