It’s not often you find something that is better the second time than the first. But, like re-playing my childhood on Disney+, experiences often change with your season of life, and sometimes get sweeter! I recently had the chance to re-read and discuss a book that was very helpful to me when I was in college and it turned out to be an even more profound and deep-cutting challenge to my faith the second time around. The book is called Radical by pastor David Platt and I would highly recommend it as a primer on nothing less than genuine Christian living in our American context.
The book ends with a challenge that well summarizes what the book argues are neglected essentials in our Christ-following. It calls every reader to undertake 5 tasks for at least a year (and see what God does in your heart after that…)
- Pray for the entire world (using a global prayer resource like Operation World)
- Read through the entire Word (using a Bible reading plan)
- Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose (above and beyond your tithe)
- Spend time in another context (at least 2% of your time, one week/year)
- Commit your life to a multiplying community (a disciple-making church)
What struck me the most in encountering this challenge (again), is that it didn’t seem all that radical! Now, let me be clear. That response was almost immediately followed by conviction over my personal failure in each of these areas, particularly in not actively praying for the unreached. But by God’s grace, I have come to fully believe that these are the basic building blocks of a biblically faithful life.
I want to challenge you to consider these as well, whether or not you pick up a copy of Radical from the bookstall. Are you willing to consider that these marks of far-reaching prayer, comprehensive Bible study, uncomfortable giving, mission-driven vacation time and active church membership are the minimum requirements for serving a crucified Savior?
Woolsey Baptist Church exists to equip you in each of these areas. Please reach out if you would like to undertake any (or all) of these challenges and would like prayer resources, a Bible reading plan, ideas on where to give, short-term mission trip opportunities or a small group to get plugged in to. Let’s heed the “upward call of God” and together live the upside-down life that, to the world, looks radical indeed.