The Sloppy Truth of Discipleship


Hello beloved friends!

This is the second sermon I preached at a wonderful church in Huntsville, Alabama (the first sermon is here).

It’s titled, The Sloppy Truth of Discipleship.

Stream here or download directly here!

 

In this message, I talk about the joyful mess of making disciples and the difficulties of the Great Commission.

Some of the things I talk about are: When Jesus uppercuts drug addicts, the hyper-spiritual attitude in the awkward Bible study, and what separates the church from every other place in the world.

If you’ve been blessed by the podcast, please consider leaving a review on iTunes!

Love y’all!

— J



For my podcast, click here:


The Totally Awkward Bible Study: And Four Ways To Push Forward

You’ve been there at church on a Wednesday night or small group or post-sermon discussion where somebody has the sheet of questions, there’s the go-around of Doritos and ginger ale, and then comes the horrible show-stopping inquisition —

“What are your thoughts on that?”

Oh, this guy got trained good — he’s not asking “yes” or “no” questions. He wants thoughts.

Then the cavernous silence, like God looking for Adam in the garden after the Fall. You look for fig leaves under the seat. All you got is ranch chips and a styrofoam cup of creamy wonder from the He-Brews Coffee Bar.

No one moves, twiddles a thumb, or even breathes: because a sign of life would indicate you want to speak, and getting called on is worse than the moment you use the table of contents in the Bible.

And then like watching a car accident in slow-motion, the leader’s neck moves his head towards you and he asks, “Why don’t we start with you?”

Chairs creaking. Looking for a trap door, fire alarm, paper bag, smoke bomb, taser.

The only way it could get more awkward is if you karate chopped the guy next to you and jumped out a window yelling, “They’ll never get me!”

I feel you on this one. It’s pretty uncomfortable to just talk deep at the drop of a hat, and an insensitive leader with a low EQ — bless his heart — will just trample on your natural defenses. No one can go from zero to vulnerable that easily. If a Bible study means to get at the core of our human struggle, then we should probably expect a lot of silence.

So hey: awkwardness is okay, and there’s a way to handle it that’s more like a scalpel than a broad sword.

Whether you’re the leader or shy enough to use your turtleneck as a hoodie, here are four ways to push forward.

Continue reading “The Totally Awkward Bible Study: And Four Ways To Push Forward”

Quote: Gaining


This is where we come face to face with a dangerous reality. We do have to give up everything we have to follow Jesus. We do have to love him in a way that makes our closest relationships in this world look like hate. And it is entirely possible that he will tell us to sell everything we have and give it to the poor.

… You know that in the end you are not really giving away anything at all. Instead you are gaining. Yes, you are abandoning everything you have, but you are also gaining more than you could have in any other way. … Why? Because you have found something worth losing everything else for.

This is the picture of Jesus in the gospel. He is something — someone — worth losing everything for. And if we walk away from the Jesus of the gospel, we walk away from eternal riches. The cost of nondiscipleship is profoundly greater for us than the cost of discipleship. For when we abandon the trinkets of this world and respond to the radical invitation of Jesus, we discover the infinite treasure of knowing and experiencing him.

— David Platt


Sermon Illustration: Second Nature Jesus

Click picture or link below for the audio.

A four minute sermon illustration about how a saturation with the Word of God creates a second nature reflex of godliness.

This is about my pastor and mentor Reverend Paul Kim, who I became so close with that I eventually began to think like him and act like him. In the same way, intimacy with Jesus and the Word creates a Christ-likeness as a natural reflex in cooperation with the Spirit.

For the sermon podcast, click here.

Investing Options

Pastors like to talk about investing in someone who has potential for ministry because they would one day be a valuable commodity for God. We spend hours figuring out how to mentor, apprentice, train, and arm — but all this sort of language makes me a little sick to my stomach.

To treat churchgoers as spare parts is no better than mechanical objectification, as if we are all actors in a play or a porno. People are not products and the church is not a business. They are first and foremost your friends. To view your people as a project destroys all intimacy and robs them of joy — and I see it happen all the time.

Continue reading “Investing Options”