Thursday, June 23, 2011

A new take on discipleship ...

If you had the chance to take on a Pro Bowl football player and show your stuff, would you? Or better yet, could you?

Or if you had 10 minutes on the court with a basketball great, what would happen?

If you were at bat against a professional pitcher, could you get a hit?

Or if you found yourself on the opposite side of a court facing a tennis great, could you return the serve?

That's somewhat the concept of the Spike TV show "Pros v. Joes" where ordinary "weekend" (non-professional) athletes take on seasoned, professional athletes in their areas of excellence.

A lot of guys talk about how they would like a chance to go one-on-one with this athlete or that super star, but having the courage to actually do so is different. For a lot of the "ordinary Joes" on the show, the guys they pit themselves against are the professional athletes who inspired them to work hard to develop the athletic ability they have attained, to the point they think they could take on a pro.

Imagine if we took that same attitude and transplanted it into the church. In that case, it would be challenging the "ordinary disciple" to take on a mature Christian, an elder, or a vocational minister in areas such as Bible knowledge, skill at sharing the Gospel, or following Christ's example.

Actually, such a challenge was made by one of the greatest leaders the church has ever known. Look closely at these bold words of the Apostle Paul as recorded in 1 Corinthians 11:1:

"And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ."

Here was a "spiritual pro" challenging "ordinary Joes" to take on his example. Paul challenged these Christians to see if they could be like him. To play as hard as he plays. To see if they could live up to his example of pursuing Christ's example.

Imagine if mature Christians today made the same kind of challenge to young Christians. Imagine the impact to the church --- and the world! --- if those young Christians rose to the challenge!

There's another term for this "pros v. Joes" concept within the church. We usually call it "DISCIPLESHIP." We're just not as aggressive or interested or passionate about it as we usually are our sports.

But we should be, and even more so!

"Pros," how can you serve as an example to younger Christians and be a positive, dynamic challenge for growth to them? "Joes," who do you know is a "spiritual pro" that you can seek out as someone to challenge you to grow up in Christ?


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