|Hoping you are having a happy and blessed Resurrection Sunday/Easter Sunday. Here the sun is shining and the day is peaceful.
Continuing from yesterday, I thought I would include a bit from the discipleship manual written by Pastor Don, having to do with exposure of new Christians. This is something that gets my hackles up, and has happened in my presence, has happened to me personally, and is something I even said regarding my family when I got them to come to church, and then realized that was a BIG mistake that I did not repeat.
This is from page 55 and 56 of Pastor Don Moore’s Discipleship Manuel:
If you expose a new possible Christian before they are a disciple, you may do damage. Don’t witness to somebody, bring him or her to church, stop the service and say that you have just won him or her to the Lord. That’s exposure inside. Exposure outside is when you witness to somebody in the coffee shop and you go to the waitress and you say, “I’ve just brought this person to the Lord.” Don’t expose them. A new Christian should not be exposed, they will die from exposure; they’re not ready yet.
For anybody to be exposed, it has to be voluntary. You have to say to them, “Listen, you’ve just accepted the Lord. Are you ready to make a public statement and come before the Pastor and the Elders and receive the hand of fellowship or the Holy Spirit? Are you ready for that?” or “Would you like to give your testimony?” Don’t expose them inside the body till the Holy Spirit leads them and they are ready.
Don’t expose them outside the body, in the world, until they are willing to confess the Lord themselves. The world, which is under the control of satan, will be quick to bring persecution upon the new candidate. If he is not grounded he can be shaken before his roots are established. The fish may feel you are showing him off as a trophy. After all, you didn’t save him, the Lord did. The new Christian is not confessing you but the Lord, therefore let him give glory from a grateful heart as the Lord leads. They must stand or fall by their own voluntary confession.
If I prayed for people with certain problems, in private, then I don’t get up in church and elevate myself and say, “I prayed with so-and-so…” and tell all. Not unless I have their permission. And then I say, “Do you want to share this? Is it O.K. to talk about it?”
One Sunday a man named Howard came up in the prayer line to have vision restored to his right eye. I removed his eye patch, placed my hand on the eye and prayed the prayer of Faith. After he got home he called to say half of the vision was back. He asked, “What should I do?” So I told him to “Come back next Sunday, and I will pray and God will give you the other half.” The next Sunday Howard’s healing came to his eye. Later that week I went over to his house. I said, “You can see now. The Lord healed you, didn’t He?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you willing to share that?” He said, “Yeah, man.” He came Sunday to church, stood up and said, “The Lord healed my eye, I can see, praise God, I am healed.” He gave his testimony about what God did for him. I didn’t heal him- so don’t use the new Christian for yourself. You’re stealing God’s glory and his testimony.
If you bring somebody to the Lord, and publicly, without permission announce, “I brought them to the Lord,” the new Christian may hear that and may feel, “Why, you just used me. You just elevated yourself on me.” Sometimes you see it one way and they see it another. You feel you led them to the Lord and they feel you were an obstacle but the credit goes to God. In reality we may assist but the Holy Spirit is doing the leading. You just happened to be the one that was there being used by the Holy Spirit to witness His most holy work.
If you are blessed to be used evangelistically then let the fruit speak for itself. If you invite people to church and they never come back, it’s a good bet you could be part of the problem. Do you tell other people about them while they are standing there? “Look who I got to come to church finally!” “It took a while, but look who I brought to church…” etc.
Every time I have stood and listened to someone brag about, “Look who I got to come to church,” I know this is most likely their last time in church too!!! In all things give God the glory and you shut up! People want to be our equals not beholden or described as poor sap-sinners. If you’ll give a smile and say “This is my friend who’s our guest today,” we’ll all be blessed and Jesus will be pleased. Let the Holy Spirit speak to your friend’s heart. Don’t show off, just pray for God to move supernaturally.
Another example of “over-exposed” is when you bring someone up to the Pastor and force the person into an “I pledge allegiance to the Lord” recital or say, “He’s almost ready to accept the Lord.” Maybe they just came to have a nice time and to see why you are so nice. Wait and let the person speak for themselves. Don’t force your badge of approval or disapproval on him. Don’t over-expose him inside the church, or outside.
Provide opportunity for commitment but don’t be pushy or threatening. Disciples must be willing volunteers, as Jesus is still asking, “Will you be leaving me also?” and the true disciple must answer, “Where can we go? To whom? For you alone have the words of eternal life.” Let’s read John 6:65-69 “And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Heather’s Blog Recent Posts
- John 14:1-14 – Many mansions, the Way, the Truth, and the Life taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying disciples/Discipleship identification – notes from discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying Disciples – notes from Discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Syria – letter from trapist nuns
- John 14:1-11 taught by Pastor Don Moore with comments from Rabbi Michael Zeitler
- Notes from homily taught by Father Raphael Iannone taught August 25, 2013 – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last
- Homily – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last taught by Father Raphael Iannone
- Notes from a Homily on Luke 12:49-53 by Father Raphael Iannone
- Facing Your Jerusalem – transcript Say Amen show 161 taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Mammon – homily by Father Raphael Iannone