We are four days away from the Men’s (sorry, ladies) 30-Day Next Step Challenge, so if you haven’t registered yet, do so here. What can you expect? The video below responds to some FAQs, but the keywords are adventure, mystery, fun, and team.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19). In Luke, when a man is willing to follow him, Jesus gives him a warning: “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). In other words, “Are you sure about this? Have you counted the cost?”
Frankly, I’m glad that’s how Jesus responded. It would have been much “safer” had he replied, “Terrific! Here are three books to read, twenty verses to memorize, a paper to write, and once you raise $X, we’ll give you a shot.” God’s ways are not predictable, shielded, or explainable. And they do come with a cost. I conveniently skipped past the verses about denying self and carrying our cross–those challenges, or opportunities, are for a future post–but if we’re following God, let’s go on an adventure! Let’s dare to take steps of faith. What’s your next step?
Much about adventure can be included here, particularly the part about God’s ways not being predictable, shielded, or explainable. And to be clear, saying it positively, that means God’s ways are unpredictable, unsafe, and unexplainable–the very things we’ve been taught to avoid at all costs. Yet the Son of Man extends his hand and whispers, “Follow me.” When applying for a loan or investing in a “one of a kind” opportunity, you’d be wise to heed your childhood lesson. But if the Holy Spirit nudges you in an unfamiliar direction to speak to an unlikely person about eternal things, go with it. God knows what he’s doing, and he’s not only inviting you on an adventure but to be part of his unknown Spirit work in this world. That’s both mysterious and adventurous. What’s your next step?
Jim Rayburn, the founder of Young Life, is best known for saying, “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the gospel.” Guess what? The same is true with adults. As a 55-year-old, although age twenty in my mind, I have to be cognizant that my body will not respond in the same way it used to. Therefore, I need to play sports in a lower gear than I want, but at least I get to play. That does not mean Christian adults can’t have fun and joke and laugh and play and push boundaries. I’m confident Jesus had fun with his disciples and all who followed him. While Jesus may have “relinquished the use of his divine prerogatives” (thanks, Nathan Gasaway), he kept his funny bone. Remove the ‘log’ from your eye? A camel going through the eye of a needle? (Matthew 9:24) I bet Jesus delivered those statements with a wink. What’s your next step?
You may think you’re a “self-made man,” but you’ll die a lonely one without true friends. There are far too many cliches about friends (Together Each Achieves More…for example), but they’re usually true. What we don’t like are forced friendships. What we need are legitimate ones. If you’ve got close friends, the Next Step Challenge will deepen them. If you don’t, step into the adventure and the mystery and have some fun, and then look to your left and right: friends. What’s your next step?
Have you registered yet? If not, we’ve discovered your next step.