Five Tried & True Ideas for Disciples

From Bob Roberts’, Real Time Connections

What does it mean to "engage" society? How does the disciple actually make it happen? What are some of the rules of engagement that will increase the likelihood of success in this endeavor?

Below are five tried-and-true ideas for disciples as they relate their faith to the culture they are hoping to reach:

  1. A faith that is public, not private: Be open about your faith. Don't water down your convictions.Yet, don't use your faith as a weapon. Show you care by finding ways to solve people's difficulties and improve their lives. Be gentle, understanding and civil.
  2. An integrated faith, not an isolated sect: As followers of Jesus, we don't let the world swallow us into its value system. Integration means we live in community and have genuine relationships with our neighbors no matter what their cultural or religious background.
  3. A bottom-up faith, not a top-down faith: When we serve those on the bottom of the social ladder, we reach the masses who make up the majority of every society. At the same time we gain credibility in that culture.
  4. A serving faith, not a coercive faith:  We do what we do voluntarily, out of love, not using our service as leverage for coercion or to put others under obligation to us. We do it simply because we love.
  5. A social covenant, not a social contract: Serving others means we abandon the American concept of entitlement and rights. We must replace it with an attitude of responsibility to God, but also to the society we live in.