Lately I’ve been reading a short but very good book entitled Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today. It’s written by Dr. Mark Labbeton, who just so happens to be the president of the seminary (Fuller Seminary) where I am a PhD student.
In a section about how there’s a crisis of vocation for followers of Jesus, Dr. Labberton writes these hard-hitting words:
Our calling has become encrusted, buried under layers that lack significant evidence of life. Viral cat videos seem to touch our humanity and longing more than many church services do. I have felt caught in this vortex. The temptation in the church is to bring in more clowns and light the sparklers, but the real solution is what the Bible declares is our calling: to live out genuine love that shows up in the face of real need. (Page 20)
Our solution can’t be more of the same (even if what is “more” is “better” or “more relevant” or “slicker” than that which came before it.
The only solution to the issues that the Church faces in North America today is following Jesus.
Actually. Following. Jesus.
That means living the life of Jesus in and through our own lives, by the power of the Spirit.
So, since Jesus came not to be served but to serve and give his life away for others, we ought to as well.
Since Jesus cared more about those who were cast aside and oppressed than he did those who were self-righteously religious, we ought to as well.
And since Jesus’ entire life was centered around love, ours ought to be as well, individually and collectively.
What do you think? Did Dr. Labberton hit the nail on the head? Let me know in the comments below!