Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Missional Gamble

Texas Hold-’em has grown in popularity over the past few years. Most people today know what the phrase, “All in,” means. I have to admit that I’m intrigued by the game. The mathematical aspect reinvigorates a part of my brain that got a lot of use in high school but little since. I am also drawn in by the psychological aspect.

Fortunately, I never play this game for money, or I’d probably be addicted. When I play with pretend money online, I can usually guess what cards the other players have. I can usually build my virtual chip stack without much difficulty. But sometimes aggressive players force me to make calculated gambles.

I am forced all-in with cards that most of the time will result in a winning hand. When I’m all-in and the cards don’t fall right, my play money is wiped out. But when the cards do fall or when I guess correctly that my opponent is bluffing, I feel a rush as the virtual chips pile up.

I can see how people get addicted to this stuff.

I think most of us would like to find something that we could go all-in over. That’s essentially what Jesus said was required to be his disciple. He said, “If you want to be my apprentice, you must go all-in. You must give up all your potential plan-Bs and follow me wherever I take you” (Luke 9:23, Pickett Loose Paraphrase Version).

But we’ve reduced following Christ to entering into a contract for an eternal retirement plan and showing up at club meetings once a week.

It’s time we went all-in for Jesus and for his kingdom.
Faith, in biblical perspective, is not the acceptance of conventional standards of behavior, and it is not primarily an effort to safe our own puny souls: it is the exciting venture of faith in which we bet that God really is, that this is his world, and that he is like Jesus Christ.
Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come.
Following Christ should be scary, risky and exciting. We should be pouring all we have into his kingdom. We should be looking for new opportunities and ways to participate in the work that God is doing in this world.
Every church should have a Research and Development department; that is, a forum for dreaming, where nothing is impossible and no thought too outrageous. And every authentic missional church will experiment like mad in order to find new and accessible ways of being the people of God.
Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come.
Now that’s something to get excited about.

What if we turned our churches into “
skunk works”? What if our church buildings resembled the offices of an advertising agency more than a museum? What if we acted as if we really believed that God is all-powerful and everywhere-present? What if we took Jesus’ words seriously? What if we took Jesus seriously?

Let’s pray the prayer of the early Christians: “Sovereign Lord, you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. . . . Now, Lord, … enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:24, 29–30).

Pastor Rod

“Helping you become the person God created you to be”


Echindod said...

You know I only share my secret decoder ring with those who are of the elite, but I will drop you a little hint. It has nothing to do with false dichotomies between literal and figurative. Too bad too.

Echindod said...

The reason I only share with the elite is because every one knows that tulips breed pompus jerks.