1. It is needed. I had a conversation with a friend the other day and we talked about how spiritual growth and discipleship are what will have an impact on a church not programs. Imagine just 25 people in your church rearranging their lives around the practices and lifestyle of Jesus. These 25 people’s influence would be felt all over the church.
2. Spiritual practices are not scary. We don’t hesitate to try out a new golf club, or new software, or a new diet. Even if we do not stick to it or end up using it, we realize that to advance and to learn new things you have to be able to conduct a little trial and error. With spiritual practices we either think we are supposed to already know how to do or are afraid of doing something wrong in the process.
The first time I fasted I acted like I was on the 40th day of a hunger strike when I had only skipped two meals. But each time I did it, I lost the drama of it and got to aspects that really mattered. 23 Things gives you the freedom to “play” with unfamiliar practices in order to experience their benefits.
3. Our faith should be challenged. Do you think P90X is easy? Have you seen Crossfit? Millions of people participate in these fitness trends, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. They want a challenge, they want something that is a sacrifice. Its demonstrated in countless areas, individuals feel more reward the harder they work.
In a quest to keep people in the fold, ministers often shy away from challenging their congregation. Maybe what we need is something hard. 23 Things won’t be hard, in fact it is designed to be fun, but keeping up with the weekly exercises and giving the practices more than just divided attention will be necessary.
4. Jesus wants to teach you. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30) Jesus call us to learn from him. We can take his yoke upon us and find rest for our souls. 23 Things gives us many opportunities to learn from Jesus and experience his gentle and humble heart. I need that. I think you do too.
5. Win a Free Book. Everyone who completes all 23 Things will be eligible to win the book, 25 Books Every Christian Should Read.
23 Things will begin on March 19. If you would like to sign up to participate, leave a comment or email me at scott(dot)jeffries(at)gmail(dot)com. I am hoping to get 40 people to commit to this nine week discovery event. Stay tuned for more info. More info here and here.