Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Following Jesus in the real world

Apologies for the lengthy delay between posts here at unChurch, unInc. One unchurch writer has been in Romania, showing the kingdom of God to assorted friends.

Me? I have no excuse, other than the busy-ness of life, and a lack of writing inspiration.

Time to get back on the writing track. We'll start simple, by stealing something from someone else: My good friend Kevin recently posted a great link on Facebook that I thought was worth sharing.

Can We Follow Jesus Without Being Dramatically Countercultural?

This article caught my attention because the writer talks about college students who get fired up about Jesus in campus ministry (specifically, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, which is the group I was a part of in college), but then graduate and go on to adulthood "church stasis."
    "...all these students who'd get fired up about Jesus in an InterVarsity group, but then, after graduating, would see their faith fizzle in some respects. They'd go to churches that, in short order, they'd complain about. They wouldn't overtly leave Jesus behind, by any means. Nor, in many cases, would they leave the church they complained so bitterly about. They'd just stay in this stasis for a long, long time--no longer excited about faith, no longer about anything particularly helpful for God's kingdom, just sort of frozen."
Hmm. Are you talking to me?

The decision process used by many new graduates follows this general pattern:
  • Find a job, which determines a general location in which to live
  • Find an apartment near enough to the job
  • Find a solid church near to where you live
  • Get involved in one aspect of the church you begin to attend
  • Make new friends, if possible, in your new small group or ministry team.
The article/book talks about a radically different pattern that some Christians are taking when they graduate, and it's almost the reverse:
  • They chose ministry partners, with whom they shared kingdom values and a common vision for life.
  • They chose a ministry field and a church that supported and helped them advance ministry in their field.
  • They found an apartment in a convenient location that facilitated their ministry and relationships in their church.
  • They found jobs that supported them while involved in ministry and the life of their church."
I thought this would, in particular, appeal to people like Craig, who did a pretty close version of that.

So is this possible? If so, is it something that's only for the "young and unattached"? Why do so many of us follow the first pattern, and not the second?