Top 10 Signs You’re Still in Jerusalem

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A little scripture…and then a question.

Just before He ascended  Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8, NLT).”

In Acts 8:1 we learn that the day Stephen was stoned, “A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria (italics mine).”

Q: Who was still in Jerusalem?

A: The apostles…and the usual suspects. Not the believers.  They were on their way to everywhere and would show up in every town.

Top 10 Signs You’re Still in Jerusalem

  1. You have no trouble finding enough small group leaders
  2. You’ve already connected 100% of your congregation to a small group
  3. No one ever tells you they’re looking for a deeper study
  4. No need for curriculum.  Group members memorized it by the time they were 10 years old
  5. Group members never have a question…but they always have an opinion
  6. Dietary stumbling blocks are extremely rare
  7. No need for groups to birth.  Everyone who should be in a group is already in one
  8. Existing groups participate gladly in the church-wide campaign
  9. Heresy is extremely rare as stones are always handy
  10. New group members are willing to have surgery before joining (yes…that one)

Want to know why I took the time to dream up a list like this?  It’s fun and part of me imagines that the Apostle Paul took a shot like this now and again.  But…that’s not why.

The real reason?  We’re not in Jerusalem, friends.  We’re not even in Judea.  Why are most of the top 10 signs so off the wall?

We’re not in Jerusalem.

First century believers found themselves in a pluralistic, biblically illiterate, “do your own thing” culture with the value of human life at low ebb.  Sound familiar?

Welcome to Samaria!

In one of the greatest insights that Peter Drucker ever dropped on all of us ordinary thinkers…he said,

“The important thing is to identify the ‘future that has already happened’–and to develop the methodology for perceiving and analyzing these changes.”

Genius.  It reflects the reality that the thing you think will happen someday, in another town far, far away…has really already happened where you are!

Drucker pointed out that the key for all of us is to develop the methodology for perceiving and analyzing these changes.  I would take it one step further.  Better learn how to roll at Crowd’s Edge.  In order to connect the widening 60% who will never be reached by the attractional model…you’re going to have to learn that the well-worn path never leads to a new destination.

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  1. Mike Wagner on July 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    It’s amazing how the right question: Are you still in Jerusalem? Can launch a world of thought…and action. Thanks for posting…and nudging us all.

    Question, slightly off subject. It’s an older book but wondering have you ever commented on or posted regarding Icenogle’s book Biblical Foundations for Small Group Ministry?

    I would be interested in your opinion of the work. Thanks!

    Keep creating…and asking, Mike

  2. Anonymous on July 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks for jumping in here Mike! I’ve heard about Icenogle’s book and seen it referenced…but I’ve never read it myself. Wonder if it’s one I need to order and work through?


  3. Mike Wagner on July 30, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Icenogle’s book is a “why” book and what seems to me an attempt at a biblical theology of small group life and leadership. My copy is marked up…a lot. He got me thinking in new directions yet very biblically rooted directions. Just thought I would mention it to see if you had read it.

    I’m reading Postman’s Technopoly now. 1st chapter sets the table beautifully. I’m hooked. Ever see Postman’s address at Calvin College? It’s all about technology and on Youtube in 3 or 4 pieces. He poses the questions we ought to ask when adopting technology of any kind.

    Thank you for your generous sharing of what you are learning along the way.

    Keep creating, Mike

  4. Anonymous on July 30, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I will check out Postman too! Sounds very interesting!