During some of my internet browsing this weekend I came across this picture.
It was taken by the guys at SlowChurch.com, you can find them here. To be honest, I don’t know much about this new movement, but in light of their name, and some of what is projected on this slide, it seems to me that they are about creating, building and starting churches that focus more on longevity than on being the next “trendy” flash in the pan.
What really struck me about this picture was the final bullet point on the second column, “7th generation thinking.” Meaning, as we start new initiatives, create new things, develop new systems whether it be in the market place, home life or in the church, we need to think about how these new endeavors will impact generations down the road seven times over.
The reason this struck me is because we have lost this way of thinking in the church. And it has a direct connection to the lack of focus on intentionally making disciples. The only way the church will impact the next seven generations is by thinking about how we structure, organize and create intentional space for people to be discipled so that they in turn can disciple others, who in turn can disciple others and so on.
In contrasting the two columns, the consumption side focuses on speedy results. Ultimately, the care-taking column is about sustainability. And the only way the church is going to be sustained for the next seven generations is through making disciples. And making disciples is a slow process. It’s not trendy. It’s not sexy. It’s slow. It requires patience and persistence. It means we actually have to share in life together, we can’t be isolated and autonomous. And sometimes that gets messy.
The bottom line is that making disciples is about care-taking. It’s about stewarding what God has entrusted to the church. And what has God entrusted to the church? His Word and His people. So may we be committed to the building a legacy of making disciples that impacts seven generations from today.