A. Sinner’s Prayer
I confess that you love me better than I can ever love myself.
Please forgive me for putting myself first instead of loving you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and my neighbor as myself.
I am sorry for not listening to and obeying you. I open my heart to receive and trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.
Make me like Jesus through your Spirit, Word, Body, and Blood.
I ask this in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
B. Brief Catechism
I feel like I need to repent of something.
For the last decade or so, I have been focused on understanding and promoting Transformational Christianity, which is based largely on Kingdom theology. I believed — and still believe — that the Kingdom of God is a powerful Biblical metaphor for understanding what the church and Christians are supposed to be doing on the earth.
But I think we’ve missed something. To be fair, everyone else in the gospels — the crowds, the disciples, even John the Baptist — also missed it. But that’s still no excuse. Especially since we have their example.
We have forgotten the cross of Christ. We have preached the life of Jesus in the gospels, and the power of the Holy Spirit in Acts, but overlooked the crucifixion that made both of those meaningful. We have sought the glory of Christ without sharing in His sufferings.
We want to bring the Kingdom of God — which is a good thing.
But we have tried to bring the Kingdom without first going to the cross. Which is a bad thing.
Forgive me for falling into the same trap your early followers did, of getting so excited over the promise of the Kingdom I totally missed what you were actually doing. I confess that I still do not understand the cross of Christ, or why you had to die. Which is why I resist the fact that I have to die. And forget to tell people that they have to die, as Jesus did. We have — forgive the pun — watered down Baptism to an empty ritual, instead of a way to share in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I am sorry. Please forgive me by your grace, by that very same death on a cross I have so foolishly neglected. Have mercy on those I may have misled or failed to help along the way. Help me to do my part in bringing back the fulness of the gospel to your people.
And, um, please let me know if there’s anything else important that I’ve missed…
I ask this in Jesus name, Amen.
Since my son’s second set of seasons, I’ve sought a scalable summary of the gospel. Something simple enough to be sung by a six-year-old, yet sufficiently sophisticated to stun seminarians for centuries. Here’s my most successful statement so far:
God Loves Us Like Jesus
Simultaneously saying, in short, that the Father loves in the way:
- Jesus loves us
- He loves Jesus
- that makes us more like Jesus
Submitting to that sort of Savior is a sweet smell to our spirit, but a shocking scare to our sin! Continue reading
[This is not The Lord’s Prayer. This is just our Daddy’s prayer.]
We want everyone to know you are a Good Father.
Help us all to be happy by obeying you.
Thank you for giving us what we need
even if not what we want.
Help us be kind instead of angry
when other people hurt us
because that is how you forgive us.
Keep us safe from harm, even when it hurts.
Because you love us like Jesus.
Yesterday my precocious 4-year-old said he wanted to be baptized. I don’t think he’s ready yet; our church doesn’t baptize kids until they are at least seven.
But, how would I know if he was ready?
What is the minimum someone needs to truly understand in order to authentically embark on a lifelong journey of discipleship? In short, how should you explain the gospel to preschoolers?
At Catalyst One Day, Pastor Andy Stanley explained how North Point Community Church‘s Sunday School curriculum focused on hammering home a small set of basic truths at each stage of life. Surprisingly, perhaps due to the decentralized nature of North Point’s ministries, I couldn’t find them written down in one place. Here’s what I’ve been able to compile.