Has discipleship replaced having a hobby for many Christians? That's crazy talk I hear you say, it's ludicrous. But hear me out as I think out loud about it for a moment. And anyway, even if it is crazy, this is my blog and I can be as crazy as I want to be in my own world can't I?
Back to the question. I keep thinking about the number of spaces we all occupy. There's the family space, the work space and the leisure space. Some argue that there isn't room for a fourth space, so Church or faith activity has to compete for attention with the other three spaces. Work is a non-negotiable space for most people, so in fact the competition is with leisure and family. When we fill our diaries with lots of well-intentioned activities focused on being part of a faith community, it will be either our leisure time or our family lives that will have to give up part of their space to make room for being a follower of Christ.
So maybe the discipleship question we should be asking is how do we integrate faith into our lives in order that it doesn't have to compete for time and resources and space. In other words, how do we we become everyday followers of Jesus, following him and serving him through the ordinariness of everyday life?
I don't have an easy answer to that question.
What I do know is that there are times when we are clearly too busy being Christians to be effective in God's mission. Our wholehearted commitment to meetings and planning and events distances us from the very people with whom we could be spending our time and who we could be influencing for the kingdom.
I don't invite people who are far from God to come to any church related events because I simply don't know any people in that category well enough to know how and when to invite them (and what to invite them to as well!). I'm addressing that by becoming intentional about getting to know some people who are far from God, people who are missing from the kingdom.
It's not easy. It's time consuming, and in my case energy sapping because it involves throwing myself around a tennis court for the most part! But I'm doing it, not to create evangelistic opportunities but to get to know real people who matter to God just as much as I do. Maybe one day I'll get the opportunity to extend an invitation and maybe one day someone will say yes. What is certainly true is that without this intentional move on my part, I probably would never get the opportunity in the first place.