Monday, 27 August 2012

Hazardous discipleship. Risky obedience.

I don't consider myself as living dangerously. A comfortable Western life style, where the only danger in my life is whether my bicycle might come into contact with a car during the few miles of my daily (slow) commute.

So I didn't consider that even my faith might be hazardous until I read Lisa's link up post in response to Ed's new book.

Leaving her church was hazardous. Wow! Me too!

I didn't, perhaps foolishly, consider the hazards and dangers when my husband and I responded to a call to leave our (very comfortable) church home to go to help out at a tiny, traditional, Anglican church.

I am shocked to discover that it has already been three years since we did so. Even though two years ago I blogged about our struggles there, and last year had even more encouragement, this 'new' church life still seems hazardous...

I know that 'going' to church is to meet together with others to praise and worship God, and to encourage each other, as it says in Hebrews 10:25 Yet I find that, even setting my mind and heart to worship God, the music does not encourage me to do so. I can't sing very well, so struggling to sing ancient hymns with a handful of people who hear every wrong note is an ordeal. After the service ends, the majority of the congregation escape quickly from the (thousand year old) building. A few stay for coffee, and they are the 'church' we are trying to build into.

It doesn't feel particularly risky - not in an adrenaline-fuelled fear type of way. The danger is more insidious.

I risk losing my joy in worship, so much so that now, though initially I listened to modern worship songs at home, I struggle to regain my joy.

I risk losing my joy in fellowship. Interactions with others at church - many of whom seem to be more interested in the church fabric and infrastructure than in living lives as disciples of Christ - can be draining.

I'm teetering on the brink.

So this idea of 'hazardous faith' has had the effect of alarming me, opening my eyes to the dangers. I hover on the edge, gazing into a pit of Apathy and Discouragement.

Adrenaline kicks in. I open my eyes, ears and heart to worship. I look at nature, I listen to worship music, I read the Bible more, I follow Christian blogs. I gain joy from good, God-centred conversations over coffee - at church and at other times too.

So I echo the Psalmist:
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Lord, do not delay.

Living the Life. Hazardously.

I shared My Hazardous Faith Story as part of a synchroblog connected with the release of Ed Cyzewski and Derek Cooper’s new bookHazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus.
Read others' insight into costly discipleship at In a Mirror Dimly here.


  1. Having grown up in a small Anglican church, I relate. Thanks for taking the risk. As long as He wants you there, the fruit is His responsibility. Take courage.

    1. Thank you for this encouragement - yes, I will only survive by keeping close to Him. Water in the desert...

  2. I hear your struggle and am so glad you shared this. Yes, this definitely qualifies as a hazardous faith story. :-) I have friends who are in the same position you are in with churches that seem more about apathy than they are about life. They are trying to hang in there and promote change and grace, but it gets very discouraging.

    I pray that the Lord will continue to find outlets for you to stay encouraged in him. It sounds like you are doing well in creating opportunities on your own to keep your worship vibrant. I know that gets tiring too, when you want to do that with the whole body of your church!, but may the Lord reward you for living out a hazardous faith for him.

    1. Thank you! Psalm 33:16 - 22 springs to mind:
      No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.
      A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
      But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death,and keep them alive in famine.
      We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
      In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
      May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

  3. Adding in this comment from Amy@themessymiddle, which I deleted by mistake instead of publishing lol!

    "I risk" ... ah yes! And therein lies the haphazard. It can be anywhere :) (I can tell you know that!)