Principle #1: The Lordship Principle: a clear focus on Jesus Christ as the object of faith.
Jesus is Lord. Renewal is much more than adding a little more Jesus to the mix. A little more Jesus won=t work. Jesus must be the absolute focus (SE: 35). Luther felt that the focus and authority of the church had shifted from the person of Christ to the institution (SE: 32). Wesley was quickly branded an enthusiast by the church for his zealous insistence upon conversion through personal faith in Jesus Christ. Pulpit and pulpit was closed to him because he called the people to repent of their dead institutionalism and return to their first love in Jesus Christ (SE: 34).
On a visit to Germany, Slaughter
discovered that German has no separate word for ALord.@ They use AHerr@ which can also be translated as AMister.@
I was openly sharing my frustration of having to refer to Jesus as AMister Jesus@ instead of ALord Jesus@ and commented that the word was
totally inadequate in expressing Jesus=
true identity. A young man … stood up in the back of the church and called
out … AWe may
not have a separate and distinct word for Lord, but you Americans might as well
not have. You have forgotten what it means.@
He was right … when we say ALord
really mean no more than Mr. Jesus. In the New Testament church, the meaning
was clear.@Lord@ mean the one who had absolute
authority…. Many Americans have difficulty with the concept of obedience (SE: 36-37).
The conviction that Jesus is Lord has been the key theological factor of every awakening (SE: 43). In the years since 1972, Ginghamsburg Church has displayed a radical, intense obedience of Jesus as Lord and they credit this obedience as the primary cause of their growth as a church.
NOTE (my response)
SE: Michael Slaughter, Spiritual Entrepreneurs: Six Principles for Risking Renewal (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994). Quotes from the book are in italics.
“First Love: A Christ Centered Environment for Church Renewal” by Michael Slaughter. Dayton, OH: Whaleprints at United Theological Seminary, 1990. (video; currently unavailable.)
The quote is from Major League Disciple Making: An Overview of the Best Research on the Cell Church, an online course developed for the Institute for Discipleship at www.BeADisciple.com in 2009. Course materials, including these lectures, can be downloaded here: http://www.disciplewalk.com/IFD_MLD_Class_Links.html
All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.