Monday, September 25, 2017

How do you define Spiritual growth?

A friend recently emailed me this question, and here's my response,

Based on my doctoral studies on discipleship, I'd say that Spiritual Growth is about how well you image Christ. We were made to be image bearers of God, the image got cracked, now Christ (by his Spirit) helps us become more like him the perfect image of God.
What are the key areas of this image in our culture?

1. Power 
a)  how do we use our power? Do we use it to serve and protect? Are we making disciples with our power? Are we spreading God's loving rule with our power?
b) do we depend on the Spirit's power or our own strength?

2. Authority
a) how do we respond to authority in our lives?
b) how do we use our authority?

3. Assesments
a) Do we evaluate situations based on faith and God's word?
b) are we making fear-based (and flesh-based) assessments?

4. Voice
a) Are we using our voice to speak the truth in love? Are we passing on God's words to others?
b) Are we using our voice to put others down, and big ourselves up?

5. Relationships
a) Do we have grace-based relationships with people?
b) Do we use our network of relationships for discipleship?

6. Enjoyment
a) Are we enjoying life as God intended us to?
b) Are we enjoying forbidden fruit?

7. Representation
Based on the above points, are we representing God well?

This is why I take people (including my own family) through the Urban Catechism parts 1 - 3 and then the Image Bearers course, its all designed to gradually help us become more like Christ.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Simon Smallwood has joined the 'Reaching the Unreached' leadership

We're very glad to announce that Simon Smallwood recently jointed the leadership team of RTU. He brings a wealth of experience, humility, and encouragement to us (Me, Efrem & Julian). Simon is a pastor in Dagenham, and has been a real Barnabus figure to many working class pastors like myself. As a cross-cultural missionary, Simon has also done a great job of equipping indigenous believers to do ministry on their estate. We are pleased to see how God has been cultivating an ever increasingly diverse leadership team at RTU.

Don't forget the next RTU conference is Saturday 4th November 2017 at London City Mission headquarters.

More info to follow.

Please check my website for more info on Reaching the Unreached.

RTU's vision is to see 
‘a movement of Christ centered churches reaching the social deprived in a grass roots way.’

Our mission (how we do this) is through, 
‘Linking and Training.’

Monday, September 04, 2017

How do I deal with my own bias?

I have implicit bias. Inside my heart there are biases in many forms. I believe my heart is infected with sin (Jer 17:9), so I believe that it contains racist and classist ideas. So how do I deal with this?

1. Being honest that I'm prejudice.
The Bible says that if I say I'm without sin I'm a liar (1 John 1:10). Psychologists say we all have implicit bias. So I openly say, 'I'm a recovering racist, a recovering snob, and a recovering pharisee!'

2. Enjoying Christ's righteousness.
The more I focus on how much I'm accepted by God the Father BECAUSE OF Christ's righteousness, the more happy I am, and the more I can be honest about my sin.

3. Soul Searching before meeting with people.
The Bible tells me to ask God to search my heart and let me know if there's any offensive way in me (Ps 139:23-24). Therefore, before I meet with people, I try to spend time reflecting and praying about what ways I might be biased with this person. Then I repent, and ask God for the grace to treat this person as a fellow image bearer, and a fellow heir of salvation (if they're a believer).