August 11, 2014
Anomaly: an irregularity; something that deviates from the norm, or from expectations.
We run across anomalies frequently: an American, who doesn’t embrace democratic ideals. A person driving an environment-friendly car, who throws a Starbucks cup alongside the road. A school teacher, who doesn’t like children. A university professor, who imposes a narrow and radical worldview on their students. Anomalies are curious because they defy the reasonable dot-connecting we’re inclined to practice as we figure out what’s going on around us.
Here’s an anomaly: American Christians who believe that they have answered the most crucial questions of life through the truth that is found in the Lord Jesus and articulated in the Scriptures… and don’t share that discovery with their friends who are lost. The Christian faith has been described as “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread” (D.T. Niles). Should beggars be selfish?
Truman famously had a sign on his desk that declared, “The Buck Stops Here.” Sadly, too many Christians have a virtual sign on their desktop that could say, “The Faith Stops Here,” because they’ve chosen to become the last link in a belief chain that began with one of 12 Apostles, came down to them… but will have no eternal spiritual progeny beyond them.
The era of social media and wiki collaboration has allowed people to give instant evaluations to everything from speeches to restaurants, from movies to beaches. Facebook puts the moment-by-moment experiences of life into broad circulation, with immediacy. Twitter passes bite-sized impressions into real-time headlines. Why wouldn’t someone share a great find with friends? Even more, why wouldn’t they share a great God-sourced experience with their friends?
Most Christians will never have the experience of introducing another person to the Savior, Jesus Christ. What a sad commentary on their generosity with God’s grace. The minority who practice the passing of Good News have amazing stories… and eternal gratitude from those they invited into redemption. Are you one of the silent, or the fruitful?
Here’s another anomaly: every participant in The Master’s Program was introduced to TMP by a friend whose time in TMP made them advocates. They realized that the question was not, “Who do I know who would benefit from The Master’s Program?” Instead, the real question was, “Who do I know who would not benefit from refining their life balance, creating margin that makes them available for great opportunity, and finding the focus that comes from understanding their Kingdom Calling?”
The Woman at the Well (re-read the story in John 4) didn’t have the greatest lifestyle reputation, but when she met Jesus, she knew that He was the relationship that everyone in Sychar – her hometown – was waiting for, though they didn’t know it yet. In her first day knowing Jesus, she brought a crowd from town out to hear what she had heard from the One. It wasn’t called “Personal Evangelism” yet; for her, it was the natural thing to do: why wouldn’t she share the Answer with anyone who would listen?
As the Fall begins, we’ll be hosting introductory events for The Master’s Program in cities around the country. Balance, Margin and Focus will be the offer: who will be there to listen to the appeal?
Answer: friends and acquaintances of people like you, whose experience with The Master’s Program drives them to share the opportunity with others.
Question: are you an Advocate... or, an Anomaly? Scroll down to the bottom of this page and see the list of Introductory Briefings happening soon. Who do you know in those cities who would respond to your invitation to attend, and to consider participating in TMP?
Someone invited you into the Faith: have you passed the faith along? Someone introduced you to The Master’s Program: have you returned the favor?