Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I sure wish Rick Warren would read this...

Everytime I leave town for a few days I come back with so much on my mind I have to share it. It really doesn't take me long to drop these thoughts so I am doing many other things.

For those who have taken their churches through the five purposes of the church -by Rick Warren - please consider the following.

What are the lasting results besides a Mission or Purpose statement declaring them as important?

Is your ministry doing all of those purposes with equal priority?

Are the "Five Purposes" all on the same level of importance?

Has the "Five Purpose" teaching changed your life and community and if so, how?

Is the "Five Purpose" hype just another thing like the "Prayer of Jabez" or is it more than that?

We all know that many many people have accepted Christ and have assumed a purpose for their lives. I'm just wondering if those who have discoved their purpose are intentionally engaged with God's Purpose -His Great Commission (Co-Mission). While I celebrate the thousands of new Christ -followers how does or has the "Five Purposes" transformed the Church in ways that moves her from the collision course Europe has already experienced?

Thoughts?

18 Comments:

At October 24, 2006 7:40 PM, Blogger spamthewunderdog said...

I am a yungun, so my views are still being formed. But I will tell you one thing I learned about God through my intense look at what Warren teaches, and I think he would agree with me on this.

All the five purposes, are really just a manifestation of one central purpose, that is to worship God. When he states in "The Purpose Driven Life", "Its not about you", I think he sets a tone that is thouroughly Biblical about Church and the process of Church planting.

I am still in the assessing phase of my life regarding Church planting, but I have been convinced that my attempting, with God's guidance, to plant a Church will be nothing less than an act of worship.

 
At October 24, 2006 10:17 PM, Blogger Bob Carder said...

Spam - If I understand Warren, The purposes are: Evangelism, Discipleship, Mission, Fellowship and Worship.

The bi-products of Fulfilling the Great Commission are Fellowship and Worship. We disciple people to God and in a relationship with God and as a result of knowing Jesus personally they (we) worship Him and fellowship with other believers.

Evangelism - Mission and Discipleship are one in the same resulting in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Everything else we do flows out of the Great Commission being the main thing and the SUPREME thing.

Rick Warren never says anything about the central "SUPREME" purpose of the church being the Great Commission as commanded by Jesus Himself after He rose from the dead as if to say, "Don't forget what I lived before you - You gotta do it - by living out and obeying the Great Commission. You gotta keep doing what I taught before you and now command you. As I was with you then I will be with you then.

If you ever plant a church you will need to place the supremacy of the Great Commission as the most important thing. You can never truly worship Jesus until you truly obey what (all) He has commanded all of us.

Warren, clearly identifies priorities but he never identifies the main thing -the Supremacy of the Great Commission. Spam- make your case on why you think (if so)the Great Commission cannot possibly be supreme and most important.

Spam -give this a chance and watch what happens. Your comments are very helpful!

As a yungun -you are ripe and ready and if teacheable you see something that will transform your life while causing transformation in the lives of mulitudes yet unreached who when reached will worship for the first time in their lives.

 
At October 26, 2006 12:34 AM, Blogger spamthewunderdog said...

Hey Bob,

I think you jumped the gun and misread me a little bit. Or possibly I didn't say what I meant to say as clearly as possibly.

I never said that Warren "said" that the central purpose is worship, but rather that he would agree with me (I think) that worship is central.

In short, How can we follow the great commission if we do not worship God first?

I understand what you are saying about putting the great ccommission as the most important thing (I would put the great commandmant in there as well), but how can you honor God by being obedient in anything if you drawn to worship Him first?

Again, I am not saying that the great commission is not central...but rather that worship is central, and obeying God in the great commission is the CENTRAL act of worship that he calls all of us to be obedient to.

Oh yeah, I am actually 36...just young in this phase of my life!!!

 
At October 26, 2006 11:25 PM, Blogger Bob Carder said...

SPAM - You must love the Lord your God with all your, HEART-SOUL-MIND which is an act of Worship, YES -but is is also an act of obedience. "GO, Make disciples and Baptize and Teach to Obey! These are our marching orders and one really cannot worship until they know Him and when we know Him we worship and obey Him. The main thing is still the main thing no matter how (we) you cut it.

The Great Commission is the MAIN Mission and whatever leads us to Obey it is fine. The GC is still the MAIN thing.

Read the Gospels and study the red letters and see what Jesus had to say about it.

You are doing well and I appreciate guys like you who cause us all to think more deeply.

 
At October 27, 2006 12:06 AM, Blogger Bob Carder said...

Rick Warren, Where are you?

Can't you just reply to this?

 
At October 27, 2006 9:37 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Some of the red letters:

"Abide in me, and I will abide in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and whithers...if you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

God is glorified by our fruitfulness. But the fruitfulness of our lives is dependent upon our intimacy with Christ just as Christ's work was dependent upon his intimacy with the Father ("I do nothing apart from the father.")

I believe (just my opinion) that my job is to lead people into greater and greater places of personal intimacy with Christ and out of that intimacy will come fruitfulness that I am unable to "produce" in other people.

I can tell people to go and make disciples, but if they aren't intimate worshippers of God they will follow my lead out of a sense of duty and it will be human-empowered and weak.

But I have found that people who are proufoundly in love with Christ, willing to die for him, they make disciples not out of duty, but because it is as natural as an apple tree producing apples.

 
At October 27, 2006 11:32 AM, Blogger Bob Carder said...

Bill - Why then, is this not happening in the American Church by the majority of the professing?

We know the Word is true - but do we really believe and obey in the christian community?

Oh boy, you opened a can of worms!

Oh my goodness....

 
At October 27, 2006 3:14 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Good question Bob.

And I would say that because Christianity in America is little more than a cultural exercise for most people rather than being a counter-cultural revolutionary love affair with the Saviour.

Far too many Christians love their church building more than they love their Saviour.

Far too many Christians are in love with the pleasures and comforts of western society to live as selfless worshippers of God.

 
At October 27, 2006 3:15 PM, Blogger Bill said...

It is happening in churches I've experienced where people are truly, passionately sold out to Jesus Christ.

 
At October 28, 2006 4:35 PM, Anonymous Beau Lehmann said...

I'm with Bill on this. No doubt. Home Run!

 
At October 30, 2006 2:14 PM, Blogger spamthewunderdog said...

I guess we are just going to have to disagree on this. I am either not getting through, or you are not listening.

I will say again, and I get this from a red letter study...everything and I mean EVERTHING IS ABOUT WORSHIP!! The GC is worship its all worship.

You even said it yourself when you replied to me and did't even catch it. You said:

"GO, Make disciples and Baptize and Teach to Obey! These are our marching orders and one really cannot worship until they know Him and when we know Him we worship and obey Him. The main thing is still the main thing no matter how (we) you cut it."

Worship leads to obedience, not the other way around. And no matter how flowery you say it, you cannot change that fact. Worship leads to our dependance on God, which leads to obedience, which leads to us being empowered to GO.

Let me ask the question this way: How can you go into all the world and baptize them teaching them to obey, if you and I don't first regognize the glory, the kavod, the weight of God in all things and that everything is about him, and not us?

 
At November 01, 2006 2:29 AM, Blogger Bob Carder said...

SPAM:

Let me say it this way! How can a non-believer worship if they don't love and serve Him. And, they will never come to know Him if the church doesn't make the Great Commission supreme above all things. Of course our fulfilling the Great Commission flows out of our love and daily worship and awe of Jesus! I do agree with this!

This is no flowery speech. If the most important thing is worship and true worship is the result of our love and awe of God then that worship and awe of God should lead us "Christ followers" to obey Him by fulfilling His Mission.

The proof is in the pudding. Why are we (AMerican Church) not owning and fulfilling the Great Commission as a by-product of being in love and awe of God? If worship is first like you say (I am not arguing here)then why doesn't that lead to all believers obeying the Great Commission?

When we truly love God we also want to please Him and carry on the things that are close to His heart.

Let's not argue the chicken and the egg and who is first, let's find Christ, love and worship Him but don't stop with that - let's move out and obey Him.

We don't need another worship service to prove our love for God, He is not easily fooled and by the way, our actions in obedience remain the acid test of our true loving worship and obedience. If a Christ-Follower does not hold the Great Commission as supreme and demonstrated in "faith and practice" our worship and love for Him remains in serious question.

Spam - I have drug my comments out with you because in too many -far too many cases we use the "Worship" card as an excuse for never taking on the Great Commission with Supreme importance and obedience. Here's what I understand from the Word of God: We worship -we obey -so that others can worship and obey. And going to worship on Sunday isn't really the worship I am speaking of it is a form of worship but not really worship, or is it? We worship -we obey- so that others can find Christ and worship and obey so that others can find Christ and worship and obey etc.

If we truly love Him -we will do what He says!

Spam -we likely agree more that we think now that we have removed the clutter of terminology. Worship is more than a once a week service -it is a lifestyle of love for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords expressed by wanting to please and obey Him.

Why then is the Church in America who claims to worship Him so well -not really pleasing the one they claim to love?

SPAM -Let's take this worship/obedience thing even deeper. You are making me proud and I have tripped your trigger but in the end we will see a more refined connection between matters of faith and practice.

I love your thoughts and I love it when you get back in my face. I have even more respect for you.

Give me your thoughts!

 
At November 01, 2006 7:50 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Bob,

You hit it right on the head with this statement:

"This report presents the results of the largest survey and testing program for students in home schools to date. In Spring 1998, 20,760 K-12 home school students in 11,930 families were administered either the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) or the Tests of Achievement and Proficiency (TAP), depending on their current grade. The parents responded to a questionnaire requesting background and demographic information. Major findings include: the achievement test scores of this group of home school students are exceptionally high--the median scores were typically in the 70th to 80th percentile; 25% of home school students are enrolled one or more grades above their age-level public and private school peers; this group of home school parents has more formal education than parents in the general population; the median income for home school families is significantly higher than that of all families with children in the United States; and almost all home school students are in married couple families. Because this was not a controlled experiment, the study does not demonstrate that home schooling is superior to public or private schools and the results must be interpreted with caution. The report clearly suggests, however, that home school students do quite well in that educational environment."

When I speak about our fulfilling of the great commission emerging out of our intimacy with Christ, I am not speaking about a service of worship, I am speaking about a heart of worship.

 
At November 01, 2006 7:51 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Ooopps!

Something else was on my clipboard. Glad it wasn't a steamy letter to my wife!!!

Here is the statement you made about which I commented in that last comment:

We don't need another worship service to prove our love for God, He is not easily fooled and by the way, our actions in obedience remain the acid test of our true loving worship and obedience. If a Christ-Follower does not hold the Great Commission as supreme and demonstrated in "faith and practice" our worship and love for Him remains in serious question.

 
At November 01, 2006 7:53 AM, Blogger Bill said...

The answer to your question about why the great commission isn't happening in America (and it is in places) is because Christians are more in love with their worship SERVICES than they are with the one they are supposed to be worshipping.

 
At November 01, 2006 11:53 AM, Blogger spamthewunderdog said...

Ok, now I see where we are getting it wrong between us and creating bad will. Which was not the intention, because frankly I think your pretty cool...and you challenge me.

You said: "How can a non-believer worship if they don't love and serve Him. And, they will never come to know Him if the church doesn't make the Great Commission supreme above all things. Of course our fulfilling the Great Commission flows out of our love and daily worship and awe of Jesus! I do agree with this!"

I have only been directing my statements in reagards to what we as Christians do. Of course a non Christian has to love, serve and obey God in order worship him. And of course I agree that the Great Commission (and I would lump the Greatest commandment in there as well) are supreme. My only point is that living a life that is congruent with the Great Commission IS the greatest act of worship that God calls us to. In my mind that neccessrily makes the worship of God a pre-condition for effectively fullfilling the GC.

Now to other things regarding the state of the Church in America.

you said: "If worship is first like you say (I am not arguing here)then why doesn't that lead to all believers obeying the Great Commission?"

I think that the answer to that is pretty clear: We don't understand worship. We see it as the "corporate" portion of our gathering and that it is singing etc... We haven't drawn the line that says that worship is "offering ourselves". Which brings me back to my original point in regards to what I came to learn as I read Warren. It's not about me...or you...or us. It's about God. EVERYTHING in our lives should be about God because we daily seek to leave nothing of ourselves behind, we seek only to leave behind that which God leads us to. Which in the context of the Church means that we are called to worship God by the supreme sacrifice of forgetting ourselves and going on his mission (the GC)

One last thing. You said: "Let's not argue the chicken and the egg and who is first, let's find Christ, love and worship Him but don't stop with that - let's move out and obey Him"

My point has always been that: love-worship-obey, are inseperable...they cannot exist without each other. True worship flows from love for God, and flows into obeying God. And the CHIEF among obeying God is the GC...but it is essentially an act of worship.

ok one last thing...I lied before when I said I was done...but this really is it.

THANKS

 
At November 02, 2006 7:38 PM, Blogger Bob Carder said...

SPAM said, My only point is that living a life that is congruent with the Great Commission IS the greatest act of worship that God calls us to. In my mind that neccessrily makes the worship of God a pre-condition for effectively fullfilling the GC.

I totally agree with you and you have fleshed it out as I had hoped. We are not in conflict and have never been so. I was also looking for you to rais the GC to the place of highest honor/ obeyed because we love (worship) God so much that we express our love in every way in order to please God with purpose-ful obedience of the GC.

I agree with everything in your last post and I commend you as someone who really knows how to stick with and communicate truth. I know the interaction was at times painful but it has led to a "masterpiece" post.

There really are three things in the Body of Christ..."Love-Worship", owned "Obedience in/for the Great Commission" and "Community as the Body of Christ" who love/worship God, obey Him and expand/live Community to repeat the cycle over and over again.

Rick Warren misses it when he puts Evangelism/Discipleship & Mission in three categories instead of an al inclusive Great Commission. Believers in America still don't see the Great Commission as Jesus does (the Supreme act of obedience).

Spam -you are brilliant and rightfully vindicated if you need to be...You nailed it! If any apology is needed "I am sorry!"

Now are you ready to begin a disciple-making movement in St. Louis?

Again -this is great great work -you have it..

Rick Warren does not place Love/Worship as a priority -it is on the same level as fellowship - that must gripe you as it does me.

 
At November 03, 2006 2:05 AM, Blogger spamthewunderdog said...

Oh yeah, it bugs me that Rick doesn't see a total package deal with what he proposes as the 5 purposes. I think if he were pushed though, he might admit to the fact that he does see The GC as part of the package for worship.

Hey, no apolgies needed. I was never offended or angry...I just type that way sometimes.

sort of like this joke I heard once...you have to read it slowly or you may not get it:

I'm not a tv, but I play Dr. on one

It sounds out of place, because it is...but it is not meant to be anything other than funny.

just like how I type sometimes. It sounds out of place because it is, but its not meant to be angry or mean...just thought provoking.

 

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