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The High Impact Pastor - Producing Fruit that Lasts

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
June 17, 2022 6:00 am

The High Impact Pastor - Producing Fruit that Lasts

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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June 17, 2022 6:00 am

Did you know that one of the major reasons unbelievers don’t wanna follow Jesus… is because of Christians? Why is that? Well in this program, Chip explores this tough subject as he continues his series “The High Impact Pastor: Building God's Church Jesus' Way”. Chip reveals how hypocrisy, narrowmindedness and unkindness, turns people off to the Gospel. Don’t miss how we can change that, starting today!

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Did you know research says one of the major reasons unbelievers do not follow Jesus Christ is because of Christians. Christians don't live like Christians, whether it's hypocrisy or meanness or narrowness when Christians don't live like Christians.

Unbelievers do not want to explore the change. Jesus is going to tell us how that can change change. Thanks for listening to this edition of living only Living on the Edges and informational discipleship Bible this program to continue as series I know is our world of no more than ever.

The church has to act like the church, healthy focus pastors leaving well through the short series chip offers hope to church leaders were discouraged and struggling spiritually, mentally and even financially stay with us as we learn what Jesus is saying to pastors in these challenging times about everyday people like you and me can learn to support that storage for today's message producing fruit.

Last Romans chapter 12 blocking the session for this session were to talk about fruit that remains early in my ministry. Probably the first almost 10 years. The model that I had was preach God's word and get people into some groups and let's make a difference and I was a pretty good communicator and it was a small little town out in the middle of nowhere but out in that little town people gathered in the start listening to me and then we we partnered with some other churches to meet needs in the community and so I was doing some of the things that if a lot of people showed up. I was very happy and if people didn't show up. I was very sad and my emotions were like all about attendance or do we have enough money or the budget and it was a very old facility and it took about seven years and we would remodel it and work on Saturdays is a success to me was how many people are coming and then you know how much money are we having to do the ministry and then the buildings that were remodeled and everyone thought we were a great success and I think it was in many ways. We did many many good things we saw people come to the Lord. We we partnered racially with black and Hispanic brothers and sisters and pastors so don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad thing in that little church grew from about 30 or 35 people almost 500 and in this little little town. It was my first 10 years as a pastor you and then I left that church to go to a all of the other side of America and then about three or four or five years later I looked in there were many people to church and there wasn't much happening at the church in a lot of the things that were so exciting they just I left and it just kind of died. In some ways God has since brought a young pastor and I think there's there's good hope, but I really regret that I really solve yes I was a good speaker and I could get lots of people to come and listen to me and some people found Lord and it was good but it wasn't fruit that remained in from their God sent me to the other part of the country and it was like a missionary.

I mean the part of America that is against God and doesn't believe the Bible and filled with satanic cults and new age, and it was a harsh harsh environment. And God decided to do something very special in the church literally blew up into thousands of people and again I was learning so started to invest in individuals more than I had before and and and leaders in some of those leaders became pastors and other churches. It was some very exciting things, but it grew the thousands of people and that the teaching of God's word was good and then I remember being called to that international ministry that I talked about and it took him a while to find a new pastor and I did some things really well there. Don't get me wrong, but about three or four or five years after I saw the church went from thousands of people, down from five services just to one and there was a sadness. And yes, some people went to other churches and there were some leadership mistakes that people made but II questioned. I wonder what would've happened if my passion and my metric was about fruit that last. I wonder when I left. Even if I would've left differently.

I wonder if if I built into more leaders in the church. The way I did to a few the pastors if it wouldn't be different. As I shared I had 1/3 opportunity to be a pastor and I've usually had about 10 years. In each of these pastoral experiences and I wanted to make Romans 12 Christians and I put my energy into defining what is fruit fruit that last after defining what a real disciple is after making that what we would measure. I can honestly say I often didn't even know the attendance. But here's what I knew, if you crow fruitful Christians, the kind Jesus did. If you start with a mustard seed, and it multiplies and people grow in character and depth and in love. You always have to set up chairs because those are the kind of people. The people wonder what is God doing in your life is what I want to do in our time together is give you that profile of that picture of what a disciple is to open your Bibles if you will to Romans chapter 12 and the goal of this time is to give you a biblical relational grace filled definition of of what a disciple is what what is fruit.

How does God define fruit and I would suggest that the apostle Paul and he was a Pharisee.

Will Durrant to who wrote this huge number of volumes about world history. He was a non-Christian, he describes the apostle Paul is the greatest intellect in the first century so you have this Pharisee who kept the law who kept the rules.

Who knew the Bible probably had most of the Old Testament memorized and he's got this tremendous intellect and then God breaks through rightly remember, you know, and he's on his way to Damascus and isn't it interesting that he didn't go from that big moment and yes initially Sheridan people came to Christ and then he went to Jerusalem and wanted to get to know the apostles but his ministry God says you need to grow so we don't know where or how but three years in Arabia and then if you do the math. He he went back to his hometown from his conversion was almost 10 years before Barnabas at Paul I need you at the Gentiles are coming to Christ, and that your calling, even with Paul.

It started as a mustard seed, and he had personal. He says from Jesus directly. Revelation and then he he knew the apostles and then the apostle Paul. I think I see knew that sermon on the mountain as he understood that the teaching of Jesus and the word in the sewers. He was on his way to Spain. He is on his way to the mission I want to reach the whole world. The great commission. This is what were called to and on the way he needed to write a letter to before he got there to say this is the clarity of the gospel right. I mean, the book of Romans.

It's it's the most clear, longest teaching all the New Testament. Those first three chapters that all have sinned in chapters 4 and five.

Salvation by grace through faith.

Chapter 6 through eight. How the Holy Spirit changes our life and sanctification. Chapters 9 to 11. God's plan for for Israel and what is going to do and fulfill all of his promises. One day chapter 12 looks back on all that grace and he says therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God's great mercy, to offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. This is your reasonable service members to don't be conformed to this world any longer be transformed by the renewing of your mind that your life, your lifestyle can actually prove right good fruit. What's the will of God.

It's good, acceptable, it's perfect and then adorn and talk to them about how they see themselves a sober self-assessment and to go on from there. Talk about the gifts and understanding your gifts and putting into play in on say here's how I want you to relate to one another. Right. Look at verse nine let love be without hypocrisy up or what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love and he develops these deep rich relationships that we have in the body of Christ. Many moves on in verse 14. In a hostile world just like ours. Bless those who persecute you blasts curse not. Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep and goes on even says you know when your enemy. He says if your enemy is hungry, feeding these thirsty given the drink don't be overcome with evil overcome evil with good. Here's what I want you to see and you can see in your notes in Romans chapter 12 there are five specific relationships look at look on your notes in verse one. It's your relationship with God.

In verse two is your relationship with the world and here it's the world system that's energized by the enemy. A look at verses three through eight. It's your relationship with yourself.

In verses nine through 13 is the relationship with believers and then 14 to 21 it's relationship with nonbelievers and even evil comes at you is the first one I want to know is when we talk about. We want fruit that last kiss I want you to get we want fruit that first and foremost has a relational component. Spiritual maturity is not about how many versus people know it's not spiritual activities. It's not showing up for attendance.

All those things have their place. Spiritual maturity is about a relationship with God, with the world with yourself, with believers and unbelievers in the notice there's a there's a response in each one of these in verse one that the response to God.

In other words it answers this question. Think about this. If there is a God. What does he really want from us. And of course we believe there is a God you what God wants. He wants you all of you. He wants you surrendered to him and another words normal Christianity.

Jesus purpose for all Christians not just pastors or her missionaries or leaders or elders or deacons. Jesus goal is that every person in your church would come to a moment where they would bow their knee and bow their hearts and say, or Jesus all that I am all that I have all that I will ever be is yours my family shares my money is yours. My home is yours. My future is yours. I will do whatever you want me to do and I will go wherever you want me to go call the lordship of Christ.

That's the kind of Christian that is much fruit and produce as much fruit in the notice. Next, it's not just a moment in time but there's it.

There's attorney and there's a process because Whirlpool darkly the world was bombarding us the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, and he says don't be conformed to this world but be transformed does it say by going to meetings does it say by trying really really hard does it say by says by the renewing of your mind must work back to Jesus. So we need to start thinking like gardeners, we need understand that this is the scene, the powerful, supernatural seed of God's word.

Our job is to create an environment where we weed out the negative, and we fertilize we get God's word in people's minds and hearts as they renew their mind and they think differently. The Holy Spirit will produce the life of Jesus, but the notice it's a process. It literally really learn its stop allowing the world to shape you, but start allowing your mind to be renewed in the look at verse three through eight. It's Adobe conformed any longer and then right after that.

Don't think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but rather think with sober judgment and the idea here is to have a an accurate self-assessment. Remember the time that one of the scribes asked Jesus a question was good question Lauren Tommy what's the greatest commandment. I want to know your new rabbi you doing miracles. What's the greatest commandment, Jesus did some back and forth with him and do you know what it is. Matthew 2236 to 37 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.

This is the first and greatest commandment. Second is like unto it. So what we really are about is not just numbers.

Of course we track those things.

It's great when when when there's a space and there's a building and its and it's wonderful when God resources our ministry, but bearing much fruit and fruit that remains. The real test is do people love God with all their heart, and do they love their neighbor as themselves.

And here's the question that I asked 20 years ago. How do you know if people really love God with all their heart, how do you know and how could you ever measure.

Do they love their neighbor as themselves and what I want to suggest is the apostle Paul gives us not that there is about discipleship, but he gives us a snapshot. He gives us a picture of what the disciple looks like it.

So in verses one and two. He tells us, you know what it looks like the love God, you know what my goal is for me and for every person in the church that I get the pastor is that they would be first surrendered to God that they would be all in. And second, they would be on a journey to say no to the world. And yes renewing their mining God's word so progressively become more like Jesus. The second thing is is I would want them because God says it, to love their neighbor and Jesus member how he described neighbor member when that other pretty sharp Pharisee said what will who is my neighbor you know and Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan and he said your neighbor is the person that's in need. Your neighbor is a brother or sister that has a pain for Charlotte so your neighbor is when you have and they have nothing. You don't say, be warmed and be filled, you've given what you have your neighbor is that person that doesn't know God, and you respond to him in love and kindness. In verses three through eight. He says that were to have an accurate view of herself. Why because just as the human body has many parts at all don't have the same function, so we who are many in Christ we can literally belong to one another and then he says we fit together, but you can't fit together unless you know this is who I am in Christ. This is how God made me these are my strengths. These are my weaknesses.

In fact, look at verse six. The right will tell them that you need to understand your spiritual gifts, not just any spiritual gifts, but your primary gift and then he says once you understand that you should use that and so he's in the beginning to build a profile, something that goes from bear fruit that seems so vague to something that's very practical.

Every person is to be fully surrendered to God be separate from the world's values have a sober accurate assessment of who they are in Christ and to love my neighbor as myself was it look like to love my neighbor will in the body of Christ. It looks like serving in love not just come to a meeting right you and how many times there is needs here.

We need volunteers there and we look around and maybe a lot of people who show up, but if we went fruit that remains. We want people connect with one another in order to learn and talk about how to connect them in ways where they serve one another where the experiences love.

In this connection that the Holy Spirit produces work they use their gifts in ways that you empower in your creating an environment, but what you realizes Jesus was right in and of itself, the word of God in that environment just grows and you see amazing things happen when you talk specifically about how to do that and then finally it says loving your neighbor is to supernaturally respond to evil with good. I don't know that there's anything that is a higher mark of godliness than when we treat our enemies, the way Jesus commanded us to treat our enemies to love those who persecute us to pray for those that are against us to respond, but as a doormat not doing nothing but refusing to retaliate, of being the kind of person like Jesus and Stephen was father forgive them know not what they do and so what you have built out of Romans chapter 12 is a pretty clear profile. It's relational. There's five relationships right God the world yourself, believers and unbelievers. There's a specific outcome that we are moving toward the outcome of being surrendered to God separate from the world's values.

Having a sober self-assessment serving in love, and supernaturally responding to evil with good. I've gone over this quite quickly.

But what I want you to know is I'm going to ask you to go on a journey with me and ask you to begin to really pray and say Lord I I want fruit that remains. I want you to pray about who might be the mustard seed maybe three people three people in your church that you know they're hungry their humble they want to grow.

I would like to take you on a journey of becoming a Romans 12 Christian because that's what fruit looks like. And it's relational and it's the grace of God that does it have the privilege of seeing God do this around the world at the privilege of seeing what happens in people's lives when instead of what was it mean to be a good Christian try hard come to church, give a little money maybe join a group most Christians don't have a clear picture of this is the goal. This is the picture. This is who God wants me to become back with me ask you a question that I often ask other pastors if if a young man a young woman let's say in their 20s, with lots of energy and I said I've come to your church.

The last three weeks in week number two I invited Jesus to come into my life and forgive me for all my sins. I have a whole new set of desires. I would like to be a mature Christian.

In fact, maybe one of them might even say I would like someday because I read the entire New Testament in the last two weeks and I saw where it talks about. It's a noble thing to want to be an elder. So I would like to be a leader and elder in the church someday what do I do if you're thinking to yourself other than inviting them to come to services other than you hope they learn some things from this person or that person.

The average pastor that I've met all around the world does not have a plan and that's can change is working to give you a plan is not chips plan. It's God's plan is to Jesus and his gardening of the seed in the sower and how it operates as the apostle Paul saying Jesus talked about fruit in the kind of soil in the heart of the man or woman that really wants to grow. This is what it looks like it. Here's what's exciting doing this for years and years and years I began to ponder, you know, most of us have big questions in life.

Want to begin to see is that God answers the biggest questions of life.

It's just summary but he does it right out of Romans chapter 12 I didn't grow up as a Christian and I had a crisis in my life because what I thought would bring joy and happiness and success didn't I remember praying God if you exist what you really want for me and I will never forget the day is a college athlete and I'll never forget the day I've never read the Bible and I read Romans chapter 12 verse one in the spirit of God, says Chip. You know what God wants from you.

You all of you and it was like all the second question I think most Christians have asked God how do I get the very best from you in the Bible says you're a good God your loving God. Your caring God, you want to bring the best in my life you you long for me to have a good marriage to be a good parent via a vibrant single person if you want to have a job where I thrive you want to use me. Got house. I happen verse two answers will be conformed to this world be transformed by the renewing of your mind when you get you experience God's will. The third question that every serious person believer or unbeliever ask is this how I discover the real me, you, we all grew up in different families with different cultures and often we come to learn that if I act this way or if I say this that will people like me and so we create what I call sort of a hologram. What we we create this persona and we pack certain ways with different groups of the people like us in our deep and private moments. We wonder who am I really mean who am I and you will find here sober self-assessment. We have to grasp his. This is who you are. You are loved, redeemed, wanted saved secure justified.

You have been empowered chosen gifted you have a purpose. When that happens they say I don't know anyone that don't have authentic community or deep abiding relationships, the kind where you just go to a meeting but I'm talking about the kind that as I talked with one of my mentors who has cancer right now. We cry together we share the deepest things together.

About 18 months ago I got.

It was dark and I got depressed that I have thought that I didn't want in my mind, and some of them were terrible thoughts might you have these two and I remember calling this mentors and I just have to get them out of my head, but their bad thoughts and and I shared with him openly and honestly. Pastor 40 years that how can I have these kind of thoughts and will feel this down if he listened and he called me every day and he prayed me through it happens that happens in verses nine through 11 when we take off our mask when the real use shows up and meets real needs for the right reason in the right way and I want to tell you, God's given us a very clear game plan not to think about that habitude, and finally in this world, and especially now we as believers have evil and injustice in darts and the enemy aimed at us how you respond how you respond supernaturally where evil is overcome with good something. Romans 12 will tell us exactly what to do and how it works. Here's what I want you to know you can have a very clear picture of the disciple you need to keep doing your regular thing day in and day out.

Absolutely what I want to tell you is that continuing to do the ministry the way you do it will continue to deliver the results that you're currently getting what I want you to do what you consider what should pray about which you be willing to say the new metric will be fruit and the fruit can now be defined as Christians that are surrendered to God separate from the world's values to have a sober self-assessment they're serving in love and regardless of what's happening there supernaturally responding to evil with good.

Those of the kind of Christians that change the world and are changing the world everywhere. Don't live with regrets don't measure the wrong things God has given us a window of opportunity in this time in history to change what we measure to get clear on what matters. What I've learned over the years is until God works in me very deeply is not can work through me as I want to invite you in our next time together to go on a journey not to do anything I would say but with new eyes to say what did Jesus actually do to prepare for the ministry.

What did he actually do that made him the communicator that he was in the disciple and that he was and created the impact that he had because if we will do what Jesus did, we will experience the kind of fruit that Jesus bore Almighty and ever living God, thank you.

You don't ask us to do something that we can understand or thank you for the apostle Paul, thank you for how long it took him to get clear and understand grace and what it meant to bear fruit. Or, thank you for super NaturallySpeaking by the Holy Spirit to the apostle Paul and now to us so we have the picture we know what a disciple looks like that's mature but we have a game plan. We have a pathway out of which you help us to break free of the pressures the expectations and the traditions that keep us from investing in the mustard seed of a view as we do all the other ministry to grow toward your way. Jesus name today on the pause. If there's any one message I would love you to pass on to your pastor, it's this one. I spent a great many years as a pastor trying to get people in the Bible studies in church activities and coming on the weekend and being better people.

I could never figure out how to actually measure what it means to be a disciple and I'll never forget being in Nigeria and teaching a pastors conference in and realizing we couldn't come to agreement on what's it mean to be a disciple and one of the most unique opportunities of my life with the Lord. I taught through Romans 12 in a way that I had never taught through it before, and in that one chapter what I saw was God has given us a grace based relational profile of a mature follower of Jesus. Later it became a book called true spirituality becoming Romans 12 Christian.

And so what I want you to know is that we as pastors can clearly define what it means for our people to be mature to bear real fruit. Then we can start with where we are and help our people become surrendered to the Lord separate from the world's values have a sober self-assessment learn to serve the body of Christ, in love, and supernaturally respond to evil with good. What I can tell you is when as a pastor you can help people see what it means specifically to be a follower of Jesus, it changes everything great were chip banks will, as we close, let me tell you that God has provided amazing opportunities for Living on the Edge to serve church leaders all around the world. So if you'd like to get involved in this work to support and encourage pastors now is a fantastic time to partner with us were in the middle of our midyear match which means every gift we received today through midnight on July 7 will be doubled dollar for dollar, thanks to a small group of generous donors to give go to or call us at AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 or go to Listener step donate and thanks in advance for your support will until next time, this is Dave saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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