I was out and about yesterday visiting with and encouraging folks in a few of our faith communities in Acts 14 fashion.* In my heart, I was carrying an assumption and an attitude that one of these communities was on shaky spiritual ground and it wasn’t my fault. I thought to myself, “They should be farther along in their faith journey than they are.” I also thought, “If they are depending on my presence to keep them in a growing relationship with God, then they are immature or unwilling to take the initiative in following hard after God themselves.”
Shortly after arriving and engaging this group, which was larger than expected, my assumptions and attitude were melted away as these words came to my mind;
“They need presence more than proclamation. Incarnation more than information.
A gospel that lives and breathes the same air as they do.”
It completely disassembled me. In that moment “I looked on them with compassion.” (Mark 6:34) (Matthew 9:36) Instead of a timetable, the Lord gave me tenderheartedness. I’m still wrestling with the ramifications of those 2 sentences and how to maintain the proper balance in that community, but with a changed heart and a renewed sense that Jesus is “always with me” in this thing we call Making Disciples.
I made a post on Facebook which you can see here regarding the same, but wanted to blog about it too.
* Acts 14:21-28