Some of the congregation knows about a small group I started some six or seven years ago called followHim. There are somewhere around 12-15 members of this group and we meet at my home, The Hermitage, once a month. This group has been faithful in meeting almost every month for all those years.
The concept of followHim is simple–we look at one thing Jesus called us to and then talk about how we are trying to do it, to follow him, to be his disciple. And in listening to each other talk about how they are trying to be a disciple of Jesus we learn.
The genesis behind followHim was personal for me–after some 40 years of study and prayer I concluded that what Jesus was calling me to was simpler than I was making it and easier to do than I thought. For those 40 years I debated (in my mind and with others) the great questions of faith and the Bible. My spiritual life and faith had consumed me during that time and in order to understand my faith I thought I had to answer all the questions, dot all the i’s and cross the t’s about what it all meant. I thought for so long that in order to really be a disciple I had to make sure I was doing it right, thinking right, behaving right…
Then after a series of experiences and much prayer I realized all this ‘need to know stuff’ was causing me to miss the true message of Jesus. After prayer and much conversation with Jesus (oh, yes, my friend Jesus and I talk a lot) I realized that Jesus required very little of me and none of it had to do with answering questions. All he wanted of me was to love. Love him, love others, even love myself; nothing more, nothing less.
See what happened was that Jesus and I had a ‘come to Jesus meeting’ and he set me straight. I felt him saying to me ‘why are you making this so hard? Why are you torturing yourself with trying to know what is real or not, what I meant or not. Jesus said to me (during my come to Jesus meeting) here’s all you need to know about me and my message. Listen to these words of mine…”Love one another as I have loved you.” “Love your neighbor as yourself…” “then come follow me…” The End.
I remember the day, the time, the place when all of this really hit me. And when it did, I was free. I felt such liberation. I realized I had the answers to all those questions right here in my hands all along: just follow him…
Now I serve a church, Christ Church, a little faith community of loving people who also spend little time asking the big questions and just…well…try to follow him. Now I realize that not only am I a followHim Christian, perhaps this little church is a followHim church…this gives me great hope.
In future posts I’m going to expand on being a followHim Christian and a followHim community…check back for more to come.