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Responsibility!

May 15, 2008 at 20:20

By: Steve & Marilyn Hill

We keep having this conversation about the several responsibilities that one must accept if any church is to work. Folks join up with a simple community and then discover that the freedom brings responsibility!  It would seem as though some actually prefer freedom from responsibility to the responsibilities of freedom!  Sitting in the stands watching the game carries no inherent risk but actually playing the game carries the risk of failure as one of the prices of the possibility of victory.
 
THE RESPONSIBILITY TO BECOME A SELF FEEDER!
If a church meeting is defined as a community where each one contributes something (and I Corinthians 14:26 is the only New Testament instruction on how to do church!) then each member must take responsibility to seek Jesus for themselves in order to be able to make a play!  They must become a self feeder!  We enjoy feeding our children when they are small but not when they are going to school!  It is amazing to hear "mature" christians complain about how their pastor does not feed them!   Is she/he really supposed to?  If the Lord is your Shepherd then let Him lead you by the still waters and make you lie down in green pastures!  Unless you feed on Him, you have no life in you!  

THE RESPONSIBILITY TO DISCIPLE YOUR OWN KIDS!
Often one of the first things that people say when introduced to simple church concepts is "What about the kids?"  Indeed!  If you cannot disciple your own kids, how can you disciple the nations?   John Wesley began sunday schools to give basic education to poor children who were working twelve hours per day, six days per week in the mills of the early industrial revolution.  He forbade children from christian families to attend the sunday schools.  Why?  If the children of christian families attended the sunday schools it would erode the responsibility of the fathers to educate their children!  

Do you really think that forty minutes a week with a sunday school teacher will over come the hours of influence of the electronic baby sitter that your kids enjoyed while you pursued whatever was of interest to you?  If you do not care enough to get on the field with your kids who will you get on the field with?
 
THE RESPONSIBILITY TO SPEAK THE TRUTH TO ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE!
Without this there is no maturity!  In some circles Ephesians 4:11 has been quoted to death and used to set up hierarchical structures (Think Pope, Cardinal, Bishop, Priest!  Now think  Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Elder!)  while the  "till we all come" and "the whole body" stuff of "speaking the truth in love"  and all the flat implications of verses 13 to 16 get ignored!  What is it about Matthew 23:8- 12 and all the "woe unto you"s that is difficult to understand?  What about John 15:12- 15 is hard to understand?  The highest is friendship!

Cruising through ministry websites you often see that one of the reasons  given for joining their structure is "accountability".  One site states that they believe in "personal pastoring" and that "every pastor needs a pastor".  If experience has taught us anything it is this-  if a man will not be accountable to Jesus and open with his friends, he certainly will not be open to the off site "authority"!   No one is so easily deceived as the off site authority!  You can be treated like a mushroom- kept in the dark and fed  horse manure!  Your friends know you!  Listen to them!  Speak to them!   If you do not love your brother enough to confront him, you reject him!

THE RESPONSIBILITY TO SERVE YOUR WORLD AND MAKE DISCIPLES!
Nothing exposes our spiritual barrenness and lack of meaningful relationships like accepting the responsibility of partnering with Jesus to see the birth of new sons and daughters!  We keep ourselves busy with the false comfort of endless rounds of "spiritual" activity rather than face this reality!  

Your task is not to find a community that meets your needs!  That is shopping!  Your task is to create community for those who do not have it!  That is mission!

Jesus was so involved with those that needed Him that he was accused by the religious establishment of being "a friend of sinners".  Would there be enough evidence to convict you of the same charge?  Or do you spend most of your time busy in the Christian ghetto?  If you are going to have influence in the world, you will need to enjoy spending some time in the "smoking section"!  You will have to get on the field and take the risks of rejection and failure.  That is life- no battles, no victories!

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.......  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision or uncircumcision  avails anything, but faith working through love."  Galatians 5:1 & 6

Enjoy your freedom!
Pay your price!
Jesus did!

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