Thursday, April 08, 2010

Why R12?

So I've been mentioning all week I'll be hosting a "virtual small group" starting Monday going over the book Living on The Edge. You may be asking yourself, why me, why you, why here, or why now?

I've already given some background on why me, but I'll dig deeper as we go through the studies.

Why you? Well, chances are if you're taking the time to visit my blog, given its theme and topics, you have some passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That makes you the perfect person to take this lesson and spread it to your own small group, house church, congregation, ministry leadership, neighbors... you get the idea.

Why here? Well, this isn't only one place this will be happening. You can also follow me on Twitter for more topics for reflection, Facebook for more discussion (sorry I don't give that one out, but if you want to follow me, leave me a message and I might hook you up), and the LOTE Facebook page for even more discussion. There will be more on that tomorrow or later this evening.

Why now? Well, that's the important question. This book came out at the beginning of the year, but I've had the original R12 study guide for a year now. I figured right after Easter is the perfect time for a spiritual 'rebirth' and that gave me time to get a head start on the discussion. But on a larger scale, why now, is because the American christianity (TM) is hurting. Faith is dwindling, the Gospel is watered down, corruption seems rampant, and our focus is not where it should be. In fact, Living on the Edge commissioned a study by the Barna Group to dig deeper into this.

I want to share some numbers that should keep you up at night if you're in love with Christ's bride:

  • 81% of those calling themselves Christians said spiritual maturity is "following all the rules"
  • Half of churchgoers don't know how their own church defines a "healthy, spiritually mature follower of Jesus".
  • Only 21% of Christians described their relationship with Jesus as a sign of their own personal spiritual maturity, 14% living a moral lifestyle, 13% being involved in spiritual disciplines.
  • A minority of churches have a written statement outlining the expectations of spiritual maturity and they often define this by what people do, not what they believe.
  • Outside of the Barna study, an anecdotal example Chip gives is someone he knows was traveling and speaking at different congregations. He asked fifty pastors what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Only one was able to give a coherent answer. Everyone else gave a vague version of "a follow of Jesus". When asked further what that looks like, answered varied as the numbers show above.

The fundamental question I will be asking throughout the study of this book, what does a disciple of Jesus look like? Chip often says the mission of his ministry is to help "Christians live like Christians." I think that is a purpose we can all get behind. If that's your desire, if that's what you long to see in your church and in the Church Universal, come back Monday as we dig in to this great study.


Mr.Montagut said...

Due, this is awesome!
I do not have any more excuses to be spiritual.
I appreciate that you are doing this.

Mr.Montagut said...

I think that you and me should start a pod cast show. You in english and me in spanish.
Lets make an studio in the actic of my house or in my tree , yes in my tree and record or broadcast a show per week
Lets do it !