we started the radical experiment this week.
our whole church family is reading a book together over the next nine weeks. i’m pretty pumped over the possibilities. part of it has to do with the content of the book and the challenge to take the words of jesus seriously. pretty novel idea, if you ask me.
but reading a book is no big deal. even reading it together is not heroic. no…the hope for making this a life-changing experience is in the dialogue.
if you are part of the NP family, you’ve been challenged to join a discussion group…a small collection of people who will talk about what they are learning from the book. nothing unique. nothing innovative. just friends talking about what the book…or maybe god…is saying.
over the course of my life, i bet i have heard over 4000 sermons in person. i could probably add at least another 1000 recorded sermons. put those together with over 2000 more lessons or workshops or classes of various kinds…and you could conclude i’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot and have my faith shaped by a variety of preacher-teachers.
i’ve also read a lot of books. a lot. i bet i own over 1000 books…though i’ve never counted. i’ve read almost all of them.
in spite of all the listening and reading i’ve done, i can honestly say that the deepest and most profound learning in my life has happened in direct proportion to the time i have spent in groups of people where deep, healthy, godly, and sometimes painful discussion happened.
i love honest, transparent, challenging discussion…especially when it is related to what people are learning or what god appears to be teaching.
that kind of dialogue is life-giving, mind-expanding, strength-building, and heart-breaking. that kind of dialogue is what all of us need.