onsdag 7. desember 2016

Identity-building

NORSK
In the Salvation Army, we have lately focused on defining our DNA. I have lectured on the subject in many seminars over the last six-seven years. To reach out with our mission, we need to know who we are. It is about identity-building. 


The most important part of a Salvationist’s DNA, is the identity of being a disciple of Jesus. The Salvation Army part is mainly about the identification with our mission. I find it very interesting that Paul defines the third role he holds as a steward of the gospel, as the role of the “Teacher” (1).

THE MENTOR WAS A TEACHER OF THE GOSPEL

The Teacher-approach is about identity-building. Luke reveals how important this is when he summarises what united the first Christians and built their identity:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 2:42
Yesterday I wrote that the role of the apostle gave authority to the role of the teacher. That is because one, whose aim is to build identity, must know whom he represents and know him. Further he must know that he is sent out. When the idea of representation (commissioning) and sending has become part of the “spine”, the true identity is in place, and the teaching he presents becomes trustworthy because it is seen as a part of the mentor’s life. Therefore, he also becomes an identity-builder.

‘Manna’ for today:

To build identity in others, I need to have it myself!
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(1) And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.
2 Tim 1:11

tirsdag 6. desember 2016

Interesting links between functions

NORSK
I continue where I left off yesterday, and look at how the mentor was a faithful steward of the good deposit, which is the gospel that was entrusted to him. Before I turn to second role Paul had in relation to the gospel, it is exciting that herald which was presented first, coincides with the evangelist's role. 


It is interesting because the three roles: evangelist, apostle and teacher (1), are among the five ministry-gifts Paul identifies in Ephesians (2). Their purpose is to hold the body together so that it grows and builds itself up in love (3). The body of Christ is the church, but a church is made up of individuals, and each individual needs the same support function to grow and mature.

THE MENTOR WAS AN APOSTLE OF THE GOSPEL
While the Herold-approach is the representation (commissioning), which means that herald spoke on behalf of an authority, the apostle-approach is the sending out. Apostle means sent out. An Apostle takes the Gospel to new people, new arenas, areas and countries. An eager Bible-student will immediately argue that there is more to the term apostle than this perspective, and I agree. Paul defined the apostle ministry as the core of his calling as a follower of Jesus:

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
1 Corinthians 1:1
Yet, I believe that in relation to the Gospel, the point I have made is the main focus of Paul. However, the apostle ministry can give authority to the third role, is a thought I will elaborate on tomorrow.

‘Manna’ for today:

I am sent out with the Gospel
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(1) And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.
2 Tim 1:11

(2) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
Ephesians 4: 11-12

(3) From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:16

mandag 5. desember 2016

What did the mentor do with the deposit?

NORSK
If the emphasis is on coaching, the coach does not need to know much about the area in which the coachee wants to improve. Coaching is all about holding the coachee accountable for the goals he has set for himself, and challenge him by asking the right questions. 


A mentor will also do this when it is necessary, but he/she works as a role model for those whom he/she is mentoring. A mentor has in other words personal experience from the field he/she supervises.

If the entrusted good deposit, which Paul describes for Timothy, is the gospel, it is important to ask what he did with the deposit that was entrusted him. He actually wrote a bit about that, and yesterday I quoted:

And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.
2 Tim 1:11
Paul saw himself holding three different roles in relation to the gospel. I believe it will be helpful to look at them separately, so today I start with

The Mentor was a Herald of the Gospel
A herald is defined as a ‘messenger vested with public authority, who conveyed the official messages of kings, magistrates, princes, military commanders, or who gave a public summons or demand, and performed various other duties. In the NT God's ambassador, and the herald or proclaimer of the divine word.’ (1)

This is an important insight for all who proclaim the gospel. We do not represent ourselves, but him who is greater than everything. This was of extreme importance for Paul, and he stressed it on many occasions, like e.g. here:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
2 Cor 4:3-5
It will be good to read the whole passage (2). There he also writes that ‘we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us’. In myself I am like a fragile jar of clay, but I am still a Herald for the King of kings.

‘Manna’ for today:

I am fragile in myself, but strong in him!
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* The War Cry is in Russian called ‘Vestnik Spasenia’, which means ‘Herald of Salvation’
(1) Ref. Strong’s Concordance.
(2) 2 Cor 4:1-15