If I were to reboot my own experience as a follower of Jesus, if I were to try and learn this way of Kingdom love, and if I were to seek to understand how to be salt and light in this world, what would I do?
Well, I think I would start a Movement of Everyday Christians. And below is how we would try to live, our Rule of Life. Now, you don’t have to agree with everything I’m going to say from here. The goal of this isn’t to convince you, it’s to provoke you. The question you need to ask is, do these make sense? Do they fit within the overarching goal to transform us into people that love? Are they practical to live out? Can you see yourself doing these? Can we do these together?
The Movement of Everyday Christians
1. Move on.
Grieve the loss of Christianity’s position of influence in American society and culture if you need to, but do it quickly and privately (not on Facebook). Make room for each other in community to give voice to this grief.
2. Trust the Kingdom of God, not political power.
Relinquish attachments to political power through supporting candidates or issues as Christians attempting to protect a way of life or acting as the moral police. Instead, trust in the power and “long view” of God’s government transforming the world through self-sacrificial love, servant leadership, and mustard seed activism changing neighborhood after neighborhood (see #7).
3. Practice simple church.
Stop relying on the business model of church that uses marketing and performance to attract people to services. Embrace celebrating the Kingdom by eating meals together, sharing our pains and praises, and reminding each other about the Way of Jesus and our hope in the resurrection.
4. Listen to, learn from, and love the LGBT community.
Develop relationships with LGBT people and listen to their stories and their pain. Pray for them and refrain from the need to speak about their sexuality. Invite them into community as you would anyone else and let the Holy Spirit work as he does in all our lives.
5. The Bible is God’s Story and our Story.
Read and interpret the Bible with humility. It is first and foremost a story of how God works in the world and how we respond to his love. It is holy because it reveals God. It is not a tool to control behavior or define who is in and out.
6. Unite science and faith.
A false wall has been erected between faith and science. Fear of what science is discovering about origins and how the world works is more an indication of how weak our faith is rather than the quality of the science. Our response should be to become learners and inquisitors, which is actually part of the scientific process. This false wall has created “scienctism” or the idea that science and technology are the only ways the world’s problems will be solved. Ironically, we have the same goal – make the world a better place for humanity.
7. Practice everyday mission.
Bear witness to the Kingdom through everyday activities rather than huge, costly endeavors. Become a movement of ordinary people doing small, extraordinary things in the world. These acts will exemplify the self-sacrificial love of Jesus he displayed on the cross.
8. Have a spiritual family, not a Christian bubble.
Resist the enclave and herd mentality. Develop relationships with equal parts Jesus followers and not. Become a “regular” at a bar or coffee shop. Send your kids to public school or a sports team. Listen, learn, pray. But put down deep roots with a spiritual family.
9. Jesus is our model for life.
Relearn Christianity as “little Christs”. Read and discuss his words and put them into practice. Actions like “turning the other cheek” are not effective; they are how the Kingdom works. That is the same with everything Jesus taught his disciples.
10. The Holy Spirit is real and not weird.
Embrace the normal work and ministry of the Holy Spirit through healing, taking authority over the demonic realm, prophetic words and actions, and trust in the already-but-not-yet power of God’s Kingdom.
11. Befriend the poor and the other.
Actively pursue relationships inside and outside the church with people of other races, beliefs, and economic statuses. Do nothing to help before you get to know them and listen to their pain and their wisdom. Mostly, just treat them as equals as children of God and those who are loved by God.
12. Be people of hope.
Jesus will return as King, evil will be judged, the dead will be raised, and heaven and earth will be renewed and united forever. We should not expect everyone to understand this hope. It will sound “foolish” to some, but will be salvation to others. We should not fear or downplay God’s judgment, because what would heaven be like if evil still reigned? Rather, we should rejoice that through Jesus’ death and resurrection he has made a way that none should perish, but all can experience the life of the age to come. This hope is at the center of all we do.