Every Follower a Discipler/Gatherer
Every Gathering an Apprenticeship for Life and Mission
This is a year for breaking new ground in our local simple church life.
Motivated by our international efforts where we regularly see the wonder of disciples and churches reproducing and making a kingdom impact in their communities, I long to see a little more of the same in our home context.
I have some thoughts that I plan to share throughout the year as we, as a local family of believers, implement some new ideas in the context of middle America. Nothing earth shaking. Nothing that would be characterized as paradigm-busting, but hopefully a synthesis of simple, Biblical, Jesus-following life that produces more of the same: Jesus-following life.
This, in fact, brings us to the first characteristic of what we want to focus on, again, and stay focused on: Every Believer a Daily Follower.
There is no other starting point, no other place to live out the believer’s life other than Jesus’ call: “Come follow me.”
I am tempted to add many great adjectives to the word “Follower:”
- Lovesick Follower
- Listening Follower
- Surrendered Follower
- Intimate Follower
All of these apply and, in the end. I hope we can all re-capture the simple beauty and glory of what it really is to be Jesus’ follower every day. No, I mean JESUS’ follower. Really… HIS follower… the Creator of All and Originator of Life and Glory… Follower.
Do you remember when this reality first grabbed you with a life-changing energy? Jesus. God of Wonder, pursues you, desires you, loves you with everything within Himself, giving everything of Himself in sacrifice, so that He can call you His own and invite you to do life with Him and to reveal His life within you?
I was a nineteen-year-old, lost and shame-filled bungler who was absolutely captivated by Him. His reality turned my life inside out—and following Him was the greatest privilege I could imagine.
Glory and wonder. Wonder and glory. Joy, even when the following leads through difficult times.
And yet, we have allowed the wonder to dim. Or MUCH worse, we have replaced the wonder of being a “Follower of Jesus” with religious baggage, attitudes, and behaviors that have turned these words into nothing more than:
- Dutiful serving of a church or leader
- Conforming to the rules of a Christian, religious culture
- Striving to re-shape ourselves to be more like “others” who seem more “spiritual”
My heart for simple/house church expressions of church life was never born out of just another “way to do church” or to find a different place to meet, rather it’s that original longing that is in all Believers to live, 24/7, as Spirit-filled, God-empowered, grace-energized, lovesick, turned-inside-out-for-God people that we really ARE.
Every believer a daily follower for reals… Imagine just that transformation alone… what our world would look like.