Why So Serious?

It’s Sunday morning and all across my immediate surrounding area, a strange phenomenon will occur.  
 
Hundreds of pastors and church leaders will stand up before thousands of church attendees and ask them to be more serious about Jesus.
 
What makes this phenomenon so strange is that the men speaking and preaching will believe that they actually mean what they are saying.  
 
They think that they would actually like to see all of the people that they are speaking to suddenly have an epiphany and become 100% serious about imitating Jesus as His disciple.  
 
But I would argue that if even one person in the crowd they were speaking to became serious about Jesus, those same pastors and church leaders wouldn’t know what to do with them; much less if the whole congregation got serious about imitating Jesus as His disciples.  
 
Why do I believe that?  
 
Because about 5 years ago, I got 100% serious about imitating Jesus as His disciple, and now churches have no idea what to do with me. I frustrate pastors and church leaders to death.  
 
Occasionally I have conversations with pastors and church leaders from my immediate area about what the Bible plainly teaches it looks like for someone to be 100% serious about imitating Jesus as His disciple.
 
In addition, I talk to them about what the Bible clearly teaches that it looks like for a church to be 100% serious about making disciples of Jesus who are 100% serious about imitating Him as His disciple… 
 
And they regularly look at me like I am insane.  
 
They never tell me that I’m wrong about what the Bible says because I have clearly shown them what it clearly teaches.  
 
I believe that they have simply never seen someone willing to abandon all and go against both church traditions and the prevailing culture in order to do exactly what the Bible teaches is required to imitate Jesus as His disciple, and to make more disciples of Jesus who do the same.  
 
Moreover, I believe that they themselves have never truly considered what it would actually look like for someone to 100% commit to imitating Jesus as His disciple. They have been asking people to do so without really understanding what they were asking people to do.
 
So when they actually see someone do it, and they see what it actually cost to do so; they realize that the cost is far more than what they imagined it would be.  
 
They also begin to contemplate what cost they would actually have to pay, what cost their church would have to pay, and what cost each individual member of their church would have to pay; and it scares them to death.  
 
Generally, when having this conversation, I can see the fear building in their eyes and I know that they are trying to convince themselves that there has to be an easier way…
 
…but there’s not.
 
And while they are asking themselves these questions, I am usually thinking to myself: 
 
“Why in the world are you asking people to be serious about Jesus when you are not actually prepared for people to get 100% serious about Jesus? Haven’t you ever read the Bible and what it teaches about the cost of 100% committing to imitating Jesus as His disciple?”
 
Of course, I don’t say that out loud because I don’t want to offend them so badly that they never want to talk to me again (which has happened). I try to leave the door open in case that they actually come to a point in the future where they truly want to commit 100% to imitating Jesus as His disciple, and to leading their church members to commit 100% to imitating Jesus as His disciple.  
 
Jesus said:  
 
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? […] In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:26-33).  
 
Jesus commanded us to first consider the cost of imitating Him as His disciple in order that we do not begin to do so, and then realize that the cost is too high and fall away.  
 
So pastors and church leaders; do you truly realize the cost you are asking people to pay when you ask them to get 100% serious about Jesus?  
 
Do you realize what it will cost you personally to get 100% serious about imitating Jesus as His disciple?  
 
Do you realize what it will cost you and your church if the people in the congregation actually get 100% serious about imitating Jesus as His disciple.?  
 
Do you realize what it will cost you if only half of your congregation were to get serious about imitating Jesus as His disciple?
 
Do you realize what it will cost you if only a couple of people get 100% serious about imitating Jesus as His disciple and the rest of the congregation rejects doing so?  
 
What would you do then?  
 
Would you run off the couple of people who were 100% serious about imitating Jesus as His disciples so that they didn’t upset everyone else…  
 
…and then turn right around the next week and ask people to get serious about Jesus?  
 
Have you truly kept Jesus’ command to first estimate the cost of what you are actually asking people to do?  
 
If you are unsure of what that cost looks like, feel free to visit us or contact us.
 
You can also start reading here about what it looks like to commit 100% to imitating Jesus as His disciple.  
 
So let’s be honest, are you really sure you want people in your church to get 100% serious about imitating Jesus as His disciple?  
 
Because, what would you do with one of me in your church?  
 
With 10?  
 
20?  
 
100?  
 
Perhaps God hasn’t sent you people who are 100% serious about Jesus because you don’t know what to do with people who are that serious about Jesus, because you haven’t first sat down and estimated the total cost of imitating Jesus as His disciple in your particular culture and context yet.  
 
And in case you missed it, Jesus said the cost was “everything” (Luke 14:33).    
 
 
Start here…
 
 
 
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