Tuesday, April 29, 2008

WHAT I REALLY BELIEVE

Over the weekend I began reflecting on the importance of being a difference in the lives of people around us.

Our house church, The Mission, is founded on the principle that all of us as followers of Jesus are called to be missionaries in our community, our workplace, our neighborhood and our culture. As such, this means we are expected to make disciples, to live extravagant lives of intentional kindness and to demonstrate the Kingdom to people around us in tangible ways.

As I meditated on this I had to stop and ask myself, Am I discipling anyone? Am I in relationship with anyone for the hope of bringing them to Jesus? Am I actively praying for my neighbors and co-workers and friends to discover the Kingdom?

The only person I am currently discipling is my oldest son, Dylan (12) and perhaps a few of the people in our house church. Is that enough? Should I be doing more?

At my new job as a copywriter for a large technology distributor I have started to develop several friendships. We've had some amazing conversations over lunch, now and again, but is that enough? Should I be doing more?

I've especially been convicted that I need to pray more often for those who are part of our house church family. As their pastor it's my spiritual duty to spend time praying for their spiritual development, their marriages, their walk with Christ and their individual mission to reflect Jesus to those around them.

THE PLANK IN MY OWN EYE
I can be very critical of local mega-churches who lead 250 people to Christ at Easter and then forget to disciple them, (and I do feel that this is a serious blind spot for many traditional churches today), but then I have to ask myself how many did I lead to Christ this year? How many did I disciple?

As I ask myself these hard questions I realize that my focus should be on what I am doing, or not doing, not on what my sisters and brothers "over there" are doing....or not doing.

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER
I have realized that we put feet to the things we really have faith in. To paraphrase the second chaper of James, "Show me what you're actually doing each day and I'll show you what you really believe in your heart of hearts".

Do my actions give away my deepest values? Yes, they do...and that may be the most frightening realization of all; That I am already actively living out my real "Faith" every moment of every day. What do my actions say about what I really value and hold to be true? Do the words I speak and the actions I take line up as they should?

If I really believe that God has filled me with His Holy Spirit and that He desires to reveal Himself to people around me, then I will actively cooperate with God to share His love with them. Not just be nice to them (which is a great start), but actually pray for God to give me the words to say and to know the best way to speak Truth into their lives.

WHY WE NEED EACH OTHER
The purpose of our house church gatherings should be to help each other live out our calling to love others, serve others and be ambassadors of Christ. We need to be encouraged and to be reminded of what this life of faith is for. We must bear one another's burdens. We must hold one another accountable for the calling we have responded to.

I've heard from some friends lately about some horrific behavior within their churches, things that I won't even share here out of respect for those who have been so abused and shamed and persecuted. This is not the way the Family of God is meant to be. We are called to lift one another up, to pray for one another and to support one another as we do our best to follow Jesus each and every day of our lives.

"Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." - 1 Cor 12:27

More later...

kg

1 comment:

abraham's bosom said...

brutha keef,
do not underestimate the power of your writing and its ability to witness for you in the arena of discipleship.
although it might not happen before your eyes, that does not mean that it does not happen.
don't be surprised to find that you might influence a larger congregation than you are aware of.