We are all constantly being changed. It never stops during this life. In nature, everything is either growing or dying, constantly being changed. With each new moment, someone's character grows in strength or dwindles.
Like it or not, we are all being changed.
The good news is we all have some choices and some power in the process of being changed. It is possible to adjust the trajectory of how you are being changed. You may choose to be more healthy or less healthy, to be more loving or less loving, to be more faithful or less faithful or to be more like Jesus or less like Jesus.
A few months ago I heard the legendary founder of the School of Theology at Liberty University, Dr. Elmer Towns, talk about a word I have come to love: "exponential." I love it because it teaches us not just disciple-making, but how to grow disciple-makers who produce more disciple-makers.
Towns says "we need workable methods, powerful prayer, faith to move mountains and bold exponential evangelism!"
Towns says any church can grow exponentially with:
• Exponential vision
• Exponential prayer
• Exponential evangelism
• Exponential teaching
All this energy led to exponential boldness.
I have come to believe some principles that I hope will challenge you and drive your vision for the New Year. They are best remembered with the acronym B.L.E.S.S. from the authors Dave and Jon Ferguson.
Begin in prayer. Pray until something happens (PUSH). Found people find people.
We as believers and as churches must go places we've never gone before and do things we've never done before to reach people we've never reached before.
Listen to God and His word and to people and their hurts, hang-ups and habits.
Engage with people outside the walls of the church. My pastor, Kent Holland at Burlington Baptist Church, put a series of messages on this topic and a t-shirt that says "The church has left the building!"
I encourage Baptists to use our primary love language, food. Do some missional eating. Have people over to your home, invite a friend who is lost and searching for a meal.
Saved people serve people.
Share your story. Our KBC evangelism staff under Dr. Todd Gray and Andy McDonald have produced an exceptional online tool to help our churches share their stories: REACHky.TODAY. Use this.
Changed people change the world; one life at a time, one story at a time.
Every day we are choosing to embrace the vision God has given us or we are wasting our lives.
I pray that we will be changed into His likeness and have our hearts broken by the things that break the heart of our God. If we do, we can expect some exponential blessings and a real revival in our great Commonwealth and beyond.
Let's ask God to give us exponential faith to move mountains. (Mark 11:22-24)
Let's pray for exponential vision to revitalize our churches and make disciples.
Let's start doing what Jesus promised, "Let's change the world." (WR)
Jim Woolums is the mission strategist for the Northern Kentucky Baptist Association.