The other day Alan Knox shared with me an article written by Ernest Goodman at Missions Misunderstood. Goodman has just finished up a series called The Counterintuitive Church. This series really made me think about what Jesus did, what Jesus’ apostles wanted to do, and what I usually do. Let’s take the Parable of the Talents as an example. Starting in Matthew 25:14, Jesus tells a parable of a man on a journey with three different servants. To each of his servants he gave some talents (money). To one he gave five talents, to another he gave two talents, and to the last he gave one talent. When the man came back from his journey, the three servants brought with them the talents. The first two had both doubled the investment while the last had only hid it. The first two were praised for their faith and trust, while the last was scolded.
In today’s economy, it doesn’t really look like the last servant had done anything really bad. He was afraid that his master would have nothing, so made sure to keep at least one talent for him. It was very pragmatic. It is probably what I would do. But it is not what Jesus would expect of us. There are a number of examples in Scripture where Jesus talks about doing the opposite of what is natural for us. When the government tells you to walk a mile, you walk two. When someone hits you, you turn the other cheek. He sat and spoke with a Samaritan woman, alone. It seems like he did everything that was contrary to our nature. And to top it off, we should reflect his life in our living.
That’s really what Goodman’s series focuses on within our church structures. We have sought after pragmatism, rather than following Jesus’ nature. I highly encourage you to read this series. They are fairly short and precise, to the point, and will surely make you think.
- The Counterintuitive Church – Part 1
- The Counterintuitive Church – Part 2, The Gaps
- The Counterintuitive Church – Part 3, Distribution
- The Counterintuitive Church – Part 4, Let’s Be Clear
- The Counterintuitive Church – Part 5, What’s Wrong With Pragmatism
- The Counterintuitive Church – Part 6, Impractical Worship
- The Counterintuitive Church – Part 7, Impractical Spaces
- The Counterintuitive Church – Part 8, The Impractical Church Among Us
After reading this series, I thought to myself. Maybe instead of asking, “What Would Jesus Do?” and coming up with a practical answer… I should ask, “What Would I Do?” and then do the opposite. That would probably more closely reflect Jesus’ nature – rather than my own.