“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Something is working in that church over there, WE NEED IT. LET’S DO IT.
So and so looks good in that outfit, IF I HAVE IT I WILL LOOK GOOD TOO.
WOW! That was a delicious meal – I NEED THAT RECIPE, THEN I WILL BE A MASTER CHEF TOO!
Recreate: To impart fresh life to; refresh mentally or physically.
Duplicate: To duplicate is defined as to make a copy.
Procreate: To produce or bring into existence
(Definitions from www.yourdictionary.com)
The desire to duplicate is often found where discontentment is. The desire to procreate, the creation of something new and original is inspired by God. The ability and inspiration to recreate, and impart fresh life to something comes from God.
God told Noah to build an ark. A new idea. A unique purpose.
God told Joshua to walk around the walls of Jericho – 7 times. Something different. Something with purpose and intention that was personal to the people.
Ninevah got sent Jonah. They didn’t get sent Lot.
How does it work in ministry?
When it comes to ministry and our daily walk, we can often be tempted to duplicate something happening somewhere else because it’s working ‘over there’. God wants us to come to him, be inspired and led by him and create something unique and purposeful to the needs around us. Something that has heart, not rigidity (is that a word?).
\\ Our church families weren’t intended to just follow the same pattern week in and week out, Sunday after Sunday. We are a part of the body of Christ – flesh like living, as opposed to statues of stone with no heart or life. We can duplicate statues, but we can’t duplicate lives.
\\ Our marriages won’t last if we only follow a checklist of things that other people do to keep their marriages alive. Relationships are about connecting with each other, sacrificing for the other, serving the other – this can’t be done if we don’t connect and personalise it.
I also believe that when we get fixated on duplicating, that we miss what’s really going on around us. We miss the people who are in need of help, because we are so focussed on possessing the answer and looking for everything we can fix with that answer, rather than looking at the needs and offering a purposeful solution. I am guilty of this thinking.
Organisations are great examples of this. Sometimes broken people aren’t actually in need of an organisation, but a friendship or a family, or they aren’t in need of a hostel but a home. With this sort of thinking comes the challenge to the church to step up, to open their homes, to befriend the unlovely and broken and allow the Holy Spirit to bring about change and restoration. The challenge is to break out of the mould and the routine, breakout of the ‘checklist Christianity’ and abide in Christ – rest in Him, seek His ways, and His Truth and apply that in each moment in our lives. We mustn’t be so quick to refer people to agencies and organisations. There is a time and place – and to find those we must apply wisdom and much prayer.
When people say to us – “We love what you guys do, we want to do that where we are.” Our response is to encourage them to seek God’s ways, to seek relationship with the people they want to reach and serve, and find out what their needs are. God will open and close doors.
Another common conversation we have is, “When I did training, this is what they said we should do….” Infact, one girl, straight out from teachers college a few years ago came to Moree and said, “In our Indigenous studies class they told us not to encourage Indigenous students because it is embarrassing to them and their families.” The girl seemed somewhat released and encouraged as we were able to share our experiences in this community of the negative consequences of not supporting and encouraging Indigenous students, and some of the changes in children’s lives as we have been able to offer encouragement and support in their education and family life.
Don’t just read/learn something and apply it. Test it. Check it. Pray about it. Seek God’s Word. Is it really true? What does this look like in a person’s life who follows Christ?
He alone knows how to reach them best.