Why the life rhythms of Jesus are just as important as His teachings.
As a follower of Jesus, part of that is following what it says. However, being a disciple of Jesus is not about following the Bible as an instruction manual but about following the rhythm of how Jesus lived his life. It is true that we need to follow the morals and teachings of Jesus but just as important as that is learning to follow his rhythm and lifestyle. What this means, is that we reorient every dimension of our life into alignment with his life. When we do this we experience the life of Jesus and our ministry is so much more effective for it.
Often I think that ministry is about figuring out the next model or strategy that will be most effective but as a mentor told me, "if we change the way we do church but don't change the way we do life then what's the point?" The church at its finest is a group of people that are influencing the culture around them by living a life that is aligned with the life of Jesus.
The life of Jesus was counter-cultural, he was never in a rush, and his life flowed from a place of rest. For many of us, we get so caught up in the hustle of life that God is a second thought. However, Jesus invites us to live our life according to his rhythms, from a place of rest. He invites us to take his yoke, which means a different way of bearing the burdens of life. We don't bear the burdens of life on our own, nor does Jesus take them from us, but he bears them alongside us. But in order for that to happen, we need to walk at his pace, a slow, unhurried pace.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” - Matthew 11:28-30
As John Mark Comer writes, we so often focus on Jesus being the truth and the life, but not on Jesus being the way. However, Jesus being the way means that we follow his life as a way to experience life to its full. A life of love, joy and peace; however, takes time, and we can't shortcut any of these virtues.
We are able to present in each moment, rather than thinking about the next thing that needs to be done. We can engage in what it really means to be human. We need to live a life that proposes an alternative to every other way of life. Otherwise, what's the point of anyone being a follower of Jesus when our life is exactly the same as theirs; we're just as busy, stressed, and anxious.
Therefore, as we follow the rhythms of Jesus and find intimacy with Him leads to intimacy with others and our faith becomes attractive and meaningful, people begin to want what we have. When it comes to ministry and sharing our faith with Jesus we can't sell what we don't have, how are we supposed to sell the alternative Jesus offers humanity when it isn't something we experience ourselves?