....and the answer to the cloning problem.
Neil Cole – http://www.neil cole.cma.resources/ talks frankly about the cloning problem in an interview with Leadership Magazine. He states, “We want people to imprint on Christ from day one. Imprinting is a term from ornithology, the study of birds. When a baby gosling hatches, it imprints on the first moving object it sees. That object becomes its mother, and the gosling expects to be fed and protected by it.
“When a person comes to faith in Christ, most churches tell them to just sit back and receive. They're spoon fed by the church. And what happens? They imprint on the church or the pastor. They expect the church to do everything. And we wonder why there are so many passive Christians.”
Cole should know. He has helped plant thousands of churches in all 50 USA states and in at least 40 nations.
He was then asked, “What is the alternative?”
His answer, “Christ immediately deployed people. Matthew was back with his friends. The Samaritan woman went back to her village. The demoniac was sent back to the Decapolis - 10 towns! When a brand new Christian is thrust into a hostile environment with a mission, they're going to pray like crazy. That makes them imprint on Christ immediately.”
“We use LTGs, "Life Transformation Groups". It's a gender-specific group of two or three that meets together once a week for about an hour. Every week, every person commits to reading thirty chapters of Scripture.”
Deployment and Scripture. Lets look closer at these two Biblical activities.
Deployment. This precludes the standard advice: “Keep away from your old sinful friends.” “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” Yes, that’s Bible but it doesn’t mean to cut yourself off from your old friends. They are your harvest field as the woman at the well discovered. Other well-meaning advice: “Come to the Bible study. Join the new Christians’ class. Don’t miss the prayer meeting. Keep Sunday free for church and here’s a list of the up-coming seminars and camps.” If you want to see a new Christian cloned, that’ll do it!
No! Deployment means to encourage the new believer to keep in touch with his/her mates. To cultivate their friendships in a new way where their circle of friends will see the love and light of Christ. After all, there’s no need to fear the darkness when the true Light (Jesus) is shining. Get them excited about the fact that they are “ambassadors for Christ.” They have his authority, the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit and, “Greater is he that is in them than he that is in the world.”
Scripture. 30 chapters of Scripture every week may bring on some indigestion for a new follower of Jesus. But it's less than five chapters per day. The new believer must learn (by example and challenge) that their spiritual food comes from regular ‘helpings’ of Scripture. As they focus on Jesus – the Gospel of Mark is a good place to start them on – they will be imprinted on him. What about the ‘difficult’ passages they will come across? Simply let them know that it’s like eating fish. Enjoy the meal and don’t focus on the bones.
“Imagine when followers of Jesus get it that we do not live for the norms or expectations of man, but the will and purposes of an amazing God. Imagine when the followers of Jesus are willing to step out of all the expectations of our societies (including our church/religious ones) to allow Jesus alone to guide, shape, direct, mould, and inspire our lives.” Roger Thoman. www.simplechurchjournal.com
“Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It’s time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must.” Seth Godin