Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Going Deep: Becoming a Person of Influence

Going Deep: Becoming a Person of InfluenceGoing Deep: Becoming a Person of Influence by Gordon MacDonald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gordon MacDonald hit another home run with this excellent book. He uses a make believe church to help the reader understand how to develop believers into deep people. The book is written in novel form, but has lots of Biblical principles for those who want to grow and to those who desire to help others grow. I believe today's church as a whole is missing the command to make disciples. It seems like most churches are all about growing the biggest church in numbers but not about feeding the church and helping believers to grow in their spiritual life. I trust the quotes below will be a blessing to you!

Disciples [deep people] are not manufactured wholesale. They are produced one by one, because someone has taken the pains to discipline, to instruct and enlighten, to nurture and train one that is younger.  ~Oswald Sanders

I remind you of the seminar Jesus offered His disciples just before He went to the cross. He described to them a world, not unlike ours, that was falling apart, and he appeared to be saying, “The good news amid all this, gentlemen, is that you’re going to get to plant a new movement in the middle of this mess. So be wise, alert, faithful, and productive.”  Mindful of such tumultuous days ahead, Jesus spent the majority of His time training a small group of men whose message to the world would go viral.   ~Gordon MacDonald

Great training has exponential results.  ~Gordon MacDonald

Leadership is first about character, then about a disciplined charisma and competence.  ~Gordon MacDonald

When you think about it, we do seem to know how to get unchurched people to visit our buildings and enjoy our programs. We even appear to know how to persuade many to acknowledge personal faith in Jesus. But some are saying that what we do not know is how to produce the deep people who are supposed to emerge after that. We do not produce them, at least, in the quantities that are necessary to the challenges of our times. The result is a growing scarcity in spiritual leadership. And the implication is that without an abundance of deep people – spiritual leaders – tomorrow’s organized church could be headed for irrelevance.  ~Gordon MacDonald

What might deep people in a twenty-first-century church look like? Here are a few ideas.
Some live quiet but noticeable lives of devotion to Jesus. We love to be around them because they exude qualities such as grace, peacefulness, joy, wisdom, encouragement, and unconditional love. They motivate us to want to live better, more faithfully.
Some know how to envision and organize others to do unusual things in alignment with the purposes of God.
Some possess the capability for praying, caring, and supporting people in times of struggle.
Some know how to teach and mentor others so that spiritual growth happens across the face of the congregation from children to senior people.
Some deep people might possess the apostolic (missional) call to project the evangelistic and compassionate work of the church into the surrounding community or to other parts of the world.
And some love to help.   ~Gordon MacDonald

Our Church Elevator Story
Our 175 year-old church is composed of people who, through the generations, have shared a common commitment to Jesus Christ. Following His example, we regularly worship God. Studying His life and the lives of those who followed Him, we do our best to emulate Him in the way we live in our community. Believing that God’s central message is about love, we try to assure that our relationships (God, marriage, family, friendships, strangers, even enemies) all reflect what He both taught and did. Finally, aware of His intense compassion for people who lost their way spiritually and physically, we attempt to represent His mission by serving others in the larger world when we become aware of their needs.  ~Gordon MacDonald

The elevator story can’t happen unless somebody’s constantly training people. If you’re going to keep that story honest, training, training, training is going to be your most important job.  ~Gordon MacDonald

You may be president [Pastor] of your store [church], but you should also be the chief training officer.  ~Gordon MacDonald

But how would one know that Christ is present? How about these evidences? Lives would begin to change; that’s conversion. People would begin to love, to care for, to enjoy one another; that’s community, or fellowship. A spirit of generosity would start to fill the air as each person invested his or her energies and resources in the life of the gathering; that’s servanthood. Children would be instructed; youth mentored; adults of every age would be encouraged; older people might be appreciated, even listened to. That’s love.  ~Gordon MacDonald

The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.   ~Richard Foster

Most of what you and I know has been learned from the people we watched. It’s not what anyone says or writes half as how they live it out under every circumstance.  ~Gordon MacDonald

Spiritual leadership is the power to change the atmosphere by one’s presence, the unconscious influence that makes Christ and spiritual things real to others.  ~Oswald Sanders

We teach people to grow by growing ourselves. It’s sort of like painting a huge bridge. The minute the painter finishes at one end, he goes back to the beginning and starts again.   ~Gordon MacDonald

Depth comes before competency.  ~Gordon MacDonald

I ask that my voice be the lesser, yours the greater. Amen.  ~Gordon MacDonald

A walloping great congregation is fine and fun, but what most [churches] really need is a couple of saints. The tragedy is that they may well be there in embryo, waiting to be discovered, waiting for sound training, waiting to be emancipated from the cult of the mediocre.    ~Martin Thornton

Make uniformed. Un-prayed-about decisions, and you pay a severe price later on.    ~Gordon MacDonald

The true spiritual leader is concerned infinitely more with the service he can render God and his fellow men than with the benefits and pleasures he can extract from life. He aims to put more into life then he takes out of it.  ~Gordon MacDonald

There are things that you learn best the hard way. You fail. And you fail again. And then, four, six failure times later, you figure out how to do something the right way. And you never forget it.   ~Gordon MacDonald

Reflecting on his (Brother Lawrence) work in a monastery kitchen, Lawrence said, “I turn over my little omelet in the pan for the love of God. When it is finished, if
I having nothing to do, I prostrate myself on the ground and adore my God. From whom came the grace to make it.  After that, I get up, more content than a king.”

Towels and dishes and sandals, all the ordinary sordid things of our lives, reveal more quickly than anything what we are made of. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the meanest duty as it ought to be done.  ~Gordon MacDonald

Every task and every activity contains the seeds of servanthood in the name of Jesus.  ~Gordon MacDonald

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