A Good friend, Jonathan, recently started a blog all about change, how change happens…
He invited me to write something about a study I participated in on education as transformation that would be readable for people outside of the Church, he posted yesterday..
I love that this blog is about change. Change is what humanises us.
Think about any narrative you have ever read, or watched. A truly captivating character is one that changes. At the the heart of every good story, whatever the surrounding circumstances, there is a person who changes.
And yet, despite being captivated by the idea of change, most of us feel the futility, or at least the slowness, of change in our own lives and those around us.
Read More over at ChangeWriter – http://changewriter.net/stop-giving-forgettable-talks/
We as the People of God should be motivated to be Change Agents where we spend our weeks! Keep reading our friend Jonathan’s blog to learn more about the how.
In my last post I talk about my bias that discipleship is really the core of what it is all about. Unfortunately, like many often-used words, it has a way of getting watered down, murkied, and down-right greyed out, until we can’t make head or tail of it. Here’s my take;
Discipleship is intentional relationship.
(I actually stole that phrase from a good book-writing friend of mine..)
I love the simplicity of that description, firstly it speaks of the importance of being in intentional relationalship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus is the one we are the disciple of, not our church pastor, small group leader, older friend. If we latch onto these people as the ones we are being formed into the image of, we will end up with the same distortions, blind spots, and exagerations. Jesus is the one we must never lose a vision of, He is the only one worthy of imitation into a place of deep change.
Im not advocating some mystic individualised faith here, people are massively important to this whole process. While I wanted to make sure we had our eyes on Jesus first, healthy discipleship does not take place when we isolate ourselves. People give us way markers, they give us correction, they give us the raw materials of frustration to find the gold of character God is looking to bring out in us.
As ever the wisdom, is not in a ‘one way or the other’ approach, but in a third way, the middle way. Do you want to help others around you become disciples of Jesus? Do you want to become more like Jesus and need input? Intentional relationship, make friends, and be focussed on becoming more like Jesus.
Too much intentional, and not enough relationship brings to mind awkward street preaching scenario’s, where it seems like the goal is for someone to agree to an intellectual statement that corrects a legal standing but has little to do with people or relationship.
Friendship evangelism was catch-phrase for a while, and its hard to argue against true relationship being the most important aspect in most people becoming followers of Jesus. But at some point, we have to be intentional about sharing Jesus, about inviting others to speak into our lives so that we become more like Jesus.
Are there other Jesus-following friends you could invite to have that kind of voice?
Are there friends you have who don’t know Jesus and you are holding back your reason for living?
Ask God for the love and courage to have intentional realtionship, and enter the life of discipleship.
This is our blog, we haven’t been too good at keeping it up to date, but I am engaging in a well know tradition in this internet world, the blog re-entry! For anyone who knows much about the fringes of the blog-world, the re-entry post has about as much possibility of keeping momentum as all our best efforts to keep new years resolutions..so no promises!
As most of you will know, Rachel and I have spent almost all of our married life now in South Africa, searching out what the Father is doing and trying to join in. We are only two people so we know, that a) we can’t do it all, and b) that even if we could it wouldn’t be a good thing. So we have found our corners of the harvest field, sought to be faithful, love well, be adventurous, and learn.
The nature of becoming a missionary requires, for most at least, a pretty clear idea of what you want to do. It’s hard to get people alongside you to simply emigrate! But on a number of levels, I think most people discover in this vocation, most of your preconceived ideas about what might be helpful are wrong, apart from one big one..What Jesus said and began in his life, death, resurrection and ascension, really really is the HOPE of the World. We’ve scratched about for some other possible answers, but honestly there is nothing else.
I don’t profess lots of wisdom at the tender(ish) age of 29, but a good (much wiser) friend here told me: “Don’t trust any re-telling of the Gospel that tries to say they have the way, or the corner on how to explain it all, at the heart of it, it was meant to be understood by fisherman and farmers”.
It has turned out to be good advice in the midst of a world of projects, rallying calls, and celebrity church culture, but I have realised (like most of us after reflecting honestly for a while), that I do have a bias, a lens, an inclination as I read over the bible and invite the Spirit of truth to illuminate it for me. It is about becoming more like JESUS. That’s been called discipleship, and then more historically has found names like, christian education, spiritual formation etc. But when it comes down to it, Im convinced we will be most grateful at the end of time for the ways in which we were formed into the image of Him who is LOVE.
With both of our roles in All Nations requiring some administration, Liam studying for a second degree, and Rachel studying Gallup Strengths coaching, plus our communication with you our supporters, we saved this year to buy a new laptop.
As we looked online to buy a laptop in the states and have a friend bring it back, someone generously gave for us to buy a second more basic laptop for Rachel. We had our friends Johnny and Jenni buy them on our behalf and send them to our friend Isaac who was visiting the states to carry home.
Unfortunately in Johannesburg his bags were delayed and the baggage handlers stole both of the brand new laptops out of the bag. We are continuing to pursue re-imbursement but it has become clear that with disclaimers for laptops with the airlines and credit card companies. It seems they are lost with little chance of us seeing any meaningful re-imbursement. All in all we had spent just under £1600/$2500, but our cost of replacement will be more like £2200/$3450 because of exchange rates and education discount applied to the original order.
Although we have actually enjoyed the grace of God empowering us to not freak out at this and be ‘content in all things..’, Please pray with us that we can find a way to buy new laptops as they are vital for our day to day work and efficiency. If you would like to give to help us recover the laptops please go here
Here in Cape Town we are longing to see disciples making disciples, planting Jesus amongst those who don’t know him. Last year I was able to sit in a workshop with David Watson and hear his take on planting Jesus amongst the lost in such a way that it is multiplied into a self perpetuating movement. If you have 15mins it is well worth your time to watch him speak here, hearing the motivation for us to Go, and some principles rooted in scripture for how we Go.