Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 6

Unity and Community

by Berit Kjos, January 2004

Please read Part 1,Part 2,Part 3,Part 4 and Part 5


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In Part 2 we will look at

8Unity and community. Pastor Warren seems to emphasize a model that reflects Peter Drucker's communitarian vision and Dr. Bernie Siegel's New Age view of the healing community. See note This new way of doing church (based on marketing strategies, human relationships and group diversity) is changing churches around the world according to a specific plan. "Traditional" Christians -- those who love God's Word and seek fellowship based on unity in the Spirit, not on human consensus -- will either leave their changing church or be asked to leave. They no longer fit! Because they take an uncompromising stand on Biblical absolutes, they block the planned transformation and hinder the needed "unity in diversity:" a new kind of fellowship, not in Christ, but through Christians and non-Christians dialoging together toward an evolving global consensus. See The Mind-Changing Process

Discover Your Giftedness Seminar: "Sponsor a Discover Your Giftedness Seminar at no cost to your church budget and become a "Certified Human Behavior Consultant / Specialist"! ...The objective of the Discover Your Giftedness Seminar is for everyone to discover their natural and supernatural motivations for the purpose of getting involved in ministry, plus staying involved by learning how to avoid and resolve inevitable conflicts. You may choose which list (7, 9, 16, or 23) of spiritual gifts to profile your members during the seminar. ...There are numerous benefits in sponsoring a seminar in your church. You will receive the most up-to-date consulting, plus hundreds of dollars in free training and resources. Certification Training provides advanced instruction for those serious about improving their effectiveness. Once you complete training, you will become a "Certified Human Behavior Consultant / Specialist," qualified to conduct training for ministries or businesses, plus be allowed to order Uniquely You Resources at greatly reduced rates. Uniquely You Training is a must for churches desiring to grow and improve their effectiveness. ...With NEW Ministry Involvement Survey that identifies if members are "Spectators," "Investigators," or "Participators," plus the Uniquely You Change Indicator that helps churches and their members prepare and adapt for more healthy change! /This new seminar is a great introduction and prelaunch of an assimilation or networking ministry, plus it is a tremendous follow-up for those who have already completed their spiritual gifts and / or personality profiles. It is designed specifically for those who need "something more" to make that vital commitment of getting involved in the ministry of their churches and "grow" from giftedness toward godliness.

Small Group Ministry Kit : Everything you need to start a small group ministry in your church. Includes: SG Coaches Training Instructions, 10 instructional tapes and outlines. Sessions include: Welcome & Overview Building Healthy Small group Connections (Five Purposes) How do you cultivate healthy groups that produce healthy lives? CONNECT People in their Church family (Fellowship) How do you bring people and connect them into Life Changing communities? GROW People in their Spiritual Journey (Discipleship) How do you build someone up in order to grow in their Spiritual Journey? Discover their S.H.A.P.E for Ministry (Service) question: How do you train someone to discover their S.H.A.P.E. for ministry? SHARE their Life Mission in the World (Evangelism) How do you send people out to fulfill their Life Mission in the World? SURRENDER their Life Purposes as Worship (Worship) How do you develop people so they surrender their life purpose as worship?

Relationships: the glue that holds your church together : The importance of helping members develop friendships within your church cannot be overemphasized. Relationships are the glue that holds a church together. Friendships are the key to retaining members. A friend once told me of a survey he took in a church. When he asked, “Why did you join this church?” 93% of the members said, “I joined because of the pastor.” He then asked, “What if the pastor leaves? Will you leave?” 93% said “No.” When he asked why they wouldn’t leave, the response was, “Because I have friends here!” Do you notice the shift in allegiance? This is normal and healthy. .....Think relationally! Create as many opportunities as you can for people to meet and get to know each other.




8Transformation: Rick Warren promised, "The next 40 days will transform your life." [1, page 10]  In many postmodern minds, this transformation has little to do with rebirth through the Spirit of God. Within the CGM, the word "transformation" often refers to people and churches being conformed to the new "relational" vision of "community." This change uses the latest psycho-social strategies and intrusive technologies for measuring change and individual compliance with the stated "vision."

     As soon as possible, we will start a glossary of terms used by today's self-proclaimed "change agents" who lead the way in church transformation. (see Re-Inventing the Church").

8Spiritual gifts. Pastor Warren says, "Begin by assessing your gifts and abilities. Take a long, honest look at what you are good at and what you're not good at. Ask other people... Spiritual gifts and natural abilities are always confirmed by others."

To validate his point, he quotes Romans 12:3b (Phillips).
[1, page 31]    While the Phillips translation may seem to support his conclusion, the standard translations do not. They tell us to guard against inflated views of ourselves (pride) -- a hidden sin encouraged by today's emphasis on self-esteem, mutual affirmation and reluctance to speak truths that might seem offensive. Nor do the standard translations support the contemporary notion that spiritual gifts can be identified, tried and measured according to our natural abilities or subjective opinions. God gives these supernatural gifts! If we, His sheep, "hear His voice" and have the faith to follow His personal guidance, we will surely know where we can best serve Him and give Him all the glory.

"For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith." Rom 12:3 " I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think ; but to think soberly , according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Rom 12:3 "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Rom 12:3 "Try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities." Rom 12:3 b

God often gives us spiritual gifts that have little or nothing to do with natural abilities, so that we would serve Him out of our weakness rather than our strength. That's what He taught me. Writing and speaking was totally unnatural and extremely painful for me when God first called me to communicate His gospel to children. A shy, quiet introvert, I learned to depend fully on Him. And through the years, my wonderful Shepherd proved His faithfulness again and again in amazing ways. Paul said,

 "I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." 1 Corinthians 2:1-5


          Part 1 - Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven?

          Part 2 - Widening the gate to the Kingdom
Part 3 - The Spirit of Worship  

Next:  Part 4 - The Spirit of Worship
          Part 6 - The fear of the Lord

          Part 7 - Unity and community


1. Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002). See "Driven or Led?"

Note: "Hope is as essential to your life as air and water. You need hope to cope. Dr. Bernie Siegel found he could predict which of his cancer patients would go into remission by asking, 'Do you want to live to be one hundred?' Those with a deep sense of life purpose answered yes and were the ones most likely to survive. Hope comes from having a purpose." Rick Warren [1, page 31]  This illustration suggests that a secular or New Age hope serves the same purpose as the Spirit-given hope we have in Jesus Christ. There can be no true hope or unity unless we stand on the unchanging truth of God's Word!

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