In a recent family conversation with our children, my wife and I were explaining many of the qualities our parents possessed during our childhood. Much of it was positive, but also contained lessons learned and the hope of not repeating those mistakes in our own lives. This of course moved into a critique by our children of how my wife and I are doing as parents, people, and believers. As you can imagine, some positive and some negative. Finally, the conversation moved toward the qualities we desire for our children to develop now and maintain into the future. This of course is not a new conversation, but one that spouses often have with each other and their children reflecting on their progress as disciples.
In the book, Faith for Exiles, the authors unveil major new Barna research regarding the lives of “Christians'' in the decade after high school. Unfortunately, they conclude that only 10 percent of young “Christians” would be considered what they call resilient disciples. Resilient disciples are those who remain consistently and resiliently faithful in spite of the tensions they feel between church and everyday life.
To dig in even deeper, a resilient Christian has made a commitment to Jesus. They believe he was crucified and raised to conquer sin and death. They choose to be involved in a faith community beyond attendance at worship services. They strongly affirm that the Bible is inspired by God and contains truth about the world. In addition, they often want to find a way to follow Jesus that connects with the world they live in. They believe that God is more at work outside the Church than inside, and they want to be a part of that. They want to be a Christian without separating themselves from the world around them.
At Crosshill, another way we describe a resilient disciple is one who has developed an authentic faith. To flourish as believers in today’s culture requires disciples who are resilient. Believers who have an authentic faith. Disciples who have taken the love and instruction and modeling from their parents, teachers, and pastors, and have chosen to commit to the truth of the gospel. It is something they own, and no person or circumstance can take that away from them.
Committing to being and training resilient disciples is worth getting out of bed in the morning each day! Please continue to pray daily for parents, teachers, pastors, and our children who are much more important than a simple statistic. We desperately want them to develop into resilient disciples as we model that ourselves.