“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and a foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
This past week, I had a great conversation with a friend, Martin. We were talking about ministry to men and Martin said, “There is a lot of promotion and talk about leadership.” He’s right, there is a tendency in men’s ministry circles to focus on leadership – just a few months ago thousands of people across the world participated and watched the Global Leadership Summit simulcast out of Bill Hybel’s Church near Chicago. My friend Martin went on to say, “What is often missing in this discussion of leadership, is that to be a leader you have to be a follower.” I asked him what he meant by that. He replied, “You have to be following Jesus. It is more than just a style of leading, more than a “servanthood” leadership. Not everyone is called to be a “leader” per se, but we are all called to follow Jesus.”
What he means is that the most important aspect of being a Christian isn’t to be a Christian leader, it’s to be a Christian everywhere you go. I to call it being “The Everywhere Man.” I’m using the term “man” in the universal, all encompassing sense that includes all of humanity, men and women alike. The Everywhere Man simply means that you are who you are everywhere you go, every minute of your life. While this seem to go without saying, but when it comes to living out our faith, it is easy these days to compartmentalize our lives into “church man” and “everywhere else outside of church man.”
A typical Christian will attend church on Sunday morning – dress nice, use their best language, and smile and shake hands with lots of people. They sing, or at least hum, worship God and pray. That person will then go home and spend time with family or friends. They will do little to none of the things they did for an hour and a half that morning. In fact, for the rest of the week, they won’t do any worship, very little Bible reading, next to no prayer, and will greet very few people. They will go to work, spend time chatting with co-workers, laugh and smile, perhaps weep or become angry. The church thing was really an add-on to their life that is lived largely outside of the church, outside of interacting on a spiritual level with other Christians, and life goes on.
I don’t paint this picture to chastise us, but to help us understand why the last 3 generations of children raised in the North American church have for the most part turned their back on Christ, turned their back on Jesus being a major influence in their lives.
We put Christ and our faith in this box, in this one of many compartments of our life. Whenever we need to we take it out and put it on. When we don’t think we need it, it sits quietly packed away, having little to no influence on the choices we make, on how we live day to day. It doesn’t lead us to holiness any more than a Superman cape leads us to being a super hero. When we live this way, we’re living as if we were really two people “church man” and “everywhere else outside of church man.”
But The Everywhere Man doesn’t put his or her life into those boxes, those compartments. The Everywhere Man understands that our spiritual life is on display 24/7; that following Christ influences how we speak, how we act, how we relate, and how we think. The Everywhere Man acts no different at church than at home, or at work, or in the grocery store. Every moment of every day is spent focused on Christ and His will. This is what we call being missional.
It is about following Jesus with everything you have. This means making the right spiritual choice at every turn in the road, the choice that leads to Jesus or pleases Jesus. When you follow Jesus 24/7, making the right choices by the power of the Spirit within you, you will live missionally as a by-product. In other words, you don’t set out to live missionally, you set out to follow Jesus; and when you follow Jesus you can’t help but live missionally. In this sense, being missional is more a descriptive of what following Jesus looks like than a prescribed lifestyle in and of itself.
Following Jesus is what helps us lead others to Jesus. Living an authentic, worshipful relationship with Christ 24/7 is our focus. Everything else flows out of that relationship. So how do we be the Everywhere Man?
Have you made the commitment to follow Jesus with everything you have? Are you ready to serve the people around you with love? That is the commitment you make when you decide to follow Jesus. Jesus did not say, “Pray this prayer and you will get a big mansion in heaven.” He said “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” We all want Jesus the Savior, but do we want Jesus the Lord?
Let me challenge you to each morning renew your vow of love to Jesus. That’s the beginning and the end of the gospel, right there: Love. God, people, self. In the order. Giving our life to Christ means giving in to total love, surrendering our love for anything thing else and serving only one Master. Renew the vow of love, the vow of obedience, the vow of dependence. Once you have that decision down deep in your heart, then you will start changing your schedule, the things you spend your time on. When you let Jesus be the desire of your life, all the fluff and waste will drop away.
Consider the truth of this video I linked to on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pastorstevegrove
What passions rose up inside of you as you listened to the video? Were they passions for Christ? Was it a passion to love God, people, and self? What dreams rose to the surface? Are you willing to surrender those dreams to Jesus? Hand them over to Him and simply follow Jesus wherever He might lead you?
When you follow Christ your eyes are opened to a bigger world, a world even bigger than this video hints at. The video has it right. We have choice in life – to live life free because we are lost in love for Christ, or to live in bondage because we serve only our small dreams. It is only through Jesus that you become free to pursue the fullness in life. Not just the physical stuff of this world—the small potatoes—but the spiritual that undergirds all of this physical stuff.
Listen to 2 Corinthians 4:
“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
Let’s not purse the small potatoes; stuff that is here today but gone tomorrow. Let us pursue Jesus and His righteousness every minute of our lives, inside of church and outside. All of eternity is open to the Everywhere Man.