Odds are you’re quite busy. It’s 2017 and smartphones are ubiquitous, office hours are passe, and quality rest is reserved for stress-free, sleep-trained babies. The tongue-in-cheek phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” reveals (even if flippantly) a common-place perspective: if you’re busy you’re living.
Have you asked someone “How ya doin’?” lately and received this badge-of-honor response:”Whew, man….Things are busy.”? It’s an answer I’ve gotten and given.
It’s one part truth, another part pride. “I’m busy” is a two-word attempt to communicate that I’m important and I’m really living.
And I’m kind of right. Work, family, friendship, and free-time obligations fill life to the brim. We’re certainly alive while we work, engage with family, build and enjoy friendship, and explore our hobbies.
We’re alive. But are we living? Continue reading
(This post is the 5th and final blog in a series about the nature of discipleship in our churches today.)
Making disciples is what the Church was made by God to do. In this series I explain why we aren’t doing it well (Read it here) and two things that stand in our way (read about them here—Roadblock #1: the Christian message that is too easy to be good, and Roadblock #2: we have traded acts for facts).
But there is hope! Blog #4 reminds us that the first solution is that we must tell the full story!
Last but not least, here is Solution #2 for helping the Church do a better job of making true disciples of Jesus…
Solution #2 Reintroduce Rigor
If we want to be a church that effectively makes disciples of Jesus—people who actually value doing what God asks disciples to do and who actually live lives that impact the world around them—we must (must!) reintroduce and value rigor. Good old fashioned rigor.
(This post is the 2nd in a series about the nature of discipleship in our churches today. Click here to read the first post.)
In last week’s post (Read it here) I argued that our misunderstanding of the oft-used phrase “grace is enough” causes us to misrepresent the Christian life and miss out on what it truly means to be a disciple of Jesus.
We have a shallow view of grace and an incomplete definition of discipleship. In our addiction to “the easy life” we have eliminated the rigor of discipleship and simultaneously cheapened the grace God has given.
Dallas Willard’s phrase, “Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning,” is good news. Though a life devoted to God in Christ is more difficult than we have often heard, it is also much better than we have often experienced.
To right the ship, we need to understand two roadblocks that prevent us, and others, from following Jesus into the life of discipleship we were created for.
Roadblock #1: It’s Too Easy to Be Good
The “accept Jesus into your heart and you won’t go to hell when you die” approach to making disciples is too easy to be good. Let me explain.
Image courtesy of Johnny Wilson at CC
I attend and work at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, and part of the church’s mission is to exhibit extreme hospitality. The church does it well. In fact, it was this genuine hospitality that brought my wife and me to the church in the first place and part of why we chose to stay.
But as welcoming as our church is, I’ve never encountered hospitality like I did in Egypt last month. I was there to help my friend explore new mission opportunities, and from the moment our hosts met us at the airport until they dropped us off again, we were treated like royalty.
The practice of extreme hospitality was the third lesson I learned from Kasr al Dobara Evangelical Church (KDEC) about being a Christian. Continue reading