I don’t remember making the choice to be in the Bubble. I just remember looking up and finding myself reclining comfortably in the Christian bubble. I listened to Christian music, read Christian novels, subscribed to Christian blogs, attended Christian conferences, and wore Christian jewelry. I had become a valuable consumer of all things Christian.
Don’t get me wrong. Devouring God’s Word is good; the Bible truly illuminates my path. Soaking up God’s presence in devotional mornings and worship nourishes my soul. Fellowship in small groups encourages me along the journey. Christian conferences and retreats inspire me. Love them!
But these became habits of consumption.
Sometimes I wonder if we, the modern Church, are not growing obese instead of mature as we consume God’s word.
Disciples of the words or The Word?
We have quite the industry in curriculum publishing, conferences, music, clothing and jewelry. We display God’s Word on posters, t-shirts, and bumper stickers. We study the Scriptures. We sing God’s Word. We purchase lots of copies of God’s Word: Women’s, Men’s, Youth, Devotional, and Study Bibles in dozens of different translations.
For some of us, this consumption alone defines our faith.
Being a consumer of the gospel, however, is quite different from being a disciple of the gospel.
When we became followers of Jesus, the Lord did not choose to bring us physically to His heavenly throne. Apparently, we have an earthly mission to fulfill first! God’s Word and Christian fellowship are meant to be tools to equip, encourage, and rebuke along the way. Their mastery is not the end goal.
We need to be aware of the world and the culture around us. So much brokenness exists in our world. How can we know about the hurts and struggles if we are living in the Bubble?? Our Lord’s first disciples show us life outside the Bubble. Paul, for example, invested much time to learn about the people in each new place his missionary journeys took him. (Acts 17:22-23)
To Go Beyond the Bubble
The Lord calls us to be His hands and feet and voice. We are to be His witnesses to the ends of the world! As disciples of Jesus, we need to emerge from the Bubble and do what His Word says…
We are to:Be His storytellers (Acts 1:8)Care for orphans and widows (James 1:27)Be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32)Forgive one another (Matthew 18:22-23)Do good to others (Galatians 6:10)Clothe the naked (Matthew 25:36)Feed the poor (Matthew 25:35)Be light in the darkness (Matthew 5:14)Be a peacemaker (Matthew 5:9)
This list moves us beyond being a consumer to being a disciple of the gospel.
One final note… you, of course, don’t have to do it all nor do it alone. God has gifted each of us in different ways. And, we have different passions and experiences. The Lord has placed you in a unique setting to be His gospel to your people.
Do not merely listen to the Word…Do what it says.
- Do you notice a consumer mindset in the church today?
- How would you recommend the church better live out faith?
- How will you live as a disciple of Jesus today?
Posted by Sharon R Hoover
church photo credit: Chris Smith/Out of Chicago via photopin cc
Sharon, so glad God crossed our paths! I’ve had similar thoughts recently, but your article gave a face to them: Obese Christian consumers. It’s easy to get comfortable in our bubbles! Thanks for a reminder and challenge to live outside the bubble!
Sharon R Hoover says
Thanks for adding to the conversation, Holly! “Obesity” gives a profound image to our issue of Christian consumers. There are areas in my life that I still need to diet!
Carol Brown says
And there are any number of ways to meet those new people–just follow your passion. For example if you love to read, join a book club. Fitness? Sign up for an exercise class at the Y. Same for crafting, knitting, scrapbooking. Singing–community choir. It is endless. The pull of inertia is always my biggest hurdle!
Sharon R Hoover says
Great suggestions, Carol! Many new people to meet in clubs, classes and our own neighborhood. Inertia is powerful for me too. Praying for the power and passion of the Gospel to overwhelm us and help us with the hurdle. :-)
jenni aiello says
Sharon–excellent post…this is something I’ve struggled with too over the years.
I’d encourage you to add that we need to seek new friends as well, friends that don’t go to our church and maybe don’t even share our faith. That is an example of stepping out of our bubble too….Jenni
Sharon R Hoover says
Hi, Jenni! So true … walking the journey with new friends models how Jesus reach out. Thanks for adding to the conversation!