The early church didn’t play around. The apostles and all the other friends of Jesus threw their whole lives into experiencing and sharing the reign of God in community. For that first band of Jesus-followers, discipleship cost everything: Home, family, career, security, and personal safety were all on the table. The new life and community they experienced in Jesus was worth dying for.
And they often did.
Can we say the same today? In that early, radical movement, the followers of Jesus pooled their resources, time, and energy. The good news of the kingdom was everything to them. Church wasn’t a hobby or Sunday-morning activity. It was the fullness of their lives.
Today, a church might be considered healthy if most of its members show up every week for an hour of worship and give a small percentage of their money to the work of the Jesus community. Our expectations have changed so completely, it’s hard to even imagine what things would be like if the mission of the church came first, and all other concerns second.
We modern Christians have to ask ourselves the question: Is this real for us? Is the gospel real? Is our experience of Jesus Christ real? Are our relationships as part of the local Christian fellowship real?
Or is it just a hobby?
Most of us spend 40+ hours a week doing the work that the world pays us for. Is that the work that God is calling you to? Is your livelihood an organic part of the upside-down kingdom that Jesus calls us to?
If not, what are you going to do about it?
If there’s anything that God can’t stand, it’s half-hearted, lukewarm faith. I pray that together we’ll find a way to break into the whole-grain bread of life that we’re called to, and not be satisfied with the thin gruel of hobby Christianity.
It’s hard to imagine the power that would be unleashed if we were to choose life, full life in Jesus. Do we dare?