I give my life to teaching groups how to double every two years or less. The longer I do it, the more I am convinced that how is not the problem. The problem is not one of methodology; the problem is one of theology.
My life was forever changed by reading the book Desiring God, by John Piper. John Piper reminded me that it is our Christian duty to be as happy as we can be. It is our moral responsibility before God to seek and find joy. (Philippians 3.1, Philippians 4.4, Psalm 37:4)
Show me a people who are obedient to the command of God to rejoice in the Lord always and I will show you a group that is growing and growing rapidly. If the joy is right, the growth will take care of itself.
What I didn’t realize when I read Piper is how difficult this command is. Initially, I thought this was kind of light and fluffy stuff, that the real stuff of Christian discipleship was about dedication and holiness and sacrifice and service. Pursuing joy sounded like the dessert; the meat of the word was all about commitment.
I have come to appreciate the fact that being consistently obedient to the command of God to enjoy God is one of the most difficult and important commands in all the Bible. It is difficult because life is difficult. I have shared in another context some of the pain that has come in my life–perhaps not a lot more or a lot less than the next person–but enough to cause me to understand that life is difficult and it is difficult to enjoy God in a difficult world.
Many teachers teach that this is not so. This is the second lie of the church in this generation. The first is that feelings don’t matter. It is a lie; they do matter. The second is that circumstances don’t matter. Some teach that we are to live “above the circumstances” implying that circumstances don’t matter. It is not true. Circumstances do matter. It is easier to enjoy God in the context of a well-lived life.
Difficult as it is, we are commanded to get happy. And if we can be obedient to the command of God to rejoice in the Lord always, doubling becomes rather easy.
I have prepared three resources that might help you in your quest to rejoice in the Lord always. The first is a book called Enjoying God. The second is a video by the same title. The third is a video on the attributes of God called, The God We Enjoy.
These courses feature 13 weeks of interactive video that will help your group to enjoy God. You will grapple with the importance and difficulty of this command, as well as receive practical steps in becoming a person marked by joy.
People who have great joy in God have great energy for God and accomplish great things for God. Won’t you join me in setting the direction of your life toward being as happy in God as you can be?