Men born into western culture face three big decisions when it comes to Christianity:
1. What will you do with Jesus Christ? Everyone is free to accept His offer of salvation… or not. This is basic. Essential. Level 1. If you’re reading this, the assumption is you believe in Jesus.
2. Will Jesus be Savior or Lord? As believers in Jesus, we get to decide how much we let Him into our lives. He can simply be ‘Savior’ (e.g. ‘fire insurance’) and play almost no role . . . or He can become your faithful guide, your counselor, and your best friend. When He becomes Lord, when you constantly turn to Him, feel His Presence, express your gratitude, seek His peace and follow Him, that’s Level 2. We discover that He’s always there for us. We become dependent on Him. Jesus becomes our ‘ultimate’. We’re public about our faith, connected and involved in a local church, and those closest to us realize that our faith is central to who we are.
3. Will we follow His call to serve other people? His love for us is amazing and unshakable, but His call will always lead us to a focus on others. Level 3. The second commandment . . . “A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matt. 22:39) This third level of Jesus-following is what I call “the outward turn”. It’s where it is not just about ‘you and yours’ anymore. It’s where you have to decide how much of His call you’re willing to respond to. Being a Godly husband and father? Absolutely! Involved, contributing church member? Sure. Occasionally stepping up to being a ‘good Samaritan’? Okay, no problem. But obeying His call to serve? That’s another thing.
I believe Jesus was serious when He said “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20). It was His last instruction. We believe He meant for every single one of us to have our own ministry doing some piece of Kingdom work.
Thousands of men have their own “ministries”. Most ‘own’ a piece of their local church.Thousands more find their own ministries outside the church. Countless lives have been rescued by men who serve their brothers in Alcoholics Anonymous. 24/7, they talk guys ‘off the ledge’. Others lead Bible studies, serve as sports chaplains, coach kids, help the homeless, and feed the hungry.
I’ve found my “ministry” in mentoring younger men. These twice-a-week posts are my attempt to pour what God is putting in my cup into the cups of my mentees. But my real motive is to inspire them (and you) to create your own ministry as a mentor. I want men to find the joy of Level 3 Christianity and the fulfillment of making disciples as a Radical Mentor.
Don’t let the theological questions of Level 1, 2 and 3 distract you from the personal challenge here. Have you stopped with Jesus as Savior? Do you hear Him knocking at your heart’s door saying “I love you”,“you need more of me”?
If you’re a Level 2 guy and you know where He wants you to have your ministry to others, say ‘yes’.
His blessing waits on the other side of your obedience.
John 10:10b says “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full”. Your life will never be full at Level 1 or 2. Jesus lived his whole life at Level 3 and He’s calling you and me to follow Him there. Come further up, come further in!