It’s been 16 months since my last post. That’s the longest gap by a country mile since allthewrightwords started. Why? Challenges of life, busyness, sometimes not having any of the ‘wright words’ let alone all!
Anyway, to break the silence means there must be something worth saying and there is: I’d like to talk about the Inspire Movement.
As a follower of Jesus and church leader I’m always reading, thinking, talking, praying etc. about how I can see God at work more in my daily life, how I can help others to know the love of Jesus, and how I can encourage others to do the same.
I can say with confidence I’ve found the most amazing thing that does these things and more!
The Inspire Movement is radical – it’s the only thing I’ve seen that puts discipleship and mission together. ‘Discipleship’ is about how we learn to become more like Jesus, and ‘mission’ is about how we share his love with others through word and deed. The whole concept of ‘mission-shaped discipleship’ that Inspire speak of puts the two things together and is really helpful because I tend to compartmentalize my life when actually every part of it is about following Jesus (no matter what I’m doing there’s no point where I stop being a Christian!). So I love Inspire because they are doing something I’ve never heard of before but it’s fundamental to following Jesus because that is all about giving everything to God.
Matthew chapter 22 verses 36-40 says:
36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
What Jesus is speaking of is whole life discipleship, which impacts mission because if we love God and others we will express this. Inspire’s ‘mission-shaped discipleship’ is based on Bible teaching and John Wesley’s theology. It uses small groups of 3-4 known as ‘bands’ to help Christians of all shapes and sizes to hear God’s voice and see him at work in their daily lives. Inspire provide resources to equip those want to explore this and they are really great, not to mention they are free, and there are tonnes of them! It’s powerful being part of a ‘band of brothers’ (or sisters) who have got your back and know that you’ve got there back too.
One big bugbear I have about church is when Christians pretend. I don’t think we’re real enough half the time, at least in my corner of the world. We pretend things are ok when they’re really not, and often we don’t say when we’re floundering and we don’t get challenged when we need it either. We don’t move on if we live like that. Inspire helps break that down because at its core is a desire for authentic relationships. Right from the off, Inspire is about relationships – with other people, but with Jesus at the centre. It involves encouraging one another to become more like Jesus, as the small bands intentionally invest in one another. It’s not a Bible study or prayer group (although the Bible is used and prayer happens) but it’s relational, led by the Holy Spirit, and it enables vulnerability. It may sound like an oxymoron but there is a great strength in being vulnerable! Inspire doesn’t just encourage Christians – it’s also helped some who don’t yet believe to actually trust Jesus for themselves, because they have seen Christians unafraid to question or be vulnerable and have seen God at work in response to that. Plus, when Christians grow more confident that God is at work in their life it will become a natural everyday thing to want to share that with others.
My life was changed forever when I became a follower of Jesus. Years on I am quite literally ‘Inspire-d’ and very much see Inspire as being the best thing I’ve ever seen for both discipleship and mission. It’s something that I hope to be part of my life for many years to come, regardless of which church I’m part of and where I live. It’s worth noting that Inspire is not a course/programme to be rolled out, but a movement that resources those who want to grow, and the bands could last for years and years. The more committed folk are the more they will get out of it! And the more the world will change.
Click here to see the Inspire vision or please contact me if you’d like to talk about it. Following Jesus is always an adventure, yet it feels in some ways as though it’s only just the beginning for this disciple!
God bless you for reading.