You get what you inspect, not what you expect. With that leadership lesson I have too often realized my own agreeable nature fails to be as loving as Jesus is. Jesus has great expectations for his disciples; expectations that pushed their minds and captured their hearts. However when it comes to the inspection of his expectations in their lives Jesus follows through. Jesus calls the Twelve that they might be with Him and that He might send them out and that they may have authority…
While they are with Him Jesus makes the most of every teachable moment. As I read the Gospels I find that He is inspecting their lives for faith, servanthood, clarity about His identity, kingdom values such as obedience to Him and sacrificial giving. As well His teaching seems to constantly seek to realign their worldview to the coming reality of the cross and the resurrection. It’s as if Jesus confronts them with pain and their need for change daily: “You thought God was like this, but He is not; He is like me.” The disciples are being confronted with forgiveness, grace, and the incarantion of God in flesh.
When it comes to discipleship and the question of missional or incarnational living, I find that I am of two minds. I am right brained and left brained. Moses came down the mountain with the Law and I want the disciple of Jesus to know the Word of God. Jesus came down from Heaven as the fulfillment of the Law and I want the disciple of Jesus to know Him. I want their knowledge to be formed by their experience of the Word and Him by the Spirit and I want their experience to be formed by the knowledge of Him and the Word.
This requires inspection of the most crucial expectations. So Paul says to Timothy, “Watch your life and doctrine carefully that you might save some.” Obediece to Jesus as a response to grace is the fruit of a regenerate and Spirit-filled life. As we have been seeking to work this out at Cityview we have landed on three words to describe our congregation’s strategy for pursuing our vision of L.I.F.E. as a follower of Jesus Christ: stances, spaces, and domains. More on each of these later.
We have some huge challenges to missional discipleship. But the biggest of these has nothing to do with our access to the Scripture. Rather it has to do with the amount of time we make available to the people with whom we would share our lives and our walk with Jesus. Then it has to do with the kinds of activities and conversations we actually engage in together.