Changing the World

I am finishing reading Mike Slaughter’s Change the World: Recovering the Message and Mission of Jesus.  I confess that it is one of those books I read ½ of and then put down.  Picking it back up again, I am once again engaged in an ongoing theme that is playing itself out across the church. Outwardly focused churches thrive.  They don’t just believe in Christ; they live Christ.  Inwardly focused churches die.  There are a number of challenging aspects to Slaughter’s book, but perhaps most impressive is how serious Ginghamsburg UMC takes discipleship formation.  They have clear high expectations.  In writing about membership he comments on those who join Ginghamsburg.  “They commit to regular worship attendance, a cell community for accountability and growth, a place of service, and the biblical tithe.  They commit to grow as disciples – not remain attendees” (Mike Slaughter, Change the World, p. 41). All this looks like concrete living out of the vows of prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.  It looks like living out radical hospitality, passionate worship, intentional faith development, risk-taking mission and service, and extravagant generosity.  It might make for a very fruitful and faithful Administrative Council discussion to examine how your church is doing implementing practical discipleship.  This is, after all, our mission – “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”