It would seem that the greatest challenge my church faced early on was a willingness to be persecuted. Of course, I realize we brought some of it upon ourselves. Now, it would seem we face the challenge of worries of this life, deceitfulness of wealth, and desire for other things (Parable of Sower, Mark 4). Isn't that the history of most "radical" new Christian movements? How can we avoid this in our own new fellowship?
As for avoiding being choked by the world, here are some ideas, in bullet form:
* Main leaders must model spirituality.
* We must teach about money, stewardship, debt, giving, etc.
* That means we must teach that Christianity is countercultural -- resist the messages of Madison Avenue, Xmas overspending, etc. Few preachers do this, in my experience.
* Bible teaching must be solid and inspiring so that members are inspired to dig deep for themselves.
* We need to keep teaching faith and grace.
* But not hide behind "grace" as excuse not to be involved in others' lives .
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