Well...I know I don't blog often, and I know I've never blogged seriously, so this is going to surprise just about everyone, I think.
Last night my church held it's kickoff meeting for the 2009 Men's Ministry events. What this has mean in years past is that we'd get together, eat pizza, shoot the breeze, and talk about activities that we may or may not do as a group of men in the church. All basic light and fluffy crap. This is why I never actually attended before, so I could be wrong on what they did, but outward appearances did not suggest otherwise.
This year was different. We knew going in that this wouldn't be typical. We were asked to show up with no knowledge of the agenda. Our wives were asked to pray and fast and "strongly encourage" husbands to attend. Even if I knew nothing else, I knew that this event was being given some weight. Surely they wouldn't do this for pizza and soda, would they? No, they didn't.
Our pastor got up in front of about 30-40 men of our church (though I didn't actually count so I don't know how many were actually there). He spilled his heart, shared his vision, and sat down. I won't go into all the details here, but the short of it is that he called us to follow a different model of Christianity: discipleship.
Now I've been in and around the church all my life. When I hear the word discipleship, I immediately start thinking of another class to sit through on another Tuesday night in another church basement learning from a book the ins and outs of how to serve God. But that's the Christian view of discipleship, not God's.
Now last night could not have come at a more perfect time. It's winter, so I'm already in my closed in depressive funk where I don't want to do anything and I feel cooped up and cannot accomplish anything. Add to this money troubles, economy concerns, and some stir-craziness and I'm in a right state already. Yet, I felt....something. I could call it God speaking, though I'm not sure I've ever learned to actually hear his voice. I just know that something in me was reminding me of college, when I fought for what was right, when I challenged the status quo and my brain was active, engaged, and living. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was forming a group of disciples around me, and I didn't even have the answers!
What? Disciples? Maybe not in the Christian sense of the word, but I was surrounded by people who listened to me, talked to me, learned from me, and were influenced by me. I did not lead anyone in college anywhere that I am proud of, but I did lead. And people followed. And I miss that. Not the heady sense of power in that people listen to me, but the influence I have/had in other people's lives.
So I'm remembering all this...I think it was Friday night, maybe Saturday night. I'm thinking, 'Something has to change, I'm not happy anymore'. I go to church Sunday morning and we had communion. During communion I begged God for something different, a change, anything.
So Sunday night was really the perfect time for me. My heart had been prepped and readied and I was ready to follow.
I don't know where this road will lead. God promised only to light the path at my feet, not show me where to go. All I can see is the next step. Then he'll show me the step after that, and the step after that, etc. If what the pastor said was true (and most everyone reading this knows about my issues with pastors), then this...opportunity is exactly what I have been looking for. If he's wrong and/or if it's not, I can't stop here. What was described Sunday night is what I need.
So, that's really the end of this post. I'm challenging everyone reading this to hold me accountable as I try to pursue a Biblical following of Christ, not just the acceptable definition of Christian. I may offend people, though it's not my intent, and I doubt anyone will agree with me, but that's why its my blog, so I can say what I will.
Does anyone accept the challenge? Will anyone hold me accountable? Or, moreover, is anyone willing to take this journey with me? Please know that I don't have all the answers. But I'm hoping to find some.
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