about this weekend…
I hope in the first two messages of the this series, you have seen the importance as well as possibilities of intergenerational discipleship. Now, you may not think of yourself as much of a discipler, but here’s the deal: you are making disciples. As Jeff Vanderstelt says, we don’t have a disciple-making problem. We will make disciples, because that’s how the world works. We learn from imitation and follow the examples of others. That’s how God has made the world work. The question to ask is less about ‘how’ to make disciples, but ‘what’. What are we making disciples of? The next generation is watching, learning, and imitating. This week we will look at the ‘what.’
I think this at the heart of our declining church, which is declining generationally. Instead of focusing on the real issues, we focus on secondary things. We focus on how to stop sinning instead of focusing on how to be more passionate for Jesus. I think JD Greear sums it up well in his book Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary. Here’s a section from that book:
A Christianity that does not have as its primary focus the deepening of passions for God is a false Christianity, no matter how zealously it seeks conversions or how forcefully it advocates righteous behavior. Being converted to Jesus is not just about learning to obey some rules. Being converted to Jesus is learning to so adore God that we would gladly renounce everything we have to follow Him.
In graduate school my roommate kept a dog named Max in our house. Because poor Max was crippled in his back legs, his life consisted of lying on our doorstep and staring up at us when we walked by. I remember looking at him one day and thinking, “Based on how most people see Christianity, Max would make a fine Christian: he doesn’t drink; he doesn’t smoke; he doesn’t cuss; he doesn’t get angry; we’ve had him neutered so his thought-life is under control.”
Jesus’ disciples are not supposed to be merely compliant, neutered dogs. Jesus’ followers are to be alive with a love for God. When you love God and love others, Jesus said, all the rest of the Christian life falls naturally into place (Matt. 22: 37– 39).
This Sunday, we will really dig into the question “What are we discipling them to?” More importantly, “What is the Gospel?” Come join us as we really explore what that means.