6 Ways to Make Disciples

Caesar Kalinowski, a missionary, entrepreneur, church planter, and strategist, has some great ways to incorporation disciple-making into your life.

He suggests 6 Rhythms to use in your community. These are things that you can be intentional about, without making them additional things to add to your already-busy life.

1. Know the story – We all have a story. We must put our story into the context of God’s story, rather than the story told to us by our parents, or the media, or or boss.

2. Listening – We’re always listening to someone, but are we listening to God? We must listen to the Holy Spirit, and cultivate a rhythm of listening to God in community.

3. Celebrate – Life is living in a rhythm of celebration. Everyone has a birthday, and holidays, and graduations are over. Join that rhythm by celebrating our joy in eternal life.

4. Eat – We’re already eating every day. What if we were to have meals with people who we want to disciple?

5. Bless – Ask the Spirit to reveal to you 3 people you could bless each week. Imagine everyone in your neighborhood each blessing three people a week. It could transform a place.

6. Recreate – The rhythm of rest and work. Rest in Christ’s completed work, and then out of that, create beauty and value through our work. It’s the idea of Sabbath.

Via – The Verge


Homosexuality & Christianity: Becoming part of the solution

homosexuality_group-224x300Most of us are affected by homosexuality in some way, even aside from the nonstop news and political noise. It’s personal. But how do we think about homosexuality as Christians? Some of us feel conflicted between what our friends believe, what our pastor is saying, and what the media is saying.

That’s why we thought it would be edifying to dedicate our most recent 20s Night to discussing homosexuality and Christianity with someone who has spent time and effort studying the topic. Allison J. Althoff, who wrote the popular feature for Christianity Today, Hope for the Gay Undergrad, came to facilitate a discussion about this potentially awkward topic.

We spent time discussing what the church is doing well, what the church is doing poorly, and what we can do to be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem.

Here are some take-away points from the discussion:

1) Gay = straight. No matter what your sexual orientation, God sees us all the same. Period. The second you think you are “superior” to someone who is attracted to members of the same sex is the second you need to go wash the plank out of your eye.

2) Don’t develop canned responses. It’s okay to say “I don’t know” to someone’s questions about sexuality and Christianity. You can’t save anybody, and God will ultimately be the judge of their sins. All we’re called to do as believers is to intercede in prayer and love.
3) Admit you yourself are a broken person. Be a doormat for others struggling by opening up first and telling people why you need Jesus. Your vulnerability and authenticity will inspire others to search and reveal their hearts as well.
4) Admit your own ignorance and naivete. If you don’t know anything about homosexuality, don’t be afraid to admit it.
5) Do not pity someone for their sexual orientation. “I’m so sorry you’re gay” won’t score you points with anyone.
Read Allison’s recap of the whole event on her blog.

Christians Are . . .

Christians are

Ever since our fall into sin in Genesis 3, the effects have permeated everything and broken everything — bodies, hearts, minds. One of the effects on the mind is that there is a skewed understanding of what Christianity is about.

To some degree, our understanding is re-invented every generation; the effects of sin don’t change, but culture and sin’s pressure points do change. We are often fighting off accusations of being violent, or extremist, or close-minded. In order to address this image-problem, we can be proactive in avoiding those stereotypes when we interact with others. Sociologist and scholar Christian Smith, who wrote Lost in Translation, suggests that we can do this by being:

1. Convicted, but charitable, capable of good and constructive arguments.

2. Committed, but interested in reasonable, rigorous, fun conversations.

3. Serious, but not rigid or reactionary.

4. Evangelistic, but interested in other people not just as souls to save but as real people to learn from, as gifts for us to receive.

5. Caring about the right ideas, about truth, but interested in reciprocity.

6. Critical of the world, yet appreciative of the good in it as God’s good creation.

The 20s Mission is working to disciple and support young adults Christians as we articulate our Christian identity in the midst of many cultural changes.

If you’re in the Chicago area, come to one of our monthly events, where you can hear from other professionals and Christian leaders and discuss what it means to be a Christian in your environment.


Faith, Work and Ministry: How do I commit?

When I was in college, I decided to do something different than many of my friends and not major in theology or ministry. I sensed that some of them were focusing on Biblical studies or ministry simply because they thought it was a higher profession, or that it was rewarding to study. A ministry vocation would be more likely to ensure that one is a faithful Christian, many of us assumed.

(Of course, this idea is present among Christian colleges, while some people in secular colleges tend to view vocational ministry as “not a real job.” That is equally problematic, because the Bible teaches that ministry is a necessary job worthy of support from the church in 2 Cor. 11:7-8).

While I too felt that I was growing in my faith while studying theology, I also didn’t believe that I was called to vocational ministry. And while staying strong in your faith takes effort, the Bible teaches that Christians are called to participate by working in many vocations, not just ministry.

In a recent Relevant Magazine article by KC McGinnis noticed the same problem. Here is how he describes our responsibility to participate in many vocations:

Because all honest work displays the image of God and demonstrates His care, it is valuable even before a single co-worker comes to faith, even before a single cent is given to charity. This view of work breaks down the distinction between the ministry and the marketplace. Both become part of a larger category: God’s work.

God designed us to work, and even allows us to make work something that doesn’t sound so boring as “work” — it can be a source of joy and fulfillment as we join him in the creative and productive process. It’s also helpful to acknowledge that our job is not our whole life, and that we have obligations to our fellow Christians, friends and to ourselves.

It’s also helpful to acknowledge that our job is not our whole life, and that we have obligations to our fellow Christians, friends and to ourselves. If work is the only thing we think about day and night, that is equally a problem of balancing our priorities.

The bottom line is that God’s desire is for us to be fulfilled in finding peace with Him, with each other, and with the gifts that he gives each of us.

Which is a bigger challenge for you? Is it harder to find joy in your work, or is it harder to get away from work and enjoy other parts of life?


Who is in your community?

life-together1

 

We’re all social creatures, or as David Brooks put it “Social Animals.” We are highly influenced by the people around us, our friends, family and coworkers.

That is why Jesus set up the Church, for us to build up one another according to God’s teaching and be able to live with, and influence one another to become more like Him.

This is how Dietrich Bonohoeffer put it in his great book Life Together:

“Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and In Jesus Christ. No Christian community is more or less than this.”

This means:

1. Christians need each other because of Jesus Christ.

  • “God has willed that we should seek and find His living word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of man.”
  • “The community of Christians springs solely from the Biblical and Reformation message of the justification of man through grace alone; this alone is the basis of longing of Christians for one another.”

2. Christians come to one another only through Jesus Christ

  • “Christ became the Mediator and made peace with God and among men. . . . Christ opened up the way to God and to our brother.”
  • “Only in Jesus Christ are we one, only through him are we bound together.”

3. In Jesus Christ we have been chosen from eternity, accepted in time, and united for eternity.

  • “If, before we could know and wish it, we have been chosen and accepted with the whole Church in Jesus Christ, then we also belong to him in eternity with one another.”
  • “He who looks upon his brother should know that he wil be eternally united with him in Jesus Christ.”