Pushing Boundary-Free GroupLife

Category: Quotes (page 1 of 6)

Quotebook: The Personal Nature of Disciple Making

personal conversationOne of the books that influenced my early ministry direction was The Lost Art of Disciple Making by Leroy Eims. The notion that disciple making is carried on by people and not by programs shaped my conviction that whatever we want to happen in the lives of the members of our groups must happen first in the lives of the leaders.

“The ministry is to be carried on by people, not programs. It is to be carried by someone and not by some thing. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a ‘program’ and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual, personal attention. It takes hours of prayer for them. It takes patience and understanding to teach them how to get into the Word of God for themselves, how to feed and nourish their souls, and by the power of the Holy Spirit how to apply the word to their lives. And it takes being an example to them of all of the above.”

See also:

Quotebook: When Does Discipleship Happen?

“Discipleship occurs when a transformed person radiates Christ to those around her. It happens when people so deeply experience God’s love that they can do nothing other than affect those around them.” Bill Hull, The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ.

Image by Adam Cohn

Quotebook: Self-Control

self controlI know (and you know) that “whatever you want to happen at the member level, will have to happen to the leader first.” We know this. It is not a mystery or some kind of secret code. I know (and you know) that what happens at the member level is ultimately influenced by what happens in our lives. This also is not a mystery or secret code. It is self-evident.

And I much as I write about the habits I’d look for if I was hiring a small group pastor and the 8 habits of a life-changing small group leader, I know intuitively (and so do you), that we are fools to expect anything more than what we are living at the member level. See also, 5 Habits I’d look for If I Was Hiring a Small Group Pastor8 Habits of a Life-Changing Small Group Leader and Model What You Want to Happen at the Member Level.

And this is why it has become my preoccupation for the next season to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

To that end, here are two lines that I’ve written out on post-its so they’ll become part of my daily routine:

“Self-control begins when you begin to take your thoughts captive.” Clay Scroggins, Wish You Were Here, Control Yourself

“You only have control over three things in your life: the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.” Jack Canfield, Resolved: 13 Resolutions for Life by Orrin Woodward

Image by Dave

Quotebook: The Choice Between Risk and Comfort

boatI love this line from John Ortberg’s If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.

“The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus, you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life.” John Ortberg

As I’ve been thinking about next steps for our ministry (and challenging you to do to the same), this quote is a powerful reminder of an essential choice.

The line also begs a question: What have I chosen? Comfort? Or risk? See also, What Baby Steps Will You Take Today?

Image by Domiriel

Quotebook: John Ortberg on Leadership and Disappointment

disappointmentLove this one from John Ortberg’s Who Is This Man? The Unpredictable Influence of the Inescapable Jesus.

“Leadership is the art of disappointing people at a rate they can stand.”

Image by Phil Warren

Quotebook: Following Jesus Entirely

long pathWhat do those who follow Jesus’ do?  I love this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship:

“Those who follow Jesus’ commandment entirely, who let Jesus’ yoke rest on them without resistance, will find the burden they must bear to be light. In the gentle pressure of this yoke they will receive the strength to walk the right path without becoming weary.…Where will the call to discipleship lead those who follow it? What decisions and painful separations will it entail? We must take this question to him who alone knows the answer. Only Jesus Christ, who bids us follow him, knows where the path will lead. But we know that it will be a path full of mercy beyond measure. Discipleship is joy.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Image by Neil Wellons

Quotebook: Changing or Losing

change and losingSometimes I hear a great quote and can almost think of nothing else until I write down exactly what was said. This happened on Monday while sitting in on a staff meeting at a church where I am consulting. The staff was reading a book together and commenting one by one on what they had found most important or most powerful.

As usual, I had my notebook out and was jotting down key ideas as I heard them.

And then I heard this line:

“A person either hates losing enough to change or he hates changing enough to lose.”

I quickly wrote down the line (or as best I could remember it). I also began trying to see the title and the name of the book they were reading! Resolved: 13 Resolutions for Life by Orrin Woodward. I googled the part of the phrase I remembered along with the author’s name and there was the whole quote! Perfect.

I don’t know about you, but I believe this line reflects the real choice we make. Of course, you have to have clearly defined what you will call success or clarified the win, but once you do the line captures perfectly the choice:

“A person either hates losing enough to change or he hates changing enough to lose.”

Great line, don’t you think? By the way, I ordered the book yesterday and can’t wait to read it.

Image by Craig Sunter

Dallas Willard on the Greatest Issue Facing the World

earchThink about the implications of this sentence from Dallas Willard’s The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship:

“The greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who, by profession or culture, are identified as ‘Christians’ will become disciples – students, apprentices, practitioners – of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens into every corner of human existence.”

How might we embed this understanding in our leadership development experiences? What would have to be true about our small group systems if we want every member of our groups to become this kind of disciple?

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Quotebook: Dallas Willard on How to Become Like Christ

follow pathwayIf it is true that “whatever you want to happen at the member level, will have to happen to the leader first” there can be no question about what must happen to the leaders in your small group ministry.  And by extension, there can be little debate about the role of a coach.

And if the role of the coach is to do to and for (and with) the leader whatever you want the leader to do to and for (and with) their members, the question must be asked…what is it that we want to happen in the lives of the members of our groups?  My argument?  We want the members of our groups to become like Christ.  How?  By following Jesus in the overall style of life He chose for Himself.

I love the clarifying simplicity of this line from Dallas Willard’s, The Spirit of the Disciplines:

“My central claim is that we can become like Christ by doing one thing — by following him in the overall style of life he chose for himself.” (The Spirit of the Disciplines, ix)

Father in Heaven…let us all seek to follow Jesus in the overall style of life He chose for Himself.

Image by Dustin

Quotebook: Tim Keller on Community

I love this line from Tim Keller’s The Prodigal God:

You can’t live the Christian life without a band of Christian friends, without a family of believers in which you find a place.”

Keller’s line is found as summary of a quote from C.S. Lewis on the importance of community in knowing each other.  You can read the C.S. Lewis quote right here.

May we be always about the formation of more and better community.

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