Up. In. Out.
Connecting to God, each other, the world
Interactive relationship with God, Transparent connections, Glocal impact
Gathering, Growing and Going.
The models have different names, but they mean the same thing. It seems there are three main movements in the Christian’s life, and all three must be happening for healthy growth.
In our discussion Thursday I shared one of my core convictions in my group. I’ve heard the cliché before that the church isn’t a country club for saints, it’s a hospital for sinners. But I disagree with both of those pictures. Yes, we are all sinners and need healing, but a better image might be that the church is a training camp for Christ followers.
We aren’t meant to just go to be among other Christians and get fed and healed. We’re meant to go and do something. If the church is simply a group of nice people getting nicer, it won’t have much impact on culture. It won’t further the kingdom of God. It won’t transform a world that needs transformation.
Healing is important. Knowing God is important. Being loved and contributing to community is important. But God will also call us to risk and serve, and it’s through that obedient journey that we continue to heal, know God and experience real community. Don’t just hear the word and deceive yourself. Do what it says!
Change happens in community
Toward the end of our discussion, we talked about redeeming the practice of consumerism. It’s easy to protest, but it’s also easy to debate how effective those protests are in today’s society. Besides, as Christ-followers, we really need to be known more for what we’re for than for what we’re against. Jesus offered an alternative reality. He didn’t just argue against the existing one.
So in that process, it’s important to support people who are doing good things with their businesses. Even when you live simply, you’ll have to buy things. It’s even ok to eat out every once in a while! So when you do, shop at places that pay their employees well and buy products that are fair trade.
Wess made the point that protest is pointless when the person you’re against is disconnected from you. Real change happens when you’re connected to someone. Just protesting an action without connection just devalues the person and rarely changes action. Real change is relational change, and relational change happens face-to-face, life-to-life.