We live in contended space. Your neighborhood isn’t neutral.
If Jesus isn’t discipling your people than someone or something else is. If Jesus and Kingdom values are not discipling your city, something else with a separate set of principalities and powers is.
This has 2 serious implications when it comes to forming disciples throughout the cities that we care for, the schools that our children attend, and the families that we love often more than life itself.
1) We must be constant students of our culture; identifying and exposing the unique rabbi(s) who are having their way, deceptively discipling our people.
In Metro-Detroit one of the largest disciplers of the next generation is a works based religion. The need to acheive has not only plagued our schools, but has also crept into our understanding of the gospel, and even our methods for growing the local church.
A secondary seducer is a framework formed by racial polarization and economic disparity. Though Detroit is one of the most diverse areas in the US it is also plagued with a narrative dripping with racial tension. This has isolated ethnic groups from one another, especially within the church where mono-ethnic communities become more and more irrelevant to our every day, dynamically diverse landscape found in schools and the work place.
We must be able to expose these driving people, systems, and objects that are passionately discipling our people.
2) We must teach our people how to unlearn the rhythms and disciplines they have picked up while being discipled by impostors.
Learning the ways of Jesus is imperative, but there is also a withdrawal or unlearning process a person must go through once they have learned what person, system, or object has been discipling them prior to the power of Christ. We must be patient with people and close in relationship with them as we expose why specific thought patters and behaviors continue to surface in their lives as they seek a life with Christ. Help them unlearn while embracing the Grace of God and the power of the gospel.
The stakes are too hight to naively believe we can simply throw people into a program or process and kick out fully functioning disciples. We live in contended space.