A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of sharing with a group of Christian Union members in local high schools about Contagious Christianity. For a topic which sounds pretty simple if you know Jesus this was a mission and a half. Not because it is a tricky theology to get your head around but just because there are so many possibilities as to where to go in a twenty minute talk. For this talk I ended up using the six chapters of the Big Story of God.
Chapter 1: Creation
This is the chapter of creativity, where God, in unity with Himself creating the heavens and the earth. The instigator of all we see, including humankind.
Chapter 2: Fall
Here comes the twist in the plot. Humankind turns against God, taking things into their own hands. We see humans and their fallen nature enter the story because they dishonoured God and followed the call of Satan.
Chapter 3: People of Israel
The next chunk of the story we God start a rescue plan to bring His chosen people back to Himself, yet every time they begin to follow Him, then they get tempted and fall again, and again, and again. (I think we sometimes feel like we are still here going round and round in circles as we battle with sanctification.)
Chapter 4: Jesus
In this story Chapter 4 feels like the climax. God sends someone to be the ultimate sacrifice and saviour of His people, ending the spiralling falling of the chosen people. Allowing us to know God personally, be us Jews or not. Because of Jesus, the son of God, being born, dying and rising again we can have relationship with Jesus. Our sin has been, is and will be forgiven! This is Good News!
Chapter 5: The Church
A point to note about the Big Story of God is that the story has not finish yet and this is where it gets interactive. From Jesus’ resurrection through to now we are in Chapter 5, we are part of the church! What happens in Chapter 5? We are Christ’s body resembled on earth, loving, serving and baring witness to our creator, saviour, healer and helper that is God. This chapter is not over yet so this is what we must continue to do.
Chapter 6: New Heavens and New Earth
The final chapter we see what the previous four chapters have been pointing towards. Restoration of the world with God. Every Christ follower unite with Christ for eternity!
Now contagious Christianity comes in with two main commandments that Jesus gives us. Love people as we love ourselves (Matthew 22) and go and make disciples (Matthew 28). I believe God gives us the best example of love, the ultimate sacrifice for relationship with Him. I believe that if we truly understand the impact of what Jesus did for us to be able to spend eternity with Him how much must we do to help others meet Him too. If we believe that some people might go to hell how much do we have to hate them not to tell them about heaven? Secondly Jesus tells us to go and make disciples. Go and share the good news, help people to hear about Jesus, follow Jesus and tell others about Jesus. To me, this sounds highly sustainable and like something that just keeps spreading. Perhaps one could say it is contagious. Let us live in Chapter 5 showing people where we have come from in Chapters 1 – 4 and pointing them towards eternity with our loving God and saviour in Chapter 6.
For those of us who work in Children’s Ministry. What then, does it look like to shape our facilitating, teaching, discipleship etc. in a way which will continually reproduce disciples who make disciples? How do we help parents to help their children to become disciple makers?
I believe it is time for us to think afresh at what it looks like for children and young people to be disciple makers. Lets teach, train, facilitate and mentor them in a way where no unlearning needs to take place in the space of discipleship.