When making a disciple, like Jesus, we have to invite them into relationship and challenge them to change.
This is not an easy balance. It is really, really difficult. In this blog post I want to talk specifically about how this works itself out in House Groups. Everything applies to one on one discipleship relationships, but I want us to look at how it plays itself out in community.
Here is some ways we often get the balance wrong:
A) We are low invitation, high challenge.
When this happens we get people who work hard and strive for big things. In the end, though, they usually burn out. This is when people are challenged in a lot of different areas, in a lot of good ways… the problem is they dont feel cared for and invested in. When someone feels like they are running 100 miles an hour, but no one is there to give them some water they are going to quit. This is a stressful culture to be in as people will feel stressed to get a lot done all the while having little to no support. Typically, people in a low invitation, high challenge culture feel let done and used.
B) We are high invitation, low challenge.
When this happens people feel very loved, cared for, and invested in. People tend to stick around in High Invitation cultures because of how valued and cared for they feel. The problem is they dont usually ever get anything done. They are strong relationally, but inbreeding begins. In these cultures you have Christians that feel like family, which is a great thing, but they aren’t challenged to grow as a family or challenged to grow the family.Typically, people in this culture get too cozy, lazy. Many times people develop a “me, me, me” attitude. They want to continue to be deeply cared for, but not challenged to change.
C) We are low invitation, low challenge.
Hopefully it isn’t hard for us to see the problem here. Most people in this culture simply get bored. They don’t really fel valued and cared for and they are never challenged to change or do anything else. This is a church that typically welcomes people through the front doors, but there isn’t a culture to deeply care for those people. They are also never challenged to change or accomplish anything after they enter through the front doors. The end game is usually, “come and sit.” Obviously, no one strives for this culture. The problem is when we arent careful and intentional it isn’t hard to fall into this culture. Culture has to be created, it doesn’t just happen randomly.
Getting it Right
We are striving for a healthy balance of High Invitation and High Challenge. In a healthy culture like this people will typically feel empowered. They feel empowered because they have the care, support, and training they need and they are encouraged and challenged to change what needs changed. Our House Groups ought to have a familial-feel that deeply cares for and loves one another. At the same time, if we have a culture of high challenge we should be made uncomfortable, often. We ought to be challenged to deal with deep idols that need eradicated and challenged to live missionally. Both of those things are out of most peoples comfort zones.
Many of you might be thinking, “Man, my House Group seems to resemble (A, B or C) more than a healthy High Invitation and High Challenge.” You are your House Group. People change culture. People start catching on and living a High Invitation and High Challenge life of discipleship when they see it modeled. It starts with you. Like in a church, the pastor isnt supposed to do all the work. The pastor is supposed to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. In a House Group the leader isnt supposed to be the only one trying to make disciples. He is trying to create a culture in which disciples make disciples.
The challenge doesn’t come from me, but from Jesus. He is the one that challenges and commands us (followers of Jesus) to make disciples. Let’s make disciples like Jesus did by being people of High Invitation and High Challenge.