We’re spending too much time micro-managing right now… and missing the macro view.

You’ve heard it before: “Life is a Journey.” That’s a pretty good word picture. Here’s the situation: on that journey, the progress can stop – though you’re still behind the wheel – if you get into a traffic circle and fail to find the offramp to the path ahead.

We looked at a passage from Hebrews last week that explores that situation: “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. (Hebrews 5:11-12)

Some people need to take another lap around the traffic circle at church: they’re not ready to move on. But, what about the ones who “get it” and are ready to go to the next level?

Paul was coaching Timothy on his journey and was protecting him from the voices who wanted him to hold back: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). His counsel was gritty but right-on: don’t allow anyone to stall your progress for wrong reasons.

If you read me regularly, you know that I’m a cheerleader for church. It’s the local gathering of the family of faith; God’s children need each other, and – together – we worship and serve our mutual Heavenly Father. We get that…

The local church in our generation is dealing with a challenge: most Christians who are “Alive” are stuck in infancy.  Churches address the infant issues of faith-based living more than the critical matters needed for believers to graduate into their long-term role in the Kingdom. Milk, or meat? Infant Christians choke on the higher-level teachings needed to go to battle against the Evil One…

To use an educational paradigm: the Local Church has the K-12 classrooms that teach the basics. When you’ve mastered the basics… where do you go next? Where do you find the life lessons that take you to the next level?

Jesus recruited 12 men – who had been in Saturday/ Sabbath classes at the Synagogue their whole lives – to go into training for their Kingdom Calling. They spent three years with Him… and then changed the world.

In an era when people are looking for one-stop shopping – to get everything they need offered to them, conveniently, in one place – the prospect of looking outside the neighborhood to find assistance to advance into the life – and, Calling – that God offers can often be viewed as unnecessary – or, worse, disloyal – by the leaders at the church who are doing the best they can to work with the folks who are still doing donuts in the Sunday morning traffic circle where most Christians mistake movement for progress…

If you’ve been part of The Master’s Program, you get it. If you’ve done a self-check on your maturity (see last week’s Point of View) and have to admit your infancy, stick with Sundays. But… if you’ve hit the point where you can finish the Sunday morning sermon intuitively – filling in the blanks on the handout that’s in the program before they open the Bible text for the message – where do you apply for your next stage of your grow-into-usability challenge?

Have you graduated from Sunday School? Are you ready for what’s next?

You need to join us for an online conversation about your Kingdom future. On Monday, May 24th, you’ll have the chance to think outside the traffic circle. Will you change the world during the rest of your days? The answer to that question hangs in the balance. Click to register; you’re a couple of clicks away from saying “yes.”

Bob Shank

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