Sunday, January 10, 2010

Intersectional Discipleship

In the book The Medici Effect, author Frans Johansson introduces the idea of “intersectional innovation”—the creativity that emerges at the intersection of two seemingly disparate ideas, concepts, or fields of study. During the Renaissance, artists, scientists, poets, and philosophers converged, breaking down barriers between disciplines and cultures and ushering in one of the most explosive eras of creativity and invention. In more recent times, architects design energy-saving office complexes by studying termite mounds. Engineers collaborate with biologists to understand the toughness of the conch shell and apply the principles to tank armor and automobile bodies. These innovators are re-imagining life at the intersection of ideas.

Jesus was the master of intersectional innovation. He combined law and grace to give us redemption and salvation. He brought together Jews and Samaritans to paint a picture of community in his Kingdom. And He fused humanity and divinity to give us the Incarnation—a God who had walked in our shoes and was tempted in every way and yet remained sinless and held the authority to save us from sin. He re-imagined grace for the prostitute, re-imagined righteousness for the Pharisee, and re-imagined life for the sick.

What happens when we allow ourselves to re-imagine church at the intersection of ideas? Movie theaters and coffeehouses transform into places of worship. Martial Arts meet compassion and a small group smashes boards to raise money for a homeless shelter. Faith and doubt collide on Monday nights to create a safe place to hear a dangerous message and ask difficult questions on Monday nights at Alpha. We discover intersectional discipleship.

At National Community Church, we believe that the church should be the most creative place on the planet, and we are committed to relentlessly re-imagining discipleship, community, missions, and ministry for the culture and generation to which God has called us. No two small groups look exactly alike because they emerge from the collision of a leader’s interests and passions and commitment to discipleship.

What do you find at the intersection of ideas in your life? It might be a new idea for a small group or a ministry or a missions trip. What happens when your skills collide with the heart of God? What happens when your greatest passion meets the world's deepest need? What happens when the eternal Word of God intersects our daily life? Think outside the box. Re-imagine community, mission, ministry, and discipleship.


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