Radical Read Along Chapter 5 – How Can I?
The following is for my radical read along group, but it can pertain to you to. So if you are afraid of this kind of stuff, then wait and I will have another Linux post up soon after this one. In fact this very post may just have some Linux content mixed with the gospel so here we go.
This chapter meant a lot to me, but it just wasn’t as deep as the others have been for me. I think part of this is because I actually kind of get what Platt is saying. Why? Well if you have not read my blog before this or my other posts on geardiary.com or on Linux for Christians one thing that I love to work with (after God and my Family of course) is Linux and Open Source software. One thing that I noticed once I had become more involved with Linux has been the word community. Linux itself is a community of Linux users and software developers working towards making a better software. We hold Linux fests, Install fests and other things in the local community to help “preach the gospel” of Linux and Open Source Software. In many ways, this is exactly what Platt is talking about and I think it is something that the Linux community have down better than we Christians do because there is no Church of Linux. There is no building that is dedicated to teaching Linux. We have no choice but to go into the community and find a place to meet.
At a Linux Fest, there are a number of people that show up to learn about Linux. Not all of the people speaking have necessarily had training in teaching. They learned it either themselves or from other people like them and when they learned it, the expanded on what they had learned and then learned enough, over time, to be presenting at a Linux conference.
What happens at a church? Well most of us show up and expect to be entertained. We’re good at being, what I like to call, Sunday Christians. You know the type. They show up every Sunday and yet you see them doing unchristian like things in the workplace and at the local restaurant. They are never at a small group meeting and probably never crack their Bible open except in the service on Sunday. God didn’t want us to be like that at all and yet that’s what a lot of people who proclaim themselves to be Christian do. Heck I was like that too! I was one of those Sunday Christians. Go to church on Sunday and then never open my Bible. Never study the Bible with people. That all changed the day after I got up from the alter in tears. Giving my life to Him. Did I get where I was today overnight? No. The first step after that was to go to a small group. This is where disciples are built, in my opinion. It is where future ministry leaders and pastors can come from. Without participating in my small group, I would have never had the guts to write a blog post each week about this book.
My small group is a group of men that I would do almost anything for. I have learned so much with participating in the studies with them. Our small group is different than most. We study the Bible, but we don’t sit in a classroom like setting. We have a group of chairs in a circle. We usually use a text, but sometimes we don’t. We also always fellowship with one another and go out to dinner. These are my guys I like to hang out with not only in the Church but when we go out to dinner as well. While our group hasn’t gone out out into the community, it was through this group that I got up the courage (with a lot of prayer time) to volunteer to help other groups out as well.
Two summers ago I had volunteered to help my neighbor have a neighborhood VBS to help preach the gospel to the kids in our community. I didn’t necessarily do the preaching, but they got to see a guy there. I was the ONLY guy there and yet I did not feel uncomfortable at all. To this day if I am at Krogers or somewhere else and see either the parents or one of the kids, they remember me and how I helped them learn more about Jesus. It may not be quite what Jesus said, but it’s a step in the direction and one I could not have made without God. My favorite example of this was Platt’s experience in New Orleans.
Now comes the next step. After reading this, I think God does want me to do more in the community and to not be afraid of rejection. To not be afraid when it doesn’t instantly take hold. Finally, I need to just listen to him and make sure it’s not about me, but about God.
So one of my next steps should be to not be afraid of the frowns I might get in Church for actually taking notes about what the pastors are sharing. To not only learn about the Word to learn about it, but to share it with the world so that they may also share it with the world and help multiply the Christian community. I don’t have to go the pulpit and preach but I can go into the community and lead a Bible study. I can go into the community and pray for people. God wants me to step out of that comfortable chair in the air-conditioned church and share the gospel with the world. Will it scare me? Sure it will! However, if I am doing God’s will, how can I fail?
Update – from Marla’s Post:
1. How are you struggling with “bringing glory to God” in real, tangible ways?
Um…where to start? I think the best way I can is by being the light of the world. I mean not being afraid to share the gospel in the places I already am. If I am not afraid to do it where I am comfortable, the I may feel more comfortable sharing it in other places.
2. What are some ways you already feel God calling you to make disciples?
I’ve had the pleasure of serving as a helper in the children’s ministry recently on Sundays. It wasn’t me that got me there either. One sunday morning I got a text from the head of the ministry asking for help and I didn’t even think. I got on my knees and asked God: Should I do this? I wasn’t even down there two seconds and God told me go and show these boys how to be a man of God.
3. How could you take steps toward becoming more of a reproducer than a receiver?
Don’t be afraid of the people who are giving you looks while you take notes in church and asking questions. Studying the Bible with the intent of sharing what you read.
4. Do you find yourself (and your kiddos) isolated from the world in a spiritual safe-deposit box? How can we break open that box?
As my son goes to Public School an will likely continue with this, he is surrounded by unbelievers everyday. Our family does like to spend time around our church friends, but we spend more time around people who are unchurched than anything.
5. Share something God has done in your life/heart in the past few weeks as you’ve read.
God wants me to step out of my comfort zone and find out what he is doing in different places. He wants me to help disciple new believers.