This information is not original with me, but from a fascinating book I found entitled, “The Passionate Church: The Art of Life-Changing Discipleship.” Since I am a visual learner, I have included my personally designed diagrams along with my own notes to help in my disciple-making and teaching efforts.
The three dimensions found in the triangle are necessary for us to live a balanced life.
He has shown you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you. To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. –Micah 6:8
- Jesus got up – He went out to pray, nurturing the up relationship with his Father. Every time you pray, you are simply responding to God’s call to your heart.
- Jesus invited others in – He came back to call together his disciples. They were to be with Him, before He would send them out to preach (Mark 3:14). Life should come with a warning label: Do not Attempt This By Yourself.
- Jesus reached out – He never lost sight of the Father’s mission and vision, to reach out to a lost and dying world.
- Up and Inners – lots of praise and worship, study of the Bible, and do a good job of building community; but people can come and go anonymously, and in the larger crowd people can attend without making commitments.
- Up and Outers – committed to the Upward and high regard for the Bible and prayer, also concerned with reaching outside of the walls of the church, lots of outreach, strong support of missions; but the Inward is lacking, small group ministry is more duty than desire, “we” is not as important as “they.”
- In and Outers – perhaps in older mainline denominations stressing incarnational ministry, with a heart for the cities, caring for the hurting and lost; prayer is more by rote rather than due to passion or personal petition, Scripture reading is part of the service format but not expounded.
Balancing our Relationships:
A culture of disconnection – fractured families, disenfranchised friends, independent individuals, reality TV that allows people to experience living together by proxy.
Jesus was not worried about being fair – many pastors keep their distance from their people so as to not play favorites. Jesus had three very close friends, the inner circle. What did the other nine think of this? Apparently Jesus did not care what they thought! What did the 72 think about the 12? He did not try to be fair.
Balancing outreach – we must get out of our comfort zones and find that uncomfortable balance.
We are to live out of purpose – how can we find our personal mission in life? The authors tell of a story about a man who put an ad in the paper that said, “Join me, send on passport-sized photo.” They eventually needed a reason for the movement, and the man came up with doing random acts of kindness every Friday.
Practice will get you into this rhythm of walking, and walking with God is the definition of a disciple.