yesterday i presented the following discussion starter:
it seems to me that there are a lot of christians being christians (i.e.: going to church, carrying their bibles, doing other christian-type things), but very few christians being passionate followers of jesus (i.e.: cultivating mentoring relationships, living lifestyles of worship, being sacrificial). so here are my questions:
1. why do you think that is?
2. what can we as the church do about it?
3. is there something that i as a church leader can do to facilitate passion?
i received some tremendous responses (which i will edit and present in my next post). first, though, i want to relate a couple of fascinating conversations i had today.
in my “early tuesday” meeting, i was whining to david and mason about the tendency toward rampant complacency i see in the church. we were talking about the benefits of a christ-centered life, and how our lives would be transformed if we got up in the morning determined to focus on jesus and life in the kingdom (personally, i am convinced that most of us would find the fulfillment we’re looking for if we would simply live in/through/for jesus rather than self). david said (and i’m paraphrasing), “i’ll guarantee you that 99% of christians never have those types of thoughts.”
how utterly sad.
this afternoon i was talking philosophy my youth pastor, david (out of the mouths of babes!), and he said: “it’s really hard to be a christian.” i asked what he meant, and he said (paraphrasing again), “there are just so many problems and distractions and temptations out there, it’s tough to stay focused no matter how much you love jesus, and no matter how hard you try.”
i agree with the statements from both of these wise men, and they have captured the essence of my angst. the more i want people to experience and enjoy life “in the vine” (john 15:1-8), the more i find resistance. i search for hunger and discover self-satisfaction. i try my best to teach faithfulness without the legalism, and people stay away in droves. should i lighten up a little? not be such a stickler about biblical truth? accept lukewarmth as a sign of the times? or maybe i should just do my job and let the chips fall where they may.
what are your thoughts?