Tag Archives: Matthew 28

Bright Ideas Doomed to Fail

Monday Morning Quarterback – Encouraging God’s people to be responsible, encouraging and uplifting in their use of social media.

I’ve not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.  Thomas Edison, on his experiments with prototypes for the light bulb

broken lightbulbIf I call myself a Christ-follower, and I’m not afraid to wear that label publicly, then it seems right to me that I should have some pretty strong buy-in to the great commission in Matthew 28: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  It is why we, as Christians, are still here…still breathing.  Even after our salvation is secured, God leaves us here in order to fulfill this commission.

If that is all true, then our messaging on social media becomes purposeful, doesn’t it?  We want to use our very public, very searchable, very permanent social media posts to point to God in some fashion…or at least to preserve our privilege to do so with readers in the future. So, in the spirit of Thomas Edison, here are some messages for us as Christians, which are guaranteed NOT TO WORK:

1. The candidate you voted for is… [an idiot, a liar, a lunatic, a buffoon, a criminal, a bigot, a murderer, etc.].  I don’t know, call me narrow-minded, call me naive, call me a bad American…but I’m pretty sure my starting our conversation with this message is not a good strategy for getting you to listen to anything I have to say about Jesus.

2. You are… [an idiot, a liar, a lunatic, a buffoon, a

…And Some Doubted

Tuesday Re-mix –

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Matthew 28:16-17

disbeliefYou are probably familiar with the 80/20 principle of organizational dynamics.  It holds that, in any organization of any kind, once it hits its stride and “normalizes”, 20% of the people are doing 80% of the “work”.  I’m sure you have heard at least some version of it.  I dislike that principle as it relates to the church.  You probably do as well.  I have tried and tried over the years to kick against it, because it is not indicative of the “revolution” I believe Jesus intended.  If you are a leader in the church, you have probably tried to work against it as well, with varying degrees of success.

Want a sobering reality check?  I’m turning over the balance of this post to those very people with whom you are feeling frustrated.  I will let them speak for themselves.  Listen to some of the 80%…

I am that dynamic, gifted young leader in the church whom you ask year after year to take on a responsibility and I just keep turning you down.  I have doubts.

I am one of the huge percentage of your church members who is pretty steadily there for worship but have never darkened the doors of prayer meeting on Wednesday night.  I have doubts.

We are part of that handful of couples who seem so spiritually mature in Bible study discussion but who choose not to be there more than half the time.  We have doubts.

I am one of your elders or even staff members who start off so well but whose commitment dwindles over time and you begin to lose

The Friendship Dare

Tuesday Re-mix – 

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”  Matthew 28:19a

I can remember pretty vividly how I felt at the births of both my daughters.  Those feelings will no doubt stay in my memory long after the details of the events have left me.  In both cases, God made us wait until long after we thought we were ready.  So when they came, I was overjoyed and thrilled and excited and so very ready to be a daddy!  With Elizabeth, my older, I can still remember taking her little hand for the very first time in Seton Hospital in Austin.  I remember thinking, “What a huge responsibility this will be…I can’t wait to get started!”  I had an attitude of extreme gratitude for the opportunity God had given me and of sober responsibility for how much work nurturing this child would be.

What if we in the church had a similar attitude about new friendships? What if we saw each new friendship in our lives as a God-ordained friendship and treated it as if God had given us a responsibility for it?  What if we prayed expectantly for God to “birth” such new friendships in our lives and then jumped into them with both feet when He answered that prayer?  Oh, how that would change the church!

We in the evangelical world often talk about “just sharing the gospel” and leaving the results up to God.  I do think that is an important perspective.  There is our part in that process and there is God’s part, and it agree that it is important not to confuse the two.  But I also think that “just sharing and leaving the results up to God” lets us off the hook of the Great Commission.  Jesus did not say, “Therefore go …