In previous posts, I’ve described that there are three kinds of people in this world: ‘core’, ‘fringe’ and ‘world’. If you are new to this blog and have not read these, I suggest you do so. Here, I’ll start from the top but will quickly dive into some newer territory without making this post too long.
Remember we said…
- ‘core’ people were obvious believers in Christ who lived consistently between the Sundays;
- ‘world’ people refer to those who do not profess Christ at all;
- ‘fringe’ people are those that are not living their Sunday life between the Sundays.
Fringe “go to church” primarily for social reasons, which may include participating in any “church activity” that they feel some kind of social pressure to participate in; i.e. community service, financial giving, bible study, parking ministry, children’s ministry, etc. These are the things it takes to “belong”, and so they happily do them. Core also “go to church” and engage “church activities”, but they do so because they desire to obey God in all things, regardless of the personal cost. See the difference?
Here’s the question that prompts us to think a little deeper on this: do we associate these labels with people based on their actual state or just their perceivable state? This question matters because the later path allows us to move forward, but the former leads to a quagmire of judgmental-ism. In this world, we cannot know a person’s actual state, and it is dangerous to assume that we do. That’s not to say that we can’t have confidence in our salvation or that we cannot assume that someone who exhibits certain biblical behaviors as being regenerate or not, but those are posts for another day. I’m just saying I don’t want to get into the business of trying to sort out who is actually regenerate and who is not. It’s impossible, and there is no value in it…only confusion, difficulty, and hurt. We simply need some terms to communicate observations of people that lead to our ability to help them; we don’t need terms that we use to pretend to know what only God knows.
Here’s another question that prompts us to think a little deeper: do we associate these labels with people based on their actual maturity or their intentions in becoming mature? This question matters because we as disciple-makers cannot control the process of growth, but we can control the environment in which growth occurs. We do not control a plant’s growth process, but we can influence the outcome of that process by understanding the it and creating an environment that allows that process to work most efficiently. This is the job of a disciplemaker…to understand the process of spiritual growth and help people create an environment that allows this process to work most efficiently.
When a person has become intentional about setting up this environment, regardless of the cost to him, he has by definition moved into the core regardless of how mature he is. A one spiritual-day old believer can become as intentional about the growth process as a 60 spiritual-year old.
And so the mission remains…move people from the world and fringe to the core, then support, encourage and strengthen those in the core as they engage this sometimes intense and difficult journey.
Are you in the core? Are you helping someone else in the core with their “environment”? Are you talking to someone in the world about following Christ more closely? Are you talking to someone in the fringe about following Christ more genuinely? Do you want some help? That’s what SeqHim is here for…make yourself known and let us know how we can help you.
Are you in the fringe? Do you want to move into the core and become intentional about following Christ? That’s what SeqHim is here for…make yourself known and let us know how we can help you.
Are you in the world? Do you want to know what this Christianity stuff is all about? Do you sense that you are not right with God and that bad things will happen after you die? Do you want to hear this amazing story of God rescuing a people he loves from certain destruction and how you can be one that he rescues from the fate you already sense? That’s what SeqHim is here for…make yourself known and let us know how we can help you.
As always, I continue to pray for you all…no matter which ‘zone’ you currently live in!