Here are 10 suggestions, taken from the New Testament, for behaving as a Christian ideally should:
- Bite our tongues. Eph. 4:29
- Turn the other cheek. 1 Peter 3:8-9
- Lead a quiet life. 1 Thess. 4:11-12
- Avoid judging. Luke 6:37
- Practice agape love. 1 John 4:7-8
- Pursue peace. Rom. 12:18
- Be joyful despite ourselves. John 15:11
- Quit fretting. Luke 12:29
- Remain humble. 1 Peter 5:5
- Be generous to the least of these. Matt. 25:34-36, 40
The cult of professor worship is perhaps the most dangerous and reprehensible cult in the theological world. It is no respecter of theological position, afflicting the left just as much as the right. It is no respecter of intellectual ability, as the psychology of leader-follower is predicated more on personality and relational qualities than brainpower. And it is no respecter of souls; nothing so destroys a Christian leader, or his followers, than the mutual flattery involved in the uncritical adulation of a fan-base for a professorial rock star (and I use that term advisedly).
An elder’s job description includes numerous responsibilities. Teaching, managing, leading a small group, attending meetings, listening, and making decisions fill an elder’s time. Two of the most important responsibilities an elder can fulfill is are modeling a life of prayer and leading his church in a powerful, impacting, and continuing prayer experience.
But I not going to be able to share the Jesus story with most people. Neither are the preachers. Because we are professionals. We are supposed to do it. And by nature of our profession, we don’t meet as many ordinary people in the community as we could. Maybe even should.
But I tell you who is going to make a difference in bringing people to Jesus. It is the ordinary person going about their everyday business… and who talk about Jesus.
If you currently don’t have any outward facing ministries that allow your people to engage non-Christians with the gospel, start one or two. Consider taking a team of people out on the town once a month to share the gospel with others. One leader I know regularly takes college students to the streets of Chicago. He starts the conversations with, “I am trying to teach these guys how to share Jesus with others. Can we practice on you?” It’s a funny, but effective way to start a conversation!
- Be respectful.
- Understand the history.
- Be patient.
- Pray for other churches.
To my mind, that is a powerful thought not only concerning the Holocaust, but in service to God as well.Indifference to the sacrifice of Christ is eternally deadly.Indifference to sin in my life leads to problems. Indifference to the lost leads to lack of action.I could go on. Indifference.
With this in mind, I decided to try an experiment. Twice a day for five days, I tried saying a bunch of phrases that could theoretically be used as triggers. Phrases like I’m thinking about going back to uni and I need some cheap shirts for work. Then I carefully monitored the sponsored posts on Facebook for any changes.
The changes came literally overnight. Suddenly I was being told mid-semester courses at various universities, and how certain brands were offering cheap clothing. A private conversation with a friend about how I’d run out of data led to an ad about cheap 20 GB data plans. And although they were all good deals, the whole thing was eye-opening and utterly terrifying.
Per the pamphlet, there were nine steps for translating into Freddish:
- “State the idea you wish to express as clearly as possible, and in terms preschoolers can understand.” Example: It is dangerous to play in the street.
- “Rephrase in a positive manner,” as in It is good to play where it is safe.
- “Rephrase the idea, bearing in mind that preschoolers cannot yet make subtle distinctions and need to be redirected to authorities they trust.” As in, “Ask your parents where it is safe to play.”
- “Rephrase your idea to eliminate all elements that could be considered prescriptive, directive, or instructive.” In the example, that’d mean getting rid of “ask”: Your parents will tell you where it is safe to play.
- “Rephrase any element that suggests certainty.” That’d be “will”: Your parents can tell you where it is safe to play.
- “Rephrase your idea to eliminate any element that may not apply to all children.” Not all children know their parents, so: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play.
- “Add a simple motivational idea that gives preschoolers a reason to follow your advice.” Perhaps: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is good to listen to them.
- “Rephrase your new statement, repeating the first step.” “Good” represents a value judgment, so: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is important to try to listen to them.
- “Rephrase your idea a ﬁnal time, relating it to some phase of development a preschooler can understand.” Maybe: Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is important to try to listen to them, and listening is an important part of growing.