27th July 2016
German philosopher Martin Heidegger once observed: “Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.” He was pointing out that human potential is either unleashed or wasted through the choices we make in the day-to-day process of the lives we live. Jesus called fishermen, tax collectors and others from ordinary circumstances into the adventure of a lifetime and the results were world changing. Against all odds, the early Christians of the first 2-3 centuries after Christ left an impact that is still felt today.
The call for us to follow Jesus as true disciples in this generation stands as the greatest challenge on the planet. For those who will forsake everything else to make Jesus the ultimate thing in their lives, there is the promise of actually becoming the people God created us to be and of seeing His kingdom come on earth. The pages of the New Testament describe this and church history testifies to what happens when people answer the call to live their lives as a chosen generation.
We also see what happens when our lives are shaped by the culture around us instead of by Christ and His call. Pastor Jon Tyson says that our surrounding culture has now become the most effective example of discipleship that can be found. A culture that pushes back against God’s purpose for people will attempt to reshape their hearts and minds in the following ways:
From faith to doubt
From love to insecurity
From community to individualism
From contributing to consuming
From engagement to entertainment
From rest to exhaustion
As a result, churches are filled with disciples of popular culture instead of transformed followers of Jesus. Thankfully, a cry is rising from many hearts for a more authentic faith that we can genuinely learn to live out. Matt Redman captures this cry in his song, Unbroken Praise.”
“So let my deeds outrun my words
And let my life outweigh my songs.”
With help from Focus on the Family, we are embarking on a church-wide assessment that will help us understand how to become wholehearted followers of Jesus in our faith, identity, relationships, sexuality and worldview. In August, our church family will go online to complete a 100-question survey. Our honest (and anonymous) answers to questions about the places where we are succeeding as well as struggling will help to shape our future.
The greatest days of the church are not behind us. Just ahead is the promise of becoming everything that God has intended. With some help, these lives we live can become a compelling testimony of the greatness, glory and love of Christ.
Join us on the journey of fully following Jesus!