Sloppy and Difficult

Cable_closet_bhIt’s easy to entertain if you are an entertainer. It’s easy to throw a party if you are willing to do the work. It’s pretty easy to get somebody to agree with you if you have conviction. As long as you are entertaining, hospitable and convincing, you will likely be able to consistently draw a crowd.

It’s not nearly as easy to get them to do it. It’s one thing for them to attend, it’s another thing altogether for them to change things. That requires consistency over time and a depth of relationship grounded in grace much more than it does a compelling hour of presentation.

I’m seeing the sloppiness of disciple making more than ever before. It’s so much easier to set the lights and the music and prepare a speech than it is to multiply. The lines of  multiplication are much blurrier than the headcount.

If we are “all in” as disciples of Jesus, then we are about the multiplication of Him through is in others. That means that our lives are different and others that desire to be disciples will be different, too. Disciple making is difference producing.

The thing about that is that there is not one of us that changed everything overnight and there is not one of us that has arrived. If that is true of us, then won’t that be true of others as well?

Since others are not going to change entirely overnight nor are they ever going to be finished products for as long as they are on this earth, there has to be grace for the unfinished part. The unfinished part is sloppy, offensive, hard and hurtful. The unfinished part takes time and patience.

Working and walking with people is out of control. We have no control over them and the choices they make. We have no control over their attendance, discipline, attitudes or behaviors. Walking with people and loving them like Jesus does rejects the need for control and accepts the treasure of choices that lead to maturity.

Investment in relationships that are based in Jesus can multiply Him in us and others. There is no metric of success or measure of our performance in this equation of relational multiplication but reflection reveals lives that are intertwined to various degrees with all kinds of people. Some will believe exactly what we believe and others will not come close. The sloppiness of grace will afford others room to move wherever they are for the reward of relationship and the potential for multiplication.

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