Helpful Tidbits for Organic Church Life                                                August 3, 2009
Let's Skip the Delusions, Shall We?
My Reflections
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Dear ,
Most people these days are leery of perfection. Why? Because we've learned things aren't always as they seem. Celebrities are often augmented. Pro athletes are often stronger and faster than they should be. Pastors, too, have failed us in all kinds of ways.
There's a plus and minus to all this, to be sure. The minus, of course, is the sin. When people choose not to follow God's commands, everyone loses. On the other hand, people seem a little less gullible these days and, as a result, a little more willing to deal in reality...the often painful reality.
QUESTION/TOPIC IN FOCUS: Will this making disciples thing ever get easier?
Let's Skip the Delusions, Shall we?
About by E.L. Kersten, Ph.D.
Despair_COO_2[Despair, Inc. is a wildly successful "answer" to Successories.]
MOTIVATION. Psychology tells us that motivation-true, lasting motivation-can only come from within. Common sense tells us it can't be manufactured or productized. So how is it that a multi-billion dollar industry thrives through the sale of motivational commodities and services? Because, in our world of instant gratification, people desperately want to believe that there are simple solutions to complex problems. And when desperation has disposable income, market opportunities abound.

AT DESPAIR, INC., we believe motivational products create unrealistic expectations, raising hopes only to dash them. That's why we created our soul-crushingly depressing Demotivators® designs, so you can skip the delusions that motivational products induce and head straight for the disappointments that follow!
E.L. Kersten, Ph.D.
Founder and COO
My Reflections 
Internally, we followers of Jesus regularly ask ourselves all kinds of How are we doing? questions. How's my time with the Lord? How's my Bible reading? How's my giving? And on and on it goes.
Today, because of a recent email I received from a reader pondering the dynamics of discipling relationships, I'm mulling over this question: When it comes to discipling, how in touch am I with the reality factor?
Here's the reality:
  • According to Jesus, only 1 in 4 are truly ready to be discipled (Mt 13:3-9).
  • Discipling takes time (Mt 4:19). In some seasons of life, I'll have more time and at others, less time. In either case, I shouldn't have expectations inconsistent with my investment.
  • A large part of discipling is teaching others to obey/observe Jesus's commands (Mt 28:20). Obviously, I can't expect someone to obey/observe something I've never taught them or don't submit to myself.
  • The road that leads to life is narrow (Mt 7:14) and competing voices, ones that tickle ears, clamor for the disciple's attention (2 Tim 4:3).
  • No matter how well I do/understand the above, some will still choose the road that leads to destruction (Mt 26:25).

Although these five reality checks are not exhaustive, here's what I have to keep in mind: making disciples is just plain dirty and exhausting and any person or ministry that tells me otherwise is lying.

The world tries to augment just about everything. Too often, the church or ministry follows suit, trying to make every experience a good one. "The music was so good," one tells me. "I learned so much from that speaker," says another. Although I "get it," these things are often a distraction from the ruff-and-tumble reality of making disciples.
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table