WARNING: The impending, rambling download that follows will likely not be understood, appreciated, or agreed with. Contextualization which I cannot clarify with words is needed to fully understand. If you have an axe to grind, or a chip on your shoulder, please DO NOT read any further. Thanx!
Our trip to California was fantastic. Once again, I have gotten much closer with a couple of guys that, outside of my wife, are my best friends in the world. In fact, I am secure enough in my own masculinity to admit that we share an intimate and personal camaraderie that few guys find in life. We are passionately in love with Jesus and life in general. I think we are all three driven by our deep desire to make a significant contribution to the world by making a difference in the lives of people. So without further hesitation, I must send kudos to my friends, Dave Gregg and Austin Taylor, for their profound friendship, influence, and smack-talk in my life! The picture below was taken in the San Bernardino Moutain chain that overlooks Los Angeles, CA. We spent Sunday evening hanging out in the mountains and processing our experience at the CMA Conference.
So, here’s my brain just thinking as a result of this conference. Making a difference in people’s lives…what does that look like? Is it just dispensing information? Is it gathering as many people as possible into a room and telling them how to live? Is it getting together and singing songs? Or, is it something deeper, more meaningful, and much more fulfilling? If so, what does that look like?
These are burning questions that must be answered. I certainly don’t claim to have those answers, but I would like to share some thoughts on authentic discipleship. Don’t be confused. I am not referring the static, institutional dispersion of grand, existential wisdom from a lectern. Instead, I have captured a vision for doing life with people who matter so deeply to God, He was willing to actually offer His life as a sacrifice for them. I see this discipleship as more listening as opposed to talking so stinking much, more questioning than answering, and way more helping to liberate, with all exclusions of slavery and bondage, from the death grip of sin and religion. This is something real that exists outside of our religious temples of “moralism” and “converts”. This is conversation. I think we are dreaming of a space where people can connect with the Jesus of the Bible on His terms rather than on those of our own devising. It is a place of freedom that moves us all toward dialogue, questions, adventure, understanding, captivation, and authenticity, rather than formulated strategies, cliched anecdotes, and “ministry” models.
Actually, I think it may be a space not unlike the quaint hillsides of Judea some 2000 years ago where an eclectic band of small business owners, contractors, and blue-collar workers were mesmerized by a simple Rabbi as He engineered and empowered the greatest movement in the history of mankind. Yeah, I believe this is a reality-shattering reorientation of the church to the simple Way of this poor, yet profound, Nazarene named Jesus.
Is this some ridiculous “pie-in-the-sky” dream? Is it the inner working of an illegitimate, reactionary, rebellious spirit within us? Is it just another pathetic attempt to kick against the “establishment”? Or, is this something bigger? Is this an awakening of the latent passion within every believer of Jesus? Is this a massive, world-wide movement of the Holy Spirit to disciple the nations as Jesus originally commanded, and we have fallen woefully short of accomplishing, even with our slick presentations, entertaining shows, and spacious buildings?
I suppose these thoughts could be dismissed with the shrug of a shoulder, but it will not deter our dream. I know what I am seeing in the lives of people, hearing from the hearts of those in the trenches with us, and reading in God’s Word. This isn’t a figment of our imagination, and cannot be dismissed, discouraged, or ignored. It will get louder and clearer. It will not be forgotten in the annuls of history. It is here and now. It has been and is and will continue. This is what Jesus began both to do and teach.
In a simple word of challenge, conviction, and conclusion, I will sum up my view of this massive, underground, yet emerging, missional movement….REVOLUTION!
More to come….