By Gabe Lyons
Gabe Lyons really hits it home with The Next Christians. The book itself was an easy read when it comes to the content and time it took to read, but it takes time to process and see how it is impacting you. This book is not one to take lightly it is a book that challenges the reader to ask themselves, what are they doing as Christians to make an impact on those around us. This book has hit me at a time in my life where i have been asking myself whats next, how do I do this thing called my Christian Walk and living in Community with others. After reading it I have no clearer answers but I do realize that there are others with the same struggle and battle.
Lyons talks about the fact that we are coming to a point in time that we must “reenvision” what our faith is, how it plays out, or should i say how it is lived out. We need to find a way to help those around us to experience the Christian faith in such a way that it meets their deep spiritual needs. Current or past Christianity does not necessarily do that. Our church’s are making less of an impact on the people that attend and less of an impact on the communities they minister to.
Lyons discusses the 6 Characteristics that set “Next Christians” apart: 1. Being provoked and not offended. 2. Creators, not critics. 3. Called, not employed. 4. Grounded, not distracted. 5. In Community, not alone. 6. Countercultural, not “relevant”
The points that I think resonate so personally to me are the Called and not employed and in community and not alone. We are called to a life of ministry not just one vocationally, and we are called to not live our life out alone. These are just two areas that I personally felt and seen God nudging me. I know that there are others. Take a further look into The Next Christians” to be further challenged and inspired to change.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group <http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks/> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This might be an odd question on the surface, but it is a deep question that is hitting me right now. My small group is reading and discussing John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart. And tonight I spent time sitting down and talking with one of my close friends the issue after watching Rob Bell’s Nooma “Name”.
I think it is so often hard for us today to know who were are. We often try to find our meaning in the things we buy, the house we have, the car we drive, or the job and title we hold. In pursuing our meaning in this way we are seeking fulfillment in a way that we will never find complete fulfillment. Basically we are hiding behind a mask or what we think we are, when in all actuality God has created each one of us to be something special. He has called us and given us our name. First and foremost we are a child of God, a sinner redeemed from our sin by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Secondly and only secondly are we a sinner who has a past that impacts who we are, how we see things, and the way we work through our Christian journey.
We need to make the decision to find our identity in Christ and seek to live out the calling He has placed on our lives.
It is not easy, nor is it something that I claim to have mastered in anyway. But it is something I seek to live out daily in my life from here forward.
(Sorry there isn’t a pic I may find one later)
Heard an awesome sermon on Sunday. Brady Neemers who is our church’s youth pastor started up a 3 week series called Shine. This last Sunday he spoke on the story of Moses. He brought up the issue that things seemed to be just going along for Moses but his life was not in tension. During the times of laying low it did not appear that his passions were being stirred or that he was moving for God. However things were different when he was called into tension and the middle of things. Moses tried to find excuses as to why he could not do what God was calling him to, but in the end Moses moved into the tension.
I’m at a point right now where I am between passions, in a job that is ok for now but not what I want to do, and well finishing up a degree that I’m not sure I’m called to use in full time ministry. I’m at a spot where I am not sure what passions God is calling me to puruse or what ways He wants to use me to minster. So I’m at a point where I am frustrated and stalled. I’m not living in the tension. I have for the time being put my big passion to be in full time ministry on hold, but have not yet found what the passion for the coming days/years is to be. I’m waiting to know what God wants me to do and what doors will open. I have ideas from non-profits to business startups. But in the end I’m not sure yet where God is calling me. I want to move into the tension, but Guess I must be patient.
-How can God use me where I am at now, and How is He using me?
-What does God want to be marks of my life?
-How can I find and move into that “tension”?
Pondering and wondering anew…..
Well My big question these days is where is God leading me……
What is my purpose here on Earth? What type of ministry, career, calling does He have for me….?
Questions, questions, questions…….
Where are the answers? Where is the bright light illuminating my path? Where is that telegram from God?
I know that I am not going to just have things drop into my lap. I know that I need to pray. Have others pray, and well trust God to lead me….
I have one more year of Seminary and then I don’t know whats next. I have a job that pays but not sure it is where I am meant to spend the rest of my life.
I’m not sure if I’m called right now to full time ministry, part time, volunteer, or what. With a child on the way its scary to look and all. I just pray that God will lead me to the right place and that the opportunity He wants me to puruse that He will show it to me.
Here I am load, your clay, mold me, form me, lead me and guide me in your way!