"Seismic" is probably an appropriate term for what is happening right now with The Open Door Community. Sunday's gathering, in particular, included a Skype conversation with our team in Uganda followed by a teaching from Acts 11:23-26. It might have been the most important teaching moment of our life together...so far. In it, we explored the metric for "being Christian" according to what we've seen happening in Acts 1-12. Here it is:
1. Your life must be oriented around the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. Your life must intentionally be lived in community with others who are doing #1.
3. When #1 & #2 are happening, your life will become characterized by humble teach-ability, uncommon dependency, and proactive, sacrificial generosity. You will find yourself participating with God and others in His work of reconciliation, restoration, and making wrong things right. You will be a part of a community that is growing because lives are being changed.
4. You'll likely die early because it wasn't safe to "be Christian".
In Antioch, people who lived by this metric were given the name "Christian" (little crucified ones) because they lived just like the One they followed. It was meant to insult them, but I have to imagine the the communal expression of Jesus in Antioch wore this "insult" like a badge of honor. The name captured the metric!
In contrast, I told a story of a recent encounter with a young, church-raised, summer-camp attending, mission-trip participating woman who gave voice to the Western, contemporary metric for "being Christian." Here it is:
1. I "go" to church (sometimes).
2. I read the Scriptures (but not really).
3. I pray (but I don't know how nor do I think it really does anything).
4. I'm in a small group (whatever that means).
5. I serve (mostly when someone else programs it for me).
Here, today, "being Christian" seems to involve giving intellectual assent to Jesus without really following Him. We don't have time to, nor do we really want to...because if we did, He might mess with (if not ruin) "my" life, "my" dreams, and "my" plan for "my" future. Today, the metric couldn't be further from the name.
I concluded the teaching with a set of questions, confessions, and some personal repentance.
I wonder what you were thinking as you drove away...I wonder what you're thinking and how you're living today.