Wednesday 10 December 2008

Tim Atchley's post on Seed needs a wider broadcast

...........perhaps it was the damage I received when I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit , which turned me from a mild-mannered intellectual into wanting to preach into our main school assembly at 14...whatever it was...but there are various hot buttons that people like Mark Driscoll, my friend Michael Hammond or here Tim Atchley can press.............(Hope he doesn't mind this further example of my ministry of plagiarism) Tim is Sheila's husband.....
Tim writes :Sowing Precious Seed Part 3
In the Parable of the Sower Jesus was communicating the pattern of the ministry these men and any witnesses of His to come after them would have.It also reveals the ongoing condition of people throughout the world, for all ages. These four types of people are present with us today, and will continue to be with us till the end of the age.This parable is meant to enable us to be faithful to the Lord as His witnesses of His Gospel till He comes.Jesus does not make the goal the fruit itself. The goal is the spreading of the Gospel. Why spread the Gospel?Most would say because it is what will bring men and women to Christ, and there is truth in saying this. In fact Scripture tells us that it is the very power of God unto salvation. But there is more.The Gospel needs to fall on every heart and confront mankind concerning the reality of God, the faithfulness of Jesus Christ the Son, and the work He accomplished.Every ear is entitled to hear the word, and every heart is given a chance to allow it to work. Each soil will reveal what nature it is. But the goal for sharing the Gospel needs to be in the sharing itself.This makes success much different from modern Christianity has made it out to be.Modern Christianity has convinced it’s followers that unless people are receiving Christ we are not getting anything done. I beg to differ with this ideology.In the parable of the Sower I find that a faithful sowing of seed regardless of outcome is what pleases the Father. Jesus in no way indicates that the Sower was wrong for throwing seed on all the types of soil.Nothing in the parable spoke of what to do about the types of soil. In no way is there any instruction on how to change the type of heart a person has at the moment we share the Gospel with them.On one hand we say that salvation is the Lord’s business, but on the other we want to be able to share with someone, have them pray to receive Christ, and then take the credit for their coming to know Him.What if Christians got a revelation that success according to Jesus is found in faithful seed sowing without demanding a certain outcome?I wonder how many believers would become empowered to share the Gospel for the first time if not more than they have already?
My reply:
1.This is amazing and needs to be broadcast more widely. We are always success oriented and this has had a paralyzing effect.Another thing that takes our eyes off a false success orientation came through Jorge Pradas who said Evangelism was so God could receive greater glory.(i.e.He is already receiving glory from what He is working in our own lives...He needs to receive greater glory by having a whole bunch more kids to work with.
2. Sheila has not said anything about how you are with Mark Driscoll. You'll know from Dan and my posts that there are certain misgivings. But one thing was fantastic about his talks in Brighton.(TOAM2008 free downloads.sessions 2,4,6) Everything they do on Mars Hill is directed towards more people coming to know the Lord. He really stressed they have no missions department! He doesn't use them. Every single facet of the church is geared to growth anyway.Many many practical ideas for pastors.
3. As mentioned in my testimony post (baptism video) I learned a bit about pushiness! I am nowhere near as pushy as my evangelist friend Michael, (who I am going to tell about this post by the way). What I learned was this....sometimes we acquiesce too readily to the unsaved person's brain which is working overtime to try and sort everything out mentally before giving assent to the gospel. While we are never to cross the sanctitiy of another human's will...the truth is no human brain is ever going tie up every loose end before taking the step of obedience and faith of humbly submitting to Christ. And counter-intuitively...having done so, the brain then starts putting together truths that have eluded it for decades, quite quickly....all within a very short while of knowing Jesus. So my experience with my friend has somewhat spurred me on. So many good things and changes have occurred for him already.There's a similarity here with the sales process. A good salesman gets a bottomline decision from another person....this takes politeness but firmness. The devil does not want a decision for salvation of any kind, and is continually seeking to overcomplicate everything.


Sheila Atchley said...

There has already been such freedom released in our fellowship, in the less-than-one-week since this word was released to the house.

There has been some luscious FRUIT come of it.

One brother called us, very excited, feeling free for the first time in years to just share the gospel lavishly, openly, randomly, purposefully, absent mindedly, intellectually....NO MORE ANALYZING the "how" of it...just broadcast this precious seed. He had lunch with *several* people this week...and sharing the gospel was a joy to him once again.

Thanks for releasing the word a little more. We all need to hear it!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

It's not a one blog wonder. It needs saying and saying and saying.

Anything that can stop the paralysis that is a result of the devil's lies.

I should think it would have the same fruit in our church too.

Leonard said...


Your posts really make me sit up and pay attention, thanks for making me think.