What? They want me to be the speaker-guy at Family Camp? In my former days with InterVarsity it was a very big deal to be invited to be the expositor for a week of camps at Cedar Campus. For a couple of years before I left IV staff in 06 I got to be on the teaching team for Chapter Focus Week. A group of staff would meet and prepare the same expository series happening at multiple sites, multiple weeks throughout the summer.
My assignment this summer was expositor for Family Camp – Week 4. We jumped on the opportunity as a family to go. I jumped on the opportunity to do a Jesus series and continue developing Bad Company. Check out the previous post if you’re wondering why I’m so excited about the theme of Jesus and Rejection. Here’s a quick snapshot of where the series went:
- Sunday: Homeboy Rejected – Jesus nearly stoned at Nazareth, Luke 4
- Monday: Un-follow Me? -Many of Jesus’ disciples opt out after tough message, John 6
- Tuesday: Power Clash – Jesus rejected by religious power systems, Mark 12
- Wednesday: Jesus Saves…Not! – Jesus turns away a prime candidate, Mark 10
- Thursday: Rejected Victor – Jesus the Suffering Servant, Isaiah 53
This is a very deep, untapped source of Jesus story-telling. I selected these five rejection narratives as an onramp to an audience of people very familiar with Jesus stories. We know many of these stories well. But they aren’t the ones we usually use in telling the Gospel. I think that’s a huge problem. And I think we can change that. People struggling with belief in Jesus are longing to hear something other than felt need as the rationale. I’m afraid consumerism is about to burn itself out as a vehicle for the Gospel.
Where is Bad Company headed?
Look for Bad Company articles to float through the blog now and then. I’ll be eventually off-loading Bad Company to its own tab on this site. There are so many rejection stories to explore – each one packed with new challenges for Christians on mission in an intensely consumerist context. I keep telling friends I’d like to develop Bad Company into a book! But meanwhile, jump in with your thoughts about Jesus and Rejection. Am I really onto something legit?
“Jesus is that huge kid at the other end of your teeter-totter. What are you going to do when your will to follow is out of scale with Jesus’ identity claims?” A diagram here and a few application questions in light of Jesus’ own followers opting out (John 6). Becoming a disciple integrates belief and the will to follow. When disciples couldn’t grasp the implications of Jesus’ identity claims, their will to follow flagged. Today many have the opposite problem. They’ll just fake the beliefs and do what it looks like Christians have to do to fit in.
Following Bad Company Jesus is soooo much harder. And so much more rewarding. I dare you to try it yourself. More to come.