Get Off Your Blessed Assurance and Do Something!!! ~ blog
Yesterday I had a thought that I want to run past all of you. Currently there are about 2500 people in what I like to think of as the 180 Ministries Community. This number would include all of the people getting my daily emails, men attending the 180 Recovery Program in local churches, and the 134 men currently in our Online Support Teams.
However, we are barely scratching the surface in reaching the millions of men and women who have become secretly addicted to sexual sin. Porn and sexual sin is damaging the quality of all their relationships, especially if they are married, and with their friends and family if they are single.
I feel good that something which started 11 years ago at Vineyard Columbus with 9 men has multiplied and has helped several thousands of believers over the past 11 years. So, I have been praying and asking God how can we reach more people who are living in bondage to their sexual brokenness?
If only 134 people of the 2500 who are part of our community are getting the accountability and support they need to recover, that means that only 5.2% of those we are currently reaching are being helped beyond just reading my emails. Now I am not all about how we can reach more than we are reaching. I will leave that into God’s hands and the presence we have on the internet. Many ministries have become a mile wide and an inch-deep drawing in more but not effectively helping those asking for help.
My concern comes out of the Great Commission where Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 28;
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
For decades this passage has been used to motivate Christians to be evangelizing the lost. Certainly, that is not a bad thing but that is not the emphasis of this passage. The command is not “Go” which should technically be translated as “While you are going…”
The main verb is for us to be making disciples. Evangelism is certainly the beginning of the process of making disciples. The problem is Christians have been delivering babies from evangelism and leaving them on the doorsteps of the church. They are delivered into this culture which seems very strange to them and many times left to just learn as they go.
This is not what Jesus is telling us to do. He is commanding us to MAKE DISCIPLES while we are going through our lives and should God drop a baby in our midst it is our duty to teach this child to observe all that Jesus commands of us.
If churches would be investing the time and energy into actually making disciples of every one of their family members perhaps there would not be a porn pandemic in our midst.
So, to those of you who read my emails but who are not still struggling with your sexual brokenness let me give you an invitation to do what Jesus told us to do. What if you were to join me in making disciples of the hundreds of people in the 180 community who are struggling to find freedom from their sexual brokenness?
For the past 2+ years now I have been doing this almost entirely on my own. We have 12 Online Support Teams, where real Christian discipleship is taking place. I am leading 10 of them because the Lord has provided two excellent men who share my passion for helping our wounded brothers.
Yesterday the Lord seemed to say to me; “John, what if you invite those who have been reading our stuff for years now and who are not struggling and invite them to join the OSTs not because they need the help themselves but so that they can share in the ministry of making disciples out of those who are being crushed by their sexual sin?”
What if we allow those who are not struggling or who have made good progress in their own recovery to start helping others who have hit rock bottom? Two great things could happen. Those who have experienced healing can help those who are broken and in so doing they would be helping themselves in their own recovery.
180 should not be a place where the broken get the help they need and then just move on. That is certainly a way to promote people leaving the support they have received and then relapsing back into their addiction. Then, ashamed of their falling again they slip away into the darkness and go back to struggling in secret.
So, what if the 180 Ministries Community makes disciples who then become people making new disciples? If we help people establish more freedom in Christ and then they turn right around and help the new ones who are coming into our community needing the care that they themselves have been receiving?
Look at what James says at the end of his epistle;
“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
So, what if those of you who are sitting around on your blessed assurance became actively involved in helping me disciple the hundreds of men we are reaching with emails but need to be discipled, were to volunteer to join a 180 Online Support Team and help me making disciples of believers who are broken and ensnared in sexual sin?
I need your help and I would love to train you in how to come alongside our brothers and bear their burdens. If you are interested in helping me help others, then just email me and we can discuss what it would involve. Helping these men is the joy of my life and I would like to share that joy with you.