"For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." 1 Corinthians 1:25
Westerners love methods and tools. I see it in our churches where we plan programs and services that look much the same from one place to the next. I see it in our house churches where we want to know 'how things are done' and then implement accordingly as we seek to follow the methods that others tell us work. I also see it on the mission field where we focus on the currently popular missiological methods.
For example, people love to talk these days about disciple making and disciple making movements. The tools that are taught in this vein are the current 'way to do ministry' that all must follow in order to be 'successful.' In fact, as I travel around the globe, I find that DMM (disciple making movements), and the corresponding tools that are now taught, is the ONLY way that missions is to be done.
Don't get me wrong. I am a proponent of most of these tools and have helped many to implement them. I spend much time training these very methods to others!
BUT, we so often miss the real point in our reliance on the right tool, the right method, the right practice, and the right way to do ministry.
Let me share something that an African woman told my wife. She and her husband are currently working with 1,000 disciples in their area who are actively reaching others. They expect to have 2,000 disciples meeting in house churches later this year and 4,000 by next year. My wife asked her some routine questions about her life and also probed about her spiritual life. This very humble woman spoke about her prayer life without any pride in her voice, "Naturally I am walking close to God and spending much in time in prayer. How else would we be seeing this kind of fruit?"
Oh, right! How else? How else is fruit born? How else is the Spirit released to work? How else is the work of God accomplished? You mean it's not all about methodology and programs?
We love trainings and tools and methods and how-tos. We expect to follow the models of others who are successful in order to be successful. But we can often miss the real point. God is the one who brings the increase and it is not about the wisdom of man! Rather, it is about the power of God manifesting through a praying, love-filled heart from one who longs to obey, and follow, and give all to see His glory and Kingdom come.