Last Saturday, 2 May 2009, the United Church of God an International Association (UCGia, or UCG within this article) began its 2009 General Council of Elders (GCE) meeting. Mr Bob Dick gave the sermon that Sabbath, which was broadcast via the web and phone links all over the world. The theme for this year’s conference is “Making Disciples, a Whole Church Effort”.
Mr Dick talked about 7 critical factors that impact discipling.
- We don’t set the boundaries for discipling. There are 2 fundamental beliefs we have that set us apart: This is not the only day of salvation (something that even CG7 doesn’t teach) and it requires an invitation (Jn 6:44).
- We believe the environment to which God may bring a disciple is vitally important. The Church is the nurturing point.
- Communicating is easier than at any time in history; reaching people is harder than any time in the last century. We live in a world drowning in communication. We live in enigmatic times. The clatter of noise is phenomenal. Satan probably realizes he cannot stop the word of God (until a determined time), but is he trying to drown the message out in the cacaphony of voices?
- HWA’s legacy is a 2-edged sword when it comes to discipling. In the early decades of the Church we were an island. That’s not true today. We are no longer a unique voice on many topics, although we have a unique package. Do we really understand HWA’s influence beyond the COG?
- Those 40 and below are not necessarily in love w/ the religion of those 40 and above. Younger Americans are increasingly turned off by the religion of their fathers and grandfathers.
- To make a disciple, we have to be in love with our own message. There’s no better salesman than one who passionately believes he has found the best thing going.
- The tone of our message must match the tone of God’s message. Tone outstrips words in impact. Remember, HWA said "Greetings, friends." It was not the tone of indifference or contempt or superiority.