Micro Level Discipleship
I’ve had the rich blessing of calling Jackson home now for the last 15 months. And while sometimes I feel like we’re just getting started here (and we are,) I suspect by now you know me well enough to have some sense that I’m more drawn to micro-level discipleship than I’m drawn to the macro. I’m more drawn to how God might infuse my interaction with one of you in the aisle at Smith’s than I’m drawn to the latest movement in the denomination. I’d rather have a cup of coffee together than have a conference.
My preference for the micro isn’t accidental or circumstantial. After practicing this life, trying to live the God-love life, working at being a disciple, I’ve found that it’s in the little things that God (usually working through one of you) really comes alive for me, is relevant and makes a difference in my life. I find that when we focus on the little things, we quickly begin to focus on what really matters.
Further, I think the little things prepare us for the medium-sized things that prepare us for the big things. When I say I have a preference for the little things, it’s not that I’m unwilling to address the larger cultural challenges so many in our community and beyond face. It’s that I have some sense that when we work our way up to facing those big things—violence, poverty, systemic, historical injustice—if we don’t have the little things and if we don’t have each other, we’ll quickly burn out or lose hope or get so frustrated that we quit.
Jesus (I love that guy) spends a great deal of his time on the little things. An afternoon at a well with a woman. Evenings with his 12 closest friends. Side trips to visit someone compromised by mental illness and anguish. A campfire with folks who are afraid. As we read through the Gospels, we can see it’s the micro that animates and fuels Jesus over the course of his three year mission.
So, I guess, to me, a cup of coffee isn’t just a cup of coffee. A quick prayer isn’t just a quick prayer. A visit isn’t just a visit. A breakfast isn’t just a breakfast. Each is a part of assembling a life committed to, devoted to God.