Thursday, August 19, 2004

Openness and Discipleship

I started a discipleship relationship with a young man in our church. What I had him do was the following:
1. Go through the Sermon on the Mount and organize it into paragraphs.
2. Make a goal statement for each paragraph using his own words.
What happened here is he and his wife ended up making a plaque of this
exercise, and it is their family constitution.
3. Next, he prayed about thirty days to see what is the most vital of these goals.
4. Then, he selected three areas to pray about or example being encouraging and personal prayer life.
5. Next, we monitored the issues together. I made a chart of how I rated my prayer time each day. I also literally tracked the minutes I prayed.

Why do something like this? Why get so specific about the areas you want to change in your life and measuring something like prayer in minutes? It seems so wooden and strict. Well, I will tell you why. It is very revealing!! And humbling!! I have realized that I have become very inconsistent in my own prayer life. I used to ridicule men who didn’t pray significantly daily. Well, here I am and I am too busy to pray just like everybody else.

Here is the point. Do we know how to get real and observe ourselves and let ourselves be observed by others? So often we talk about prayer but we never hold each other accountable for making changes. Do other people know your life and your secret life? Well, if you are not observed, you very well may never change.

The 12 steps are built on this transparency. That is why meetings are anonymous. People share the real deal and that transparency needs to be honored. Do we share like this? Hmm. What if, just what if openness and community and transparency is the key to growth? Are we willing to be open if that is what it costs?


No comments: