I have a confession to make (and an online journal seems like the appropriate place to do so...GASP!!). I may have at one point in my life been a closet Trekkie...there I said it. For some unknown reason I was captivated by the character of Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the starship enterprise. And alas, I subjected to myself to hundreds of hours of television in pursuit of fascination.
One famous line that has always stuck with me is the "Where no man has gone before" that is utilized in the opening portion of the TV show. As I now devote thousands of hours to my other predominant pursuit, discipleship, I've come to the conclusion that there is a lot to be said about the polarized connection of these two subjects.
Discipleship is about becoming like someone else. In the case of Christianity, it's about becoming more like Jesus...not about becoming more like the other person who may be mentoring you or the community that may be walking life alongside of you. In the manner of parenting, there is an element of beginning to reflect the nature of your parents (values/passions) as younger children and then discovering your own uniqueness as you mature into adulthood.
Going where no man has gone before, on the other hand, is all about perceived adventure and challenge.
The issue with combining the adventurous portion of life alongside of discipleship is when the mentor or disciple-maker is unwilling to journey with the disciple, or when the disciple-maker asks the disciple to go somewhere where he or she hasn't been. As Timothy Keller writes, "one cannot traffic an un-felt truth." When we are focused on making disciples (followers of others) we must be willing to answer the question of whether or not we are willing to walk the journey together with others.
Sometimes I wonder if our pursuit of program dominates the Christian mandate to make disciples. Are we focused on getting the best experience, or are we focused on building relationships and establishing community?
As you continue thinking about how your life is going to impact the world, I hope you consider what sort of inspirational wake your life is leaving behind for others. Are you inviting people to walk with you, or are you simply pointing them down a road that you yourself are unwilling to travel?
Had a lot of fun with this one.
This is the second of a 3-part conversation on racism and the response of the local church. Join us as we learn, listen and grow.
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