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One of the most consistent discussions around Sunday School Bible classes is the dichotomy of learning and doing.  We realize that knowledge and practice are two different things, and there is importance in both.  But is one more important than the other?

Jesus told the parable of the two men who built their houses, one on rock and one on sand.  He told that story in the context of knowing and doing.  Listen to what he says.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

It seems to me that we have often taught that the wise man’s wisdom was in knowing, not doing.  But I believe the emphasis here is on the doing of what is known.

True, without knowledge of good, there can not really be any practice of good.  Knowing comes before doing.  But, without doing what we know, we are going to fall.

The following 28 posts are the questions that were asked of me by the Bay Area Christian Church, along with my answers. 

I thought it might be interesting to post this series of questions here along with my answers, and see what kinds of comments might turn up. 

I invited a few of you specifically to check it out, and I’m interested in discussions that might be generated from my answers, and your comments.

Thanks for helping to clarify my thinking!

Question 1.  Please give your views on evangelizing and discipling others.  Do you share the Gospel with others?  Do you think everyone should?

Evangelizing and discipling others is a command of Jesus, and so all must do it, not just those “gifted” … or … “professional ministers.” 

Evangelizing is simply telling others what you know:  how Jesus impacted your life, and how he can impact their life, too.  Of course, if you don’t really know how he has impacted your life, it’s very difficult to share that with others. 

Discipling is simply about teaching them to do what you do:  follow in the way of Jesus Christ.  Of course, if you’re not really following, it’s very difficult to help others follow. 

It is very important that all disciples understand, and are able to relate, how Jesus has impacted their life, and what they are doing now to follow Him closely.  But many of them simply do not know their story – or how to relate it – and I believe this keeps many people from actively spreading the Good News. 

I also believe we tend to think these two things are much more difficult than they really are.  Many Christians have the idea that they are not fit to evangelize because they don’t know enough of the Bible.  The truth is most seekers don’t want to listen to the professional, or the person who “has it all together.”  According to Alcoholics Anonymous, an alcoholic is much more likely to listen to another recovering alcoholic than a doctor or other professional telling them to do the same things.  So it is with most people:  a sinner is much more likely to follow the lead of another “recovering” sinner, rather than a professional.   

Evangelizing and discipling are also activities which benefit the disciple as much as the seeker.  This is not talked about much, but there is no better way for a disciple to “stay the course” than to be helping other people experience the life-changing work of Jesus. 

Yes, I do evangelize others, in this sense of telling them how Jesus has impacted my life.  I have seen some of my efforts bear fruit, but much of it I may never see.  Seeds are planted, but remain hidden until God causes growth.  I am simply a farmer, preparing soil with the tools I have, planting seeds, watering, and watching the miracle as God causes growth! 

My life and my gifts are more dedicated to discipling; to following Christ, and helping others follow Him.  I am a disciple seeking to help others find ways to deepen their own relationship to the Savior.

August 2017
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