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WHAT IF WE DID IT LIKE THEY USED TO?

I like to think of myself as a forward thinker someone who operates out of the box.  Operating out of the box only creates a new box which is used to keep up with the times.  That means in the not too distant future my box will be looked on as the old box.  Then someone will come along and say “I am going to think outside the box” “SHAZAAM”, now we have another new box.  I think you get the picture.  Nothing is wrong with new ways of thinking in the Kingdom of God as long as the message is not compromised.  The new boxes may not compromise the message but  have the potential to weaken the result of the message on God’s children.  I am not sure where the church got misdirected  but  it has veered off the path Christ blazed.  Being a Christian today does not resemble the first century Follower of Christ.  In the first century Christ Followers were increasing in numbers daily and  the growth was unstoppable  Even though  Followers of Christ were being persecuted everywhere they were.

 How did the church of the first century thrive and survive such a tough beginning?

You only have to look to  Jesus and those first followers of Christ to see the box we need to reopen.  Jesus was a Rabbi (teacher) who did not teach theory, philosophy. No was he a man who taught to pass along knowledge.  Jesus taught in a way to pass along a way of living. Jesus would preach to the multitudes, He taught the 12 but He poured into Peter, James, and John.  Throughout the gospels you see where Jesus took Peter, James, and John pouring His life into their lives.  As a result of Jesus pouring into them they would pour their lives into others.  Those that the three poured into would pour into others and so it went for many years, and the disciple (Christians) multiplied greatly.  This model of teaching was the primary way of teaching for years.  Farmers taught their children how to farm, blacksmiths taught their children how to blacksmith, store owners taught their children to run the store and so it went for many years. You rarely hear the statement "this farm has been in my family for many generations" or "this is the family business that my great-grandfather started" and here I am still running the family business.  We have lost the art of passing on knowledge through shared lives and experiences.  This is why there is a shortage of men and women who actually know a trade.  It is also why the church in America is declining.

The Bible Belt is not currently experiencing the decline many other areas in our nation are experiencing.  We must not bury our heads in the sand and think it will not happen here.  That attitude breeds complacency in the local church which creates the perfect storm.  What I mean by this is if we are not proactive now in making a change in how we pass on Biblical knowledge before decline begins, it might be too late once decline is actually happening.  For years I have operated out of a reactionary mind set which can be tiring, burdensome, and prone for mistakes.  Jesus was very intentional with His time while on earth. As Christ followers, disciples, Christians, terms that are interchangeable, we should be intentional in our passing on the Christian faith as a lifestyle not just belief in a set of principles.  Moving forward my vision is to create a practice that resembles the process that Jesus used.  This means we must go back to the original box, the Jesus box to grow the church the way “they used to do it”.   Hmm?  If it worked for Jesus it just might work for us. 

Stay tuned. More to come! 

Posted by Glenn Sandifer with

A legacy worth leaving

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I am a little late on this month’s blog but like my father used to say; “better late than never”.  My father was the king of one liners and funny little sayings.  He could always sing a song or a “little ditty” about something someone said.  There were times when it was funny and other times when it was frustrating but be assured he even had quips for when he frustrated me or made me mad.   “Son” he would say “dogs get mad, humans get angry. Are you a dog?”  Thanks dad that always helped.  I have fond memories of my father.  If he was still on this earth he would be 96 on the 15th of this month. However because of the trust my father had in Christ he is ageless today. I am sure still bringing smiles to those he is meeting anew even today. 

Hayne Edward Sandifer, aka Doc, loved God and loved people.  I continue to meet people who recognize my last name and ask if I am kin to him.  I proudly announce I am his son.  Almost every person I meet tells me stories I have never heard before about how my father showed unconditional love to them like  how he loved and encouraged a young woman who was pregnant as a teen.  A friend of mine shared with me that every time he saw my father, dad would ask him how he is doing and never made him feel judged about not being in church.  However dad never left him without showing him in some way he loved and cared for him.  I could go on and on about my father but hopefully you see the picture. 

My father continued to teach the word of God to old and young alike until about two months before he went home to be with our heavenly Father.  His legacy was that he loved people and always pointed them to Calvary.  By some chance if you do not know what direction Calvary is there is a little cross on the wall at Centreville Baptist church that reminds people every week about Calvary.  As far as I know Brother Sandifer (my dad) never missed an opportunity to show a loving Jesus to people he met.  He studied the life of Christ, lived Christlike, and revealed Christ life to others. 

The legacy my father left is one that continues today through the lives of his children and those he loved along the way.  Some received his love, some rejected his love, and some even took advantage of his love… but he never quit loving.  When you are a disciple of Christ your legacy will outlive your earthy life.  My father was not perfect (so I have been told) but he was a perfect father to me.  Twenty-three years after his earthly death I still hear people talk about his love for God and love for people.

So the question is: What will our legacy be?  Will our children and grandchildren hear stories of our faithfulness to God and our love for others from strangers?  Will anyone other than our immediate family even remember us 20 years after we are gone?

The only legacy worth leaving is one that impacts the world for Christ long after we are gone. 

Live a legacy worth leaving!!

Posted by Glenn Sandifer with
Tags: legacy

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