Friday, August 3, 2007

dr. mike stroope's 8 principles

last week i was in waco for a work retreat, which means that all of the bsm (baptist student ministry) staff of texas got together for a few days at baylor university to fellowship, grow and relax. the time there was very enjoyable and provided numerous opportunities of which i hadn't expected. one of those opportunities was to experience the teaching of dr. mike stroope, a missions professor for truett seminary.

dr. stroope challenged us with these 8 principles... and then asked us to pick one of which we would actively apply to our lives. here are his 8 principles with some added information he gave for each point:

1. act out who you actually are:
a. acts 1:8 - shall be witnesses
b. you are the one who points to Christ. (k. barth)
c. you don't go witnessing, you are a witness.
d. you must decrease who you are so that Christ can increase in your life

2. build our lives on His Word (Bible):
a. the Bible must be the foundation of our lives and we must read/memorize it
b. we must move from a knowledge-based discipleship to an obedience-based discipleship
c. realize that we "know too much" - what are you going to do about what you know?
d. we must have a radical doing of the Word
e. Jesus' fiercest judgment is on the hypocrites

3. find community:
a. formation of our lives happen in community - we must be people who share lives together with the purpose of being transformed.
b. we must live an open life in front of others

4. act at the Spirit's impulse:
a. we are spiritual beings, so God speaks and prompts us by the Spirit
b. God wants to act in and through our lives

5. we see people:
a. we look @ people, but we don't see people - we usually look past people to see someone else
b. we need new ways to see people
c. our most important tool: our eyes - we must look into people's lives (they need

6. live at the margins:
a. we must move from the center to the margins of life - the center is where we feel safe
b. the margins are hard to deal with because we give up power/privilege
c. the margins are where we have to trust God

7. live simply:
a. we need to declutter our lives and move towards simplicity
b. fast from stuff that fills our lives so that we might know God

8. ask questions:
a. anticipating and asking for change, which usually means you are inviting conflict
b. God will/has to reshape and mold us

like i mentioned at the beginning of this post, dr. stroope asked us to choose one of these principles to focus on making it become more of a part of our lives... and perhaps, if you are like me, each of these points need to become more prevalent in my life. may we be challenged to grow and seek Christ in all that we are together.

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