Monday, 15 April 2019

A Call for Jesus-y Evangelicals

We need leaders marked by the living presence of Jesus that inspires men and women to bold faith.

“Follow me, as I follow Christ,”[1] seems like a pretty audacious statement to make for the average modern-day church leader. It presupposes that the things that I spend my time doing, if carefully imitated,[2] would have a kingdom revealing affect[3]. It presumes a level of spiritual integrity that is wide open to personal inspection and private scrutiny. It is the quintessential call of disciple-making in its original first-century intent. And it is as foreign to most twenty-first century evangelicals as a medium-rare filet mignon in a church potluck. In theory we believe its possible, but we’ve never seen it.

Now we have more modest goals. “Follow me to church” seems difficult enough to pull off, even when the assembly is entirely stationary – how can we expect more? So, we build our discipleship models with the expectation of motionless followers following a passionless reduction of a missionary Jesus.

But we can never get first century results with our twenty-first century commitment to disciple-making. Now, more than ever, we need something far more Jesus-y.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)

Much is written about the marks of an effective church planter. What traits are essential? How should they be trained? What gifts must be represented among the planting team? These are valid questions whose answers lead to wide-ranging implications for the nature of modern missiology. But what is missing?

Lost amid the voices is the assumed, but often neglected, foundation for all leadership. Our day calls for a resurgence of Jesus-y ...

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