I remember the first time I spoke at the Verge Conference. The topic assigned to me: making disciples of women in a post-Christian world.
Honestly, preparing was sort of a train wreck. I have lots of thoughts on the topic, but too much for one talk so, I tried to zoom out and just say the thing that I think matters most:
We are never going to be or make disciples if we aren’t willing to be uncomfortable.
We love to be uncomfortable in the areas we are comfortable. I like to be challenged theologically because I’m comfortable with that. Some of you are willing to leave your homes and move across the world and be ‘uncomfortable’ because that’s the kind of discomfort that seems exciting to you.
CLICK TO TWEET: “We are never going to be or make disciples if we aren’t willing to be uncomfortable.” @fabsharford
But for us to become disciples of Christ it means that we have to be willing to actually be uncomfortable, in the ways that make us the most uneasy.
To be a disciple we must be comfortable with the terribly uncomfortable sensation of being weak.
Our postmodern world has issues with real weakness. Don’t get me wrong, we are all cool with our life being hash-tagged #raw and #vulnerable. We’ll blog or teach about our ‘weaknesses’ and then pat ourselves on the back for being so comfortable being ‘weak’. But really, we only want to talk expose the vulnerabilities that we control. We want to wage war on our faults, but only the ones that don’t really threaten the places or people that are most precious to us.
Coming face to face your deepest weaknesses in a real way is terrifying. It feels awful. So we hide. We are willing to be challenged in huge rooms where we can be anonymous or behind our computer screens, but our hearts tremble when our spouse or friend says: ‘I see something in you that might need to be challenged’.
CLICK TO TWEET: “To be a disciple we must be comfortable with the terribly uncomfortable sensation of being weak.” @fabsharford
But true discipleship must happen in the spaces where we have no room to eject when our dearest idols are threatened. It may feel horrible in the moment, but for us to be changed by the Spirit , we are going to have to open ourselves up to the discomfort of true vulnerability.
To make disciples we must be comfortable with the terribly uncomfortable sensation of exhorting the weak
Us sneaky postmoderns have found a way to exhort the weak without discomfort. We’ll challenge others behind our keyboards or behind their backs. We let prayer for others replace exhortation. We send our spouse a link to listen to someone else speak over them the things we are too afraid to say.
But here’s the deal: the command to make disciples wasn’t given just to an elite group with specific communication gifts. It was given to each of us. God’s Spirit is the one who will meet your community in their weaknesses. And He will do that through His Word. But guess who He has chosen to administer that change agent? You.
TWEET THIS: “The command to make disciples wasn’t given just to an elite group with specific communication gifts.” @fabsharford
The good news is: Christianity is the worldview that says your weakness is what qualifies to you to be a disciple. You are weaker than you ever dreamed. That’s why you need a Savior.
And Christianity is the worldview that says you don’t need the perfect words or right teacher to change the people around you. You just need His Spirit bearing His sword and He will work through the weakest to change the weakest.
We have a sweet Savior and a glorious Redeemer who has this crazy habit of using the very people who caused the problems to be tools in the solution.
CLICK TO TWEET: “Christianity is the worldview that says your weakness is what qualifies to you to be a disciple.” @fabsharford