The Essential Environments for Growth and Ministry

March 17, 2016

I realized long ago as a pastor that I cannot make anyone grow. But I can lead a church in such a way, by God's grace, that we could create optimum environments for growth.

As you look at Jesus, you see that he was very deliberate about this. In our book, ""The Presence Centered Church"" we trace these in his adult life. He was very intentionally about balancing these in his life. He would leave some places (even when others didn't understand) to go to where he needed to be. Jesus spent time...

  1. with His father
  2. with 3 leaders (Peter, James, and John)
  3. with the 12
  4. with the 70 that he sent out in ministry
  5. with the congregation (the crowds who followed and listened to his teaching)
  6. with those in the world to whom he was sharing the gospel

Each of these had a specific purpose, both for him and for those around him and the mission God had given him. If JESUS placed himself in these environments, it seems to me this is a pattern for us and we should do the same.

In Luke 2:46-52, we see two environments that he was in during his childhood that were vital.

  1. He was in ""church"" under mentoring teaching

""Then, after 3 days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions."" (Luke 2:46)

  1. He was in the home, submitting to His parent’s leadership.

""And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart."" (vs. 51)

The result?

""And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men."" (vs. 52)

The environments we place our family and ourselves in are vitally important to our growth and ministry. We should, like Jesus, be highly intentional about this if we want to “keep increasing” in our growth as Christ did. And also, we should be cautious about environments that could stunt our growth and the growth of our children.

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