Church Culture (part 5)

     We must allow the emphasis of our preaching and teaching to mature until it centers in Jesus. As we mature in our direction we need to maintain an atmosphere of family unity.  How do we make this subtle change of direction and  still maintain unity? I mentioned earlier in this series the questions are easy but the answers are hard. 
     As we study the ministry of Jesus we see a very distictive pattern. Jesus always worked with purpose. Nothing was by accident. Jesus didn’t begin his ministry until the time was right. The time and circumstances were pre-determined.  At His baptism two major things took place. First, Jesus received the Holy Spirit. Second,  He received the blessings of his Father.  With the Holy Spirit within Him and having recieved the Fathers blessings Jesus began His ministry.
     When all was ready Jesus began to assemble a core group of workers. These were men who loved and supported the Lord. From this core group of twelve he chose an inner group of three. These men were from varied backgrounds so different, yet shared a commonality.  These were men who were willing to learn, to change, and most of all allow themselves to be used.  These men were fully committed to the cause of Christ.  They didn’t understand everything nor did they know everything.  The one thing they did understand was the fact that this ministry was all about the Messiah.
     One of the things I have learned in thirty-two years of preaching is we always need friends who are committed to walking with us on our journey. At this point we might be tempted to say there is safety in numbers. In reality it is so much more.   Jesus knew these twelve men would turn the world upside down. Today the right core group with a passion for Christ can certainly change the culture and direction of a local church.
     In Scripture we are told to teach men who will be able to teach others also. Teaching men who will be able to teach others cannot be done from the pulpit or in the classroom alone. It has to be done one on one. Choose those who love the Lord. Choose individuals who are willing to listen, willing to change,  individuals who love Jesus.  Teach and instill in this core group a passion for the message of the Messiah.  Develop a core that has such a passion for preaching Christ that like Jeremiah of old they can’t hold the message.  It has to be told.
     Each church is different. I can’t tell you how long it will take to build a core. I can’t tell you how many you need in the core, but I can tell you this. We will not change church culture or build strong churches until we develop a core element passionate about Christ.

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