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Summary: Gaining others confidence bit by bit can take along time to see rewards and sometimes you may not even see them.

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Matthew 28:18-20

New International Version (NIV)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

From the book 'The Tangible Kingdom' by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay come the words: "Something Christians easily miss is how many times Jesus limits who will be able to follow Him."

I'm not going to write the actual quotes from the Bible in most cases, only the book and chapter where you can find it, as this I hope, will enforce the interested to seek for themselves and thus learn.

Hugh continues, "To those asking who can GO with Jesus, He intentionally said things He knew that would be stumbling blocks to cramp them up and head for cover. Read passages like: John 6:54, Luke 9: 59-60, Luke 9:58. After a bunch of followers turned and started to walk away, Jesus asked His Disciples, "You do not want to leave too, do you?" (John 6:67). How are we to interpret this?

How does the way of Jesus line up with our own way of thinking and what we want to do? Does there need to be incredible discernment and grace alongside our own walk in Christ? Of course. If I discern that you have been walking with God for a long time, and have put in a few thousand church hours, seem overly religious or more interested in theological debates than rolling up your sleeves to do the hard yards in serving, I too can get alittle more assertive, protecting the missional calling of God's people.

You may ask, "But doesn’t this lead to a legalistic way that may cause people to think that I'm forcing them into a certain type of behavior? Won't you loose the value of grace that allows for people to be themselves without feeling like they have to commit to the 'works' of what Jesus requires in serving. Jesus said "...just as the son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matt 20:28) and so must we as in the great commission in Matt 28:19-20.

Sure, there are those who come in sheep's clothing and ruin what Jesus planned for the 'Church'. Those that start churches for the sake of making money and to show the world that they have thousands of converts/ believers, while they themselves are not being true to the Word of God. False prophets, teachers and preachers that make it so very hard to pick up the pieces, the people that have been misled, misguided and that now hate the church for everything that it stands for (Matt24:24). The times are tough and require people who are so dedicated and committed to the missional aspects of God's will, to save the lost and face these challengers head on without the slightest thought of being thwarted in any way. Those sheep clothing leaders will be judged and judged in a very harsh way. So if your intentions are to make a good living out of becoming a pastor, forget it.

The mainstream Evangelical Churches are facing times of complacency and are struggling with problems of growth. In matter of fact, they seem to be declining. So what is happening here? Be Honest. Is it because of leadership? I believe so. Perhaps this comes from the very heads of mainstream denominations. I have been told by Pastors who have their own congregations that they were never taught discipling methods and how to disciple and to build up leaders and they then disciple and so forth, and that they had to learn this by themselves. Some have done exceptionally well in upgrading their skills and others have failed.

I witnessed what a certain young Pastor wanted who was placed in his first call to an aboriginal community in Queensland, Australia. His request was that a new manse be built there before he would go, money or no money to build the manse. He actually got it at the debt of the church for many years. Incedently, the old manse was still a very good home. I also have witnessed many words from Pastors that they will only work a 38 hour week and any overtime be payed with days off in lue ("Blo Joe next door to me only works a 38 hour week, so why can't I?"). Everybody needs a break at some point in time to unwind and chill out. But what does their call really mean to them? Where do you think this type of leadership is going when you hear this type of talking from Pastors of congregations before they accept a posting? What I am saying is, that it is not just the mentality of congregations that can block growth but it can be the leaders of congregations or the Pastor. (Luke 9: 57-62)

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