Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meeting Them Where They Are, & Getting Them To Move

In a recent Wall Street Journal Article on a modern crisis in education, Thomas Spence made the brilliant observation that, "If you keep meeting a boy where he is, he doesn't go very far."

That is true in secular education. It is also true regarding the faith. We need to meet people where they are, but we must not leave them there. The goal is NOT to keep meeting them where they are, but to get them to move on to where they need to be.

Read Acts two with this in mind. Peter met them where they were, but urged them to move elsewhere. We need to do this for our children, our friends, our neighbors.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Expectations & Growth

A first grader does not know what a college graduate knows; a new Christian does not know what a mature Christian knows. So we cannot expect the same thing of the first-grader or new Christian that we expect of the college graduate or the mature Christian, right? Wrong. We should expect the same thing. The thing we should expect was expressed by Paul in this way, "let us hold true to what we have attained" (Phil 3:16).

Our level of knowledge and our experience of the faith will not be the same, but we must "hold true" to whatever level of knowledge and faith we have attained. We must expect, even of new Christians, that they hold true to what they have attained or they will never grow. If we once begin to allow the expectation of giving second-best to God, if we treat halfheartedness as acceptable, maturity will never come.

Lack of knowledge is understandable in the new convert. Lack of resolve is not. Lack of maturity is understandable, but it is never acceptable to give halfhearted commitment to the Lord.

I often hear it said that we cannot expect much commitment from new Christians, but my experience contradicts this. New Christians are often very aware of the blessings of God’s grace and highly committed to honoring Him with their lives. They stay committed until they learn that lukewarmness is the expectation in the modern church. Rarely is it high expectations that hinder growth. Most of the time, growth is hindered because we expect too little, not because we expect too much.

The little ones are caused to stumble not because we expect too much of them but because we expect too little of ourselves. Let us "hold true to what we have attained" and encourage others to do so as well.