Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Life Change equals proof, and other stuff (but actually 395)

My friend Michael wrote this today. I started to comment on it, but my comment grew longer than I feel is appropriate for a comment, and is really a whole other thought, and since I haven’t posted in forever, I thought it would be appropriate as it’s own thought. Please read his post first.


I think people say they want one thing and do another. I think it's easier to watch "The Biggest Loser" and feel good about eating a salad than it is to work towards a healthy lifestyle. I think it's easier to sleep in and watch football on Sundays than to commit to a community. Easier to show up five minutes late and leave five minutes early so you don't have to talk to anyone.

I'm not being pessimistic, I just know my own tendencies, and know that most people will say they want depth, but won't go deep because it's not convenient. Depth in action is scary because it requires life change. And this is my greatest struggle as a leader of a group. When God exposes brokenness (usually my own) and I ask hard questions in my class, people tend not to come back. The struggle is that I know it's not up to me, it's God's work. My role is to speak the name of God into their lives and then to pray that they listen.

But that doesn't make me feel any better about the thousand that say they want depth and community, but then only ten show up for it. I know my job is to focus on the ten and I do. I love the ten to the best of my ability. I am content with what God is doing and who he’s bringing. The reality is I can’t handle more than that right now. I know God is protecting me, protecting Shannon and the kids.

Dr. Peterson wrote “a person has to be thoroughly disgusted with the way things are to find the motivation to set out on the Christian way.” I guess the 990 just aren’t disgusted enough yet.

Michael, I think you’re right. More than ever people want proof of the remedy before they’ll buy. And the only proof Christianity has to offer is a life well-discipled. So I’ll keep working with my ten, hoping their lives will prove to ten more.

1 comment:

Chris R said...

Good post.

I think what you're really talking about is change, whether it's faith-related or not. Talk is easy. Change is hard.

And slow. We don't change overnight - if we did, wives the world over would be married to the best husbands ever.

And faith is ultimately a habit like any other. Quitting smoking, taking up running - habits are hard to build or hard to break, depending.

Add to that the complexities of the stages of faith development (experiential, affiliative, searching, owned). Most people, in my humble and often inaccurate opinion, never get to owned because searching is too inconvenient. And that makes taking action that much harder.

So, one's disgust isn't enough. I think this trivializes the difficulty of searching - the hard questions are going to drive people away, but I guarantee you they think and talk about their faith while they're walking.

Searching their faith is the burden of the 990, and your burder is loving the ten. It sounds like you're doing a great job of carrying it.

Of course, I slept in on Sunday and watched football. All day. :)