I don’t FEEL like a disciple…

    “What’s in it for
me?”  “I didn’t get anything out of that!”  “That was the
most powerful, convicting, Spirit-filled (insert good sounding
Christian word here) service/class/small group/Bible study that I’ve
ever been to!”  “The Spirit just didn’t move me today.”

    Have you heard these kinds of statements coming out
of the mouths of Jesus-followers lately?  I hear this kind of talk
all of the time.  We’ve got this idea that the process of spiritual
formation should feel a certain way or else it’s not working.  I
should feel uplifted or challenged or something.  If I don’t feel
it then one of two things is true — either I’m not very spiritual or
the person teaching or the group/gathering wasn’t very good.  (And
we KNOW that the first one isn’t it!)  If I’m not worked up into a
spiritual frenzy or brought to tears because of my own sin or amazed by
some new teaching, then something somewhere is seriously messed up.
    Is THAT the process of disciple-making?  Have
we become so sensationalistic that being a disciple has to FEEL a
certain way?  When Jesus called his disciples, he never said
“Follow me, and I’ll make you feel really good!  It’ll be
awesome.  We’ll talk about deep stuff and you’ll leave feeling
empowered to go back and take on the challenges of life!”  As I
read it, He tells them simply to follow and when he does talk spiritual
stuff they usually leave feeling…well, confused!
    I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on the
process of mentoring/coaching/disciple making and what it boils down to
is simple — relationships.  I know, I’m not the first one to say
this and I’m probably not the best one, but if we can’t find some way
to relate to one another and help each other follow Jesus in our lame
attempts at everyday life then we’re missing the boat on this thing we
call disciple-making.  We try to sound religious and say that it’s
all about Bible study or prayer or quiet time, but it’s not.  When
did Jesus send his followers off to do introspective
navel-gazing?  When he did send them somewhere it was with the
encouragement to “get after it” not to “think about it” or “reflect on
it” or to hear stories of others who were getting after it and get
pumped up to do nothing.
    I become more like Jesus when I see you becoming
more like Jesus!  I am transformed into his likeness when you help
me to see where I’m missing the boat.  Sure Scripture is a part of
it and so is prayer, but they aren’t the bottom line of
spirituality.  Jesus calls us to obedience which requires action
not just belief.  (I’m not talking about salvation — I’m talking
about living like a student-follower.)  We’ve got to DO something
to be a part of the redeeming process in this world (The Story). 
An in-depth study of Haggai (yes, that’s in the Bible) isn’t going to
do transform me into the image of Christ the way loving my unlovely
neighbor will.  Listening to a Beth Moore or Rick Warren tape
won’t make me more like Jesus the way being vulnerable with a friend
will or noticing the blessing of my children or sacrificing my comfort
for service to an AIDS victim will.  But we’ve put FEELINGS and
KNOWLEDGE above ACTION and OBEDIENCE and we’ve developed a bunch of fat
sheep.  The only thing fat sheep are good for is Lamb Chops!
    I want to be transformed.  I want to be a part
of the transforming process for others.  So I’m making a change
today.  I’m going to commit the next weeks and months into
learning what transformation looks like.  I’m hoping to find
people who are wanting to be transformed into the image of Christ (not
just study about it, really be transformed in word and work) and I want
to pour myself into them.  I’m not looking for another meeting or
another group Bible study, just a few relationships that are real and
vulnerable and have a desire to live a deep life.  I don’t know
what that looks like and I don’t think I have to because the point is
obedience.  I’ll keep you posted as I figure it out.  Let me
know if you have any ideas (no small group bible studies, or programs
that I’ll have to buy and make copies of…please). 
   

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~ by Chris Green on November 3, 2004.

2 Responses to “I don’t FEEL like a disciple…”

  1. I posted in response to this http://misplacedkeys.net/keys/weblog/feeling_like_a_disciple/trackbacks… does this software do trackbacks? 🙂

  2. No trackbacks yet, still working on it.

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