Wednesday, August 6, 2014

would you rather...

Eddie got to preach this weekend at So. IN. Good stuff!

His premise started with something near and dear to an economist: opportunity costs (!)-- phrased as a "would you rather?"

The choice he presented: "one new spiritual truth every day" vs. "give one thing away that might change someone's life". Posed like that, the former is the obvious choice, since receiving new spiritual truths will change your life and those around you. (If they don't change you, then they aren't received, spiritual and truth!)

But Eddie played with various angles on the choice, adeptly calling the audience to serving others and gaining truths-- and making the sobering point that religion and religious people often get in the way of people coming to Christ. 

A few other thoughts struck me:
1.) Of the two "choices", I suspect many would be drawn to the latter, because it's sexier and quicker. In contrast, the methods, message, and ministry of Jesus-- the call to discipleship and making disciple-makers-- are messier and require a ton of time and effort...often, one spiritual truth at a time!

2.) You must receive in order to give. All have received at some level, but having received more is preferable-- in order that one can give more. From another angle, mission and vision are essential-- but so is getting "thoroughly equipped for every good work". What are you doing to get more thoroughly equipped? Sermons are necessarily milk-- a nice start, but... Passively sitting in a study won't do much for you. Failing to serve, you miss the opportunity to grow your faith in community. Failing to practice spiritual disciplines, you take a bunch of tools out of the bag God has given you. And so on.

3.) There's a lot more to the Christian life than Bible study. But it's a significant player. And there's a big difference between attending a Bible study and being a Bible studier. At the low end, you have people who regularly and passively attend sermons and studies. (A nice start, but don't get stuck there!) Moving along the spectrum, you have those who actively engage in more rigorous studies. And then, much further along, you have those who actively study on their own. We have a lot of people in churches and in Bible studies, but how many are Bible studiers?

4.) Eddie cited some data on the proportion of attenders who serve. From what I know of the data, I'd guess that Bible study attenders are more likely to serve (and tithe)-- and that Bible studiers are the most likely. Anybody have data on that?

Thoughts on any of the above?


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