A TENURED CHRISTIAN
18 Then Jesus came to them and said,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
As I am thinking about the amazing story of Christ and the celebration that we have had year after year after year, I am wondering what a tenured christian would look like? I know that would be something that Jesus never would have thought about, but in reality awarded to the disciples that walked by His side for three years. Tenured is defined as giving someone a permanent position especially a teacher or professor. So as I think about this word, why are we not trying to be tenured christians? I mean it is not the title that I am looking for but the status in our christian walk that we should desire as we dig deeper in becoming a stronger disciple for Christ. Disciple is actually what I would consider the beginning of the tenured track and challenge by Jesus to go and make others join the journey. I just really don't want my life and journey to be set towards a service on Wednesday or Sunday, but towards helping others to live a lifestyle the continues to exemplify Christ. All throughout their journey with Christ, the disciples were only known as disciples until Jesus returned from the grave. When the Holy Spirit anointed their lives, we saw a change in their mannerisms and their abilities to teach and equip others to be disciples. A disciple was one that was willing to follow Jesus or the teachings of Christ, but the Apostles were defined as the CHIEF DISCIPLES of Christ with a deeper anointing and calling on their lives to teach others to do the same.
I guess today I am asking us all what is our true calling when we made a decision to fully follow Christ as a disciple. Are we satisfied to just do a check in on Sundays, Wednesdays or a bible study during the week? I know that I have been called to continue to grow deeper and help equip and make disciples, but I am always wondering how to continue to stimulate
their desire to grow deeper as a disciple. I am just saying that I don't want it to continue to perpetuate the problem when we say that we have twice a year christians. I feel as though
that we as christians have given them a false sense of security that may lead them to an eternity they are not expecting. And yes I understand that none of us know the hearts and decisions of others except through the fruit they produce, but I am saying that maybe we need to find a better way to disciple and equip, and I know that I am speaking more to myself and not just to you today. However, when we step into God's call, we have all accepted the name of disciple and as a follower of Christ, we are expected to spend time being equipped and equipping others with a spiritual desire to become a tenured christian. Christian is not just a term that we pull out like a membership card from time to time, it is a part of every thing that we do and should drive us to seek change and transformation in this world.
As we break down the Great Commission, I know that I have already spoken on these words given to every disciple by Christ. Coming off Easter, I am not going to give in that one week we are able to see the largest numbers of congregants on one Sunday and the next week it is ok to accept it to be the lowest attended day of the year. NO! That is not what it means to be a disciple. We are to continue to strive to grow deeper in our connection with Christ and have open conversations about the opportunities that we have to help others grow in their relationship with Christ too. It is time that we once again read Jesus' Words as not just a calling but a desire to help others step into finding a true faith that will guide them for the rest of their lives. We celebrate a risen Savior every day and we should also find ways to teach and equip disciples each day as well. I know that I take the Great Commission as an integral part of my life, but maybe we have all failed to let others know that they are to do the same when they become christians. Maybe we need to continue to find new ways to help them breathe in the power of God and recognize that the only way we are going to see change is through seeking a deeper connection as disciples. Jesus was willing to spend almost every moment with the disciples, and I know that we cannot do that, but it does not mean that we cannot strive to find better ways to connect and grow together.
So one day after Easter, did you wake up today excited and putting on your best as a reflection of Christ to the world? Did you go out of your way to allow others to know that He is risen! He is risen indeed! I hope and pray that as we move forward, we are able to grow deeper in our desire to become a tenured christian. We take the idea of being a teacher and equipper of the gospel as a life goal not for our own eternity, but for the eternity of others. We have to be willing to take this name christian in a different light and recognize that we do
have a chance to transform the mindsets of the world and the church. We can finally walk into the world with a new perception that it is not a job but a desire to reach others for God. There are people in our lives that we need to let know God's position in our life and to really help them see the life changing power of EASTER. Resurrection is not just a term that was used for Jesus, but for the power that Jesus provided for us to overcome our death from sin. Our spiritual resurrection is not something that should ever be hidden but a life change that will cause us to help others experience this resurrection in their life. I know that I have been a follower of Christ since I was 8 years old, and after 39 years, I always wonder how much time I have missed helping others to experience the fullness of Christ. How many opportunities did I miss or walk away from because of my unwillingness to be a tenured christian. I was able to think that someone else would be able to step in, but maybe we are the someone else that God needed. Being a christian is not a 9-5 or even a Monday thru Friday job, but a life that is difficult to walk through because of the dedication that is required. Tenure is a sign of distinction in the world's eyes, but in God's eyes it is a lifestyle that we should personally strive towards to grow deeper in our spiritual faith to baptize and equip disciples for the transformation of the world. Thank you God for the ones who were willing to pour into me and I pray for all the ones God gives to me to try and do the same.