I’ve been guilty from time to time of trying to figure out what is the least I can do and get by. In college, sometimes it was what is the least amount of reading I can do and still get the grade I desire. This mindset often follows us to our workplaces and our families as the minimum becomes the standard or status quo for what is acceptable.
This happens in our faith as well.
I am guilty of sometimes seeking the minimum standard for “getting by” with my faith. If I treated my marriage like I sometimes treat my relationships with God- I would most like be divorced by now! I can go for days with little conversation with God because I am self-centered. Or I put a minimal amount of time or intentionality in sharing my faith outside of Sunday morning. Or maybe I’ve become comfortable with my material possessions and they are starting to possess me.
I finished reading (again) Erwin McManus’ An Unstoppable Force. In the final chapter of the book, he talks about a radical minimum standard for believers. The radical minimum standard is giving our hearts completely to God and going wherever God leads us. That is what it means to be a disciple…to be a Christian. And this minimum standard is not for the spiritually elite- pastors, missionaries, and uber-spiritual laity- it is the standard for the entire body.
It is a shame in many of our churches that we are more of an institution or club than we are a movement of God. We have come to a place where we pay our dues (offering), take part in the major club gatherings (Christmas and Easter), we may even attend weekly meetings if they end on time (worship service) and complain about any new changes the club might make (new worship service, too many new people, etc.). Instead, we are called to be a body that is living…an organism that is passionately working together to bring about God’s kingdom here on earth. A body that works to bring about justice in their community and world. A body that exemplifies Jesus Christ- God in Flesh- in every facet of our lives. We are not called to be an institution, club or even a religion. We are called to be a movement of people- the body of Christ who die to themselves everyday in order that Christ might live through us. We are a movement with the purpose of bringing the expansion of the kingdom in everything that we do.
That is the Radical Minimum Standard of our Faith.