I was reading “Lifequests” page edited by a friend of my son Jeremy. It may make you feel a little uncomfortable if you are an “overbusy” christian worker trying to “make it happen”. But thats OK if makes us evaluate our present situation!
“In one of the earliest accounts of what Jesus’ followers experienced, the description is simple: teaching of the apostles, fellowship, prayer, and food.
The story says awe came upon them and wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. All these people were TOGETHER and had all things in common. They all took care of one another…and God added to their numbers every day.
|It’s really as simple as that. Or, at least it WAS. And “The WAY” (as the Jewish fringe movement was called back then) was growing like a virus throughout the Middle East in spite of being persecuted, discouraged by the mainstream and, at best, marginalized. Some of the folks were literally being executed, because they were perceived as a threat to “the man” and to the status quo.
These folks weren’t so concerned about politics, sex in the media, Republicans losing seats in the House, or that the world was “going to Hell in a handbasket.” Christianity was on the edge and didn’t have a monopoly on the culture until after Constantine-and one could argue, that after Constantine, it was a FALSE monopoly.
So there wasn’t a culture to be warred against, a nation to save or a “glory days” to be recaptured. There weren’t marriage conferences, youth gatherings, ‘True Love Waits’ events, children’s church, Dr Dobsons, the Religious Right, nor a giant marketplace of “Christian” books, music and paraphernalia. Not that any of those things bad or wrong…not here to argue that.
The point is…following the Way, though it was difficult and even life-threatening, was not complicated.
Whenever the Church has experienced favor with God & people, “revival,” or times of great growth and expansion, it has been about distilling things back down to the core. There seems to be something quite attractive about that. I was recently in a bar talking to a woman about music, life & such. Eventually the conversation turned to God & faith, and her history growing up Lutheran…also about her spiritual journey along with her husband. As I described what LifeQuest is about and what we do, her head nodded and eyes lit up. It was clear she was resonating with what I was sharing. Simply being about Jesus and about the Kingdom of God. People outside of our church bubble can relate to those things.
Wherever you are, let me challenge and encourage you. Let us be about Jesus’ agenda. Let us get back to the basics of God’s Word, prayer, fellowship & meals together. Stop trying to DO so much and just pursue a growing relationship with God. As you move closer to Jesus, your mind and mission will more closely align with his. When you spend time outside of your Christian circles, opportunities will come to expand the Kingdom. You won’t have to be part of a mission program or a church’s INVASION of the culture or whatever. You will simply BE a part of the culture, but carrying the Kingdom inside you. Killer!!