Many of us truly believe God has good plans and purposes for our lives. But how do we discern His purpose? How do we know if where we’re headed is out of selfish ambition, or Kingdom calling? And when we do see the vision He has for our lives, how do we get started?
Stepping into God’s calling for your life is quite a journey, and it all starts with discovering God right where you are.
Read the whole article here.
I don’t think there are many Christians who have escaped the church unscathed. Most of us have been on the receiving end of gossip, judgment, unjust accusations, rejection, hypocrisy, even spiritual, emotional or physical abuse—all at the hands of people who by their own definition (Christ followers) should be the last to judge, criticise, reject or misuse. Is it any wonder that people are turning to Christ but rejecting Christianity, when Christianity is riddled with harsh churches and GOD HATES FAGS pickets? Or worse—abandoning Christ because of Christianity?
Two interesting reads in this regard. The first is Dan Kimball’s Adventures in Churchland, which tackles this trend by challenging churches to rediscover their Christ roots. Their Christ roots, not their Christian roots. He wants churches to get back to judging…but the right kind of judging: loving action to help people in their walks with God, not the legalistic rejection of practices that don’t align with their own view of scripture.
The second is Dave Burchett’s When Bad Christians Happen to Good People. His approach is more humorous than Kimball’s, but the same basic message prevails. He points out that in the early church, the people who believed in Christ were called disciples, not Christians. And maybe a little something (well, a lot of something) went missing in the eventual transition. That’s what we need to get back if we want our churches not to work (most churches’ biggest concern nowadays) but to serve.
Both books are interesting reads peppered liberally with personal experience and practical advice. Perhaps some people won’t read them because “they’ve been saved” or are actively involved with a church with no problems, but that’s missing the point of these books: they’re as much for the apostle as the apostate.
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Note: While my review is an honest reflection of my opinion on the books, I should mention that I received free copies in exchange for a review. Dan Kimball’s Adventures in Churchland I got from NetGalley and Dave Burchett’s When Bad Christians Happen to Good People from Waterbrook Multnomah.
“It can be a great kindness from the Lord to fall.”
Confessions of a Ministry Snob | RELEVANT Magazine.
When the focus of the church is on its own maintenance, rather than on living according to the values of the kingdom, it is unable to foster genuine community within its own ranks or engage in ministry to others. Such churches become self-defensive, safe, cultural “holy clubs” rather than engaging in demanding, loving and risky ministry. The church becomes a social club, promoting “get togethers”, where members talk only to each other, not caring for strangers, sinners, or those in need.
— Ethics and Spirituality by L Kretzschmar.
Jesus was not a fan of the comfort zone. At one point He said, “I’ve come to disrupt and confront!” An idea foreign to most Christians today. Most Christians today have an “us” mentality, which is ironic considering that Jesus spent so much time with “them”: the sinners, losers and weirdos.
So how do we shake off the bake sale committees and return to ‘risky ministry’?