The rhythms of being a Great Commission follower of Jesus, are not one-size-fits-all prescriptions. These are rhythms that you can begin to move within, and when you form habits out of those rhythms, it’s going to look different for you than it does for me. That’s the genius of God, because He’s created us all unique. We’re not cookie-cutter individuals; therefore, the way that we walk out the Great Commission looks a little different in everybody’s life.
- Relentless Welcome. Relentless welcome is relentlessly looking for the “others” in your life and bringing them close. What Jesus did is, rather than showing up and going to the center of religious power, the Temple, or the center of military power, Rome; rather than either of those things, Jesus showed up on the backside of Judea and began to go to all of the people that the religious elite didn’t want to have anything to do with. Jesus started hanging out with sinners, and with tax collectors. He began to hang out with sick people, lepers, wounded people. He began to hang out with women. He began to spend his time in all the places where the religious elite refused to go, and yet His message was consistent that the Kingdom of God has come near to you.
And see, at the heart of the message and mission of Jesus is going to the places that everybody else refuses to go, and finding those who are far from God, and marginalized in society, and telling them that “There is a place for you in the Kingdom of God.”
- Inspirational Gatherings. That is, living in the vital awareness that when we gather, the Spirit is going to move.The rhythm of inspirational gatherings is when you and I begin to recognize that wherever I go, whether it’s 2,000 people or 2 people, that as long as I’m there and Jesus is in me, his Spirit is upon me, that all the resources of heaven are present, and I need to stop looking at the deficit and start looking at the opportunity that God’s presented me with. And if we begin to go to work, and go to the next meeting, and go to our life groups, not just committed to the status quo, but with the availability that this may be a moment when God wants to inspire me, where God wants to use me, where God wants to minister through me, then all of the sudden, every moment of every day looks a little bit different.
- Transforming Discipleship. Transforming discipleship is choosing to move beyond information to transformation. In John 8:31, Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” God’s Word is great enough, the gospel is strong enough, His Spirit is alive enough, that if you abide in his word, as one theologian said, practice long obedience in the same direction, then you will see the transforming power of the Spirit of God working in your life. That’s the rhythm of transforming discipleship.
- Authentic Community, and this means embracing the power of living vulnerably and honestly within a community of faith. We are more connected, in this internet age, than we’ve ever been before, and yet we are more isolated and lonely than any other generation in history. The reason is that activity and people in your space is different than learning to live with vulnerability and transparency. At Living Water, things like The 33 Journey, our men’s ministry on Tuesday morning, or women’s Bible study that’s just about to begin, or men’s retreat, women’s retreat, youth retreats, and life groups are so important, because they begin to provide a space for you not to just be a name, or not just to be a “hey, you,” but to be a real person, with real things going on in your life, and not having to navigate that on your own. So we choose to live in the rhythm of authentic community, and choose to make ourselves vulnerable with the people that we trust.
- Community-Changing Mission. Community changing mission is trusting that when we are who God has called us to be, the community around us will look different. The rhythm of community changing mission is the rhythm of putting our trust and our faith in the fact that God really does have a plan, and that he’s not asking me to be somebody that I’m not, or to be somebody else.