The Pathway Model for Ministry -Discipleship
Thereare two ways this model can be explained, from the center out, or from the outsideto the center.
Outsideto the center.
Worship Gatherings – Life Groups – OnMission Initiatives… these are “pathways” that lead us to:
· Connection with Jesus / connection with eachother.
· Service to Christ / service to each other.
· A Missional expression of living that reflects Christ’s plan for usindividually as well as corporately, His church.
The endgoal is our conformity to the image of ChristJesus, which is the end goal of The Gospel: Romans 8:29
The Center, out:
A life connected to Jesus willmanifest itself in…
· Connection to the body of Christ.
· Service both within and outside of the body.
· A lifestyle that seeks out Christ’s plan, bothindividually and corporately.
Expressed through regular involvement inWorship Gatherings, Life Groups and On Mission Initiatives.
Either way you look at it everythingis either:
· emanatingfrom JESUS.
· movingtoward JESUS.
JESUS is the CENTER of all that we are anddo as The Mission Church
Today weare focused on Missional Living. I suspect that when I speak about Missional Living our thoughts leantoward “What I’m supposed to do”?
If that is the case, we have gottenthe cart before the horse. The first step into Missional Living = Missional Thinking.
Truth Point: RightThinking must always proceed Right Doing, for only as I THINK Right, can I actually Do Right.
Proverbs4:23; Luke 6:45:
Truth Point: The storehouse of the “heart” isfilled through the thoughts (way of thinking) we give ourselves to. Romans 12:2
From our birth we areconditioned to think from a self-centered, fleshly perspective. Unless our mindis renewed in the truth of God, we will live out the upside-down thinking ofthe flesh.
· 1Corinthians 6:19-20
· 2Corinthians 5:14-15, 20
1Corinthians 6:19-20comes out of a passage where believers are warned about sexual immorality.
Philippians1:21 is born fromPaul’s experience of being in chains because of the gospel and theother stresses he bears because of his ministry for Christ.
2Corinthians 5:14-15,20 comesin the midst of Paul’s explanation about the ministry of reconciliation believers have toward the worldlost in sin.
The common thread however,is Paul’s understanding and communication about the realities ofwhat it means to be a follower of Christ.
ThreeTruths that Lead to Singularway of thinking…
Truth #1: Christ-followers do not belong tothemselves. They have been purchased by Christ, now belong to Him.
Truth #2: Because we belong to Christ, Christis our life. If we live, we live unto Him. If we die, wegain Him in fullness. Weather we live inor die from, this world, Jesus isour life.
Truth #3: No matter what our condition, situationor circumstance in this world, we are first and foremost Ambassador’s for Christ.
Truth Point: Missional Thinking see’s life througha Christ-Centriclens in place of the inherited self-centriclens.
MissionalThinking naturallyleads to Missional Living.
A prevalent misconception revolvesaround the idea that unless I surrendermy life to be a pastor, missionary, Christian school teacher,etc… Icannot possibly be living missional.
In other-words, life as an accountant,insurance sales-person, nurse, teacher, golf-pro, mother…these can be good ways to live, but it’s NOT a life spent for the kingdom of God.
Thisis a misconception that must be corrected!
Missional Living is living with - on “purpose.” Living with purpose inthis context is living as a:
· Blood-boughtchild of God
· WithChrist in the center of their gaze
· Whosee’s life through the lens of representing Christ in His kingdom and gospel.
TruthPoint: Onedoes NOT have to engage in vocational ministry to live missional. One only needs to be sensitive to the leading of The Spirit,and faithful infollowing His lead.
Missional Living does NOT beginby what we do. Missional Livingbegins in the mind…how I think about myself in relationship to Christ.
· AmI surrendered to Him as my Sovereignhead?
· IsHe my life… or am I pursuingsomething other?
· DoI see myself as His representativein all aspects of living… or is my allegiance geared to self?
Truth Point:Stay at home momscan be every bit as Missional in their marriage and with their children as theJackson’s are with unreached people groups
Accountants faithfully serving their clients froma Christ-centric perspective, can be just as missional as the Lightner’s arewith the orphans of Zambia/
The Point: Missional Living will work its way towhat I do, but it begins with how I think. When I think correctly about myself,in relationship to Jesus…
· Notmy own, bought with a price
· Jesusis my life
· Iam an ambassador of King Jesus
I will respond to themovement of His Spirit who always lead me in the path of being a disciple andmaking disciples.