Here are some reflections on Radical, Chapter 9: The Radical Experiment.
The radical experiment is a one-year challenge proposed by David Platt. This is a big commitment. It is not an eight week or 12 week commitment, it is an entire year. We live in a culture that pursues short-term commitment with long-term gain. But something that I like to say is that the more you put in, the more you will get out. I believe that is the point here. If we sow sparingly then we will also reap sparingly.
There are five parts to the radical experiment. They are:
- Pray for the entire world;
- read through the entire Word;
- sacrifice your money for a specific purpose;
- spend your time in another context;
- commit your life to multiplying community.
On the surface these challenges may seem simplistic. This is especially true of the first three – pray, read the Bible, and given offering. But as we look across the landscape of Christianity in America we see feeble prayers. In my time as a pastor I have encountered numerous Christians who are uncomfortable with prayer. Biblical illiteracy is alarming. We are ignorant of some of the most basic stories and concepts in the Scripture. If the statistics be true about our giving the number of Christians in America who actually give a 10% tithe are a very small minority.
Imagine if we did not live so hypocritical. Imagine if we had the same passion for prayer that we had for things like football and reality TV. Imagine if we actually engaged transformative power of God’s Word. Imagine the incredible good we could do if we lived sacrificial and generous lives.
Last two challenges here hit close to home. In January of Haiti mission team will be on its way to Haiti. This is something that brings me great joy. It is not only for what we will accomplish in that place, but to also see the impact upon those who will go. They cannot help but be affected. There lives will be changed. They will be stepping out of their comfort zones but at the same time that is where the magic happens. I am excited to see what they will do in Haiti, but also what they will do when they return home.
The last challenge is to commit to multiplying community. This is all about the local church. This is all about making disciples. Our vision a good Shepherd is to KNOW Jesus, GROW as his followers, and GO out as missionaries into the world. Central to this vision statement is growing as a follower of Jesus Christ. For us as a church this involves being a part of growth groups where we come together to encourage one another and to support one another as we seek to learn what it means to follow Jesus and then implement it into our lives.
While we may not explicitly use the Radical Experiment at Good Shepherd, these challenges are incorporated into our message and mission. Check out this video below. And come and join us on Wednesday evenings on Saturday mornings. We would love to have you join us on the journey.