GENERAL OVERVIEW FOR KAIO
If we can be AUTHENTIC, ACCOUNTABLE, & DISCIPLINED, God can do great things through us! The KAIO format is all about bringing together these three characteristics in the context of knowing and hearing God, and making Him known through our good works.
WATCH Adam & Joe discuss this season of KAIO Small Groups.
AN INTRODUCTION TO KAIO SMALL GROUPS
“It’s one thing to teach people the commands of Jesus.
It’s another thing all together to equip them to obey them.”
When I first decided to write this training manual, I was approached by a dear friend of mine who encouraged me to write this section. He felt it was imperative to inform the reader about my own personal history with God and with the church in order to provide each person who reads this manual a greater understanding of my own journey. I believe KAIO is a true gift and strategy from God Himself to bring an end to what I experienced the majority of my Christian life. Indeed, as I look back upon my own history and all of the years that I had been exposed to and a part of Christianity, one conclusion has remained in my purview: What we live is what we believe, not what we say.
We are an educated people. We cherish what we know both inside and outside of the church, and we’ve been taught that what we know and believe is best assessed through test-taking and our ability to answer questions. But the biblical understanding of true knowledge and true believing is more than simply saying the right things. It’s living the right things.
17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." – James 2:17-18
Talk is cheap. It’s not a matter of talking the talk. It’s about walking the walk.
Although I grew up as a United Methodist, I have had the privilege and honor to be affiliated with many other streams of thought, theologies, and philosophies of the Christian life. As a Methodist, we were taught to cherish the life and legacy of John Wesley. It was, after all, his life and relationship with God that helped shape and mold the theology of the Methodist church, a theology that I had apparently agreed to and believed as my own at the finale of my confirmation. But if I truly believed in the things that caused John Wesley to live the way he did, wouldn’t I live like John Wesley? Wouldn’t the same fruit that he bore be evident in my own life? Isn’t that simple? Isn’t that common sense?
As a Methodist, we sang some of the most theologically rich hymns ever written and participated in activities like Sunday school and youth group. Even so, I never heard anyone share a testimony about what God was doing in them and through them outside of when they first professed to believe in Christ and His sacrifice. It was as if we were all waiting to get through with this wretched life so we could get to heaven. And yet I couldn’t help but sense in my heart that something was immensely wrong. Something inside of me knew that there were inconsistencies between what we were singing, learning, and ultimately living.
I was told I loved God and said that I loved God, but I knew my life didn’t reflect it. If you had subpoenaed me to appear before a court of law to stand trial, in order to determine whether or not I loved God, my life wouldn’t muster any evidence to support my claim. My mouth would have made a lot of confessions, but I would have ultimately been found guilty.
One day as a young teenager, I read this verse:
"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15
This verse did two things for me: 1.) It brought validity to what I had been sensing concerning what we say with our mouths and live with our lives, and 2.) It revealed to me what I also knew about myself. I was educated. I said more than my life could reinforce. I was taught, but I wasn’t discipled.
Later in life I made the jump from being a part of a mainline denomination to becoming a charismatic believer (one who believes that the gifts of the Spirit are still in operation today and that God speaks to His children through the Holy Spirit, and still performs miracles and signs and wonders). Although I was excited to be a part of a group of people who had personally experienced a great majority of the things written in the Bible in their own lives, I quickly began to notice the same pattern of life that was found in my childhood. Along with a great majority of other charismatic Christians, I became impressed with what I now understood to be true. I felt like my doctrine and theology were more correct than ever. Over time, I became aware that I was falling back into that same old familiar rut. I settled for the knowledge that I acquired as opposed to the life I was living.
Please do not misunderstand anything that I have said up to this point. I am in no way, shape, or form claiming that education is wrong. Teachers exist in the body of Christ for a reason. But the moment we become more fascinated with what we know as opposed to how we live, we are in error. Knowledge is not meant to take the place of a relationship with God or a life of good deeds. Knowledge should deepen our experience with God and bring about repentance in our thinking that leads to change.
There is also nothing wrong with the songs we sing or some of the things we do in church today. But I have this sense that people, like me, have grown weary about singing the things they want to live and learning about the things they want to experience. The truth is that you will not stand before Christ one day and be judged for what you sang or for the services you attended or missed. Paul informs us of this day by writing the following:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. – 2 Corinthians 5:10
We will be judged for how we lived, not for what we claimed we believed with our mouths. True believing always produces a life that looks just like what the mouth boasts in.
I believe with all of my heart that people want to do the will of God and if they could press a button and achieve it, they would. However, convenience, busyness, and isolation has caused people to move through the day without an urgency to their heart’s intent. That’s why this manual has been written. This manual will show you and teach you what a life of practical obedience looks like; one that leads to a life of honoring and following the voice of God on a daily basis. More than likely, some of you are already following the principles listed in this manual. But for those who desire to be obedient to their Father and don’t know how to get there, I welcome you to join me on this journey that has radically changed my life.