Commitment is a four letter word
Sunday we looked at four critical snapshots of true followership:
Family: Love Jesus SupremelyCross: Live like a Dead PersonTower: Count the CostWar: Surrender to the King.
Let's just call it what it is; we don't naturally love these pictures. We might be tempted to like the family one, until we realize that Jesus is calling us to love Him more than we love our family. From there, it's just downhill. And I think the reason these four snapshots are all so hard to swallow is because they all draw us to something that by and large our society doesn't do well:
Jesus demands commitment at every term, but commitment is an unpopular word these days. Commitment is a four letter word. (Okay it's a 10 letter word, but you know what I mean). The call to commitment feels more like a curse word than a call. The demand of our society in about every aspect is to high payoff with low or no commitment. I want what I want when I want it, and I want it to be easy. I don't want to count the cost of anything.
As a leader of a church, the temptation always exists to lower commitment. In the interest of "reaching more people," churches often promise things they can't deliver. They gave in to the temptation to not challenge people to things like faithful stewardship and worship attendance. They choose to look the other way when it comes to issues of human sexuality and dishonest business practices. They create opportunities for people to feel good serving, but that never require them to develop true compassion for the less fortunate. Instead of asking people to count the cost of following, they offer followership with no cost.
But there is no version of truly following Jesus Christ that does not involve a cross. This is a cruciform life any way you look at it. If you are not following Jesus' call in Luke 9 to deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Him, I'm not sure what you are, but you're not a Christian.
And here's the greatest irony - Churches who hold high the cross of Jesus Christ attract people who need the cross of Christ. Are you one of them? At The Ransom Church, we are doing everything we can to hold high the cross of Christ, and to challenge people to true followership. We are calling people to take hold of their responsibility for the gospel, to become Disciple Makers and to actually wrestle with what Christ might be calling them to. We're counting the cost.
If you're looking for followership without the cost, keep looking. But if you're here and you're feeling that tug in your spirit, start following. I promise, it's worth the cost.