Recently I was given a book to read by one of my good friends, Gregg Freeman. He wrote this on the inside,
“To Matt, my brother in Christ. May the power of the Cross found within these pages, impact you as much as it has me for the cross of Christ.”
Now, I don’t read every book someone suggests, but Gregg bought me a copy and I know this book was really important to him so I bet it’s good. I am going to be reading this for the next little bit and try to blog a little something about it each time. Here are my thoughts from the first reading.
The first thing that jumped out of this book was a bold declaration by the author…there are varying degrees of discipleship (p.12). Let me be clearer…the author believes that not everyone is necessarily called to radical discipleship. Our circumstances, as varied as they are, often determine our experience. I know that may sound fishy, but the author gives several examples from Jesus own words. Not to repeat them here, suffice it to say that Jesus instructed some people to give all they had. Some were to give half of what they had. Some he called to follow him on his journey and some he turned away when they begged to be a part of it. Some were called to die preaching their faith in a far away place and some were instructed to go home and tell their family about it.
However, only a few pages later, he writes this…
“The reality of life for Christian men and women requires that they leave what is nailed down, obvious, and secure, and walk into the desert without rational explanations to justify their decisions or guarantee their future. Why? Solely and simply because God signals this movement and offers it his promise.” (p. 18)
So I don’t know where he’s going to come out on this. All in or not?
By far, the most encouraging thing for me as a church leader has to do with his message on fear. Fear has me waiting. It causes me to be concerned with what could go wrong, that I fail to go in the first place. I am praying for a great deal of wisdom, grace and ability for the coming months. I want to be bold in leadership and confident in my ability. But I’m not. I’m very afraid and until I deal with it, I and the people around me will stand still, waiting for an answer.