I went to a Pastor's breakfast this morning with several hundred others to hear Francis Chan. The host church is of the largest in the area. I will start by saying I'm not opposed to large. I have been there and was blessed in so many ways. The opportunity to hear Chan address this type of crowd had my interest. The morning was good and the host church was gracious.
As has become his style, he quickly confessed the problem with popularity and the impact it has on a person. As he shared, the heart of his message zeroed in on discipleship. That topic is often alluded to, but not so often lived. It was a direct, honest, to the point message that gave me hope. Here's why.
Too often the pursuit is in how big can we make it. How much can we do, spend, get away with as well as how cool and cutting edge can we market it as has become the norm in church world marketing. Chan's message was don't try and build the mega, just be faithful in making disciples. Disciples make disciples is the true key. We have to talk it, model it, invest in it, re-invest, .... I think you get the point.
Too many want to go to the best show in town and leave inspired to come back the next week rather than challenged to go make disciples. It isn't about our education, it is about our pursuit of the divine healer who came as a baby and left as a risen King. It is about modeling his life. It is about the next conversation with the next person. It is about continuing to invest the lives of people. It is about living out the truth of God's word as we walk this life with others. It is about discipleship.
I did get a chuckle this morning as he was wrapping up his talk. As I said, we were in an amazing facility with all the modern trimmings, and he point blank said "this won't last". This isn't it. This can't be sustained. He wasn't poor mouthing, but just speaking about the reality that the financial, physical, emotional pressure to maintain the big is wearing people out. "Simplify"! If he said it once he said it a bunch. "Go and make disciples"... Jesus words, our command, pretty simple! Let's do it!