Making Disciples is like Growing Corn
Wisdom from the pen of Dr. Michael Horton:
“The younger generations today have seen it all. They have been to every theme park, have every gadget, and know every band. The expression on a lot of their faces tells it all: “Been there, done that, got the shirt.” And they are consummately bored. Now growing numbers of them tell us they are especially bored with the “contemporary worship experience.” Our fear of God must become greater than our fear of boredom. Making disciples, like making crafts, great works of art, fine wine, a memorable dinner, and raising children, takes a long time. It is like watching corn grow and that’s exactly what we are: a harvest whose firstfruits have already been raised and exalted.
“Precisely because the Good News has been taken for granted, many churches today do not seem to realize that they have the best drama going. Demanding something extraordinary, novel, and exciting, we look away from what God is doing through ordinary preaching, water, wine, and bread, and focus on what we are doing to capture the headlines. Like a good parent, God knows that if we had all the cotton candy we wanted, we would not only be sick but would miss out on the dinner he has prepared.
“Most people over the centuries have become Christians by being baptized, catechized, taking Communion, hearing sermons, talking to their parents, grandparents, and other elders in the faith, and then bringing others into this lifelong discipleship through their witness, until they are comforted by their pastor and other believers on their deathbed. However, this is too ordinary. We try to pull God down from heaven or bring Christ up from the dead by our feverish activity, assimilating God’s story to the cult of immediate gratification. As with all forms of nihilism, this illness can be remedied only by rebuilding our connection to a significant beginning and future destiny, with our present moment as part of a pilgrimage instead of frantic zig-zagging from each exciting attraction at the carnival of death disguising itself as life.”
– pp. 231-232 in Michael Horton’s book The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, copyright 2009 by Michael Horton)
“Christ is Lord of all. Already, with his triumphant resurrection, Jesus has been given the name that is above every name in heaven and on earth. Even now, his kingdom is present, advancing amid the rubble of this passing evil age. Nevertheless, he is presently reigning in grace, not yet in glory. His kingdom is visible now in ways that the world does not recognize: in the proclamation of the gospel, which the world considers foolish; in baptizing, teaching, administering Communion, prayer, the spiritual and physical care of elders and deacons, and the fellowship of the saints. None of this is likely to elicit the interest of the media, but through this ministry a tiny seed is growing into a tree whose branches spread around the earth. By this ministry the Spirit brings the blessings of the age to come into this present age, fixing our eyes on Christ, who has come for our redemption, now dispenses the spoils of his victory, and will return in glory to consummate his kingdom.” (pp. 257-258, ibid.)
Dr. Horton’s book can be ordered here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Gospel-Driven-Life-Being-People/dp/0801013194