Project 12

Discovering Discipleship in the 21st Century

The Words for Today Are:

Posted by gkaiser on March 6, 2007

(Disclaimer: Please don’t get the idea that I’m miffed or somehow responding to difficulties in Project 12, not so at all! In fact we’ve had amazingly few issues in P12 to date and recognize real fruit in those attending. I had the idea to write this blog for several months and simply decided to post it here as well as a few other spots online 🙂

TOURIST someone who travels for pleasure.

SCAMMER a person who swindles by means of deception or fraud.

SWINDLER from the German word “schwindler”, meaning an irresponsible person, promoter of wildcat schemes, cheat, derivative of “schwindeln” to be dizzy, dizzy-minded, irresponsible.

SLACKER one who evades their duty or work, shirker, educated young person who is purposeless, apathetic.

DISCIPLE follower, actively embracing and assisting in spreading another’s teachings, to grasp intellectually and analyze thoroughly. Biblical Greek: “listener, learner, pupil”.

I’m thinking of the rather negative words here and remembering the scene in “Raising Arizona”… “That’s one bone-head name… but that ain’t me no more, no way!”.

First, this is no diatribe against “the younger generation(s)”! The negative stuff you read in the above definitions can very often be applied to people of any age, any culture or subculture, any “form” or stream of church or local group of people, Christian or otherwise. The only thing that can and must be applied to all who profess to be lovers of Jesus Christ is the last word: “disciple”.

I’ve thoroughly ranted on Christian “tourism” vs. actual missions travel to other lands and cultures elsewhere in my blogs, but here I just wanted to contrast words that seem to shed light (and yes, perhaps heat) on what I think pre-believers sometimes see in we Christians.

I have nothing against tourism as such, but spiritual tourism isn’t something I think is helpful to the cause of Christ and His gospel. Too many tourists complain when things aren’t to their liking. Loving unlovable people, local conditions of food, shelter and entertainment won’t often measure up to a tourist’s whims.

A lot of people don’t want to face their own motives and therefore while a great many aren’t conscious that they’ve fallen into “scam mode” and certainly not into “swindler” status are in fact… out for Number One and if they (as #1) don’t get what they feel they want/desire/(need??) they often move on or plateau out into slackness. Know whut ahh mean?

I totally get (and approve) of people praying, travelling, seeking God on what they ought to be doing, sampling various experiences around the world and even to a degree, “trying to find themselves”. But if most of us find ourselves we’re in for a shock and rude awakening. Self is not God and is in fact often -the- principal enemy of your (and my) spiritual growth as a follower of Jesus.

Seek God, not self, you’ll feel and -be- better off for it!

I find the more I focus on Him and His beauty, grace, compassion and heart for those in the dark, for the poor, for widows and orphans, for those in serious need, I feel FAR better than if I stare in my own mirror, continually focus on/trust my own feelings and get into self-pity or self-righteous judgment of others and the sometime reality that “I didn’t sign up for this”!!


A serious follower of Jesus so often goes against the flow of -any- culture or subcultural “norm” that DIScomfort and a sense of “I don’t know if I fit here” will be a common thing. This is where The Comforter, God the Holy Spirit comes in. He comforts like nobody else can but also leads us to embrace crosses that promote death to self and growth in Christ.

Being a disciple of Jesus and His Word moves one further and further from the first four words (above) and their characteristics.

Never forget that love literally -makes-… that is, re-creates- a person. If we are “God’s field” (1 Cor. 3.9) we can expect over time good fruit will appear. This indeed means planting in good soil, getting the roots in deep.

If, on the other hand we try to content ourselves with shallowness we’re sure to be “blown about by the wind”. Where thorns and weeds pop up the truly caring farmer works to get that stuff up and out. In fact, if he doesn’t, those very weeds will begin to adversely affect the good grain right next to ’em.

Hey, I didn’t particularly dig school either! How very interesting that God brought me to one… and here I am directing one. What was HE thinking?!!


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