We are unveiling the first video in our Engage series on this blog. Eventually these will move to their own page on our new website, but that has been delayed briefly. Engage is my attempt to equip and encourage people to explore their own relationship with God. Unfortunately, many people who want to know God default to religious ways of trying to connect with him, but get discouraged when those attempts don’t work. I realize that a video series is not the ideal way to do this and that it would be far better to have the love and conversation of an older brother or sister near them who is enjoying the journey and willing to help others do so as well without loading them down with a bunch of religious rules and rituals. But for those who don’t know anyone like that it was on my heart to offer these short video encouragements to help others on a relational journey of knowing God. My hope is that it would also provide an example for others who want to help people on this journey but haven’t known how to do it. Over the last twenty years I’ve taken note of the kinds of counsel that have helped people find greater freedom and reality in their own relationship with God. These are some of the things people can do and talk about as they encourage others to see how God is taking shape in them. You can use these videos for group discussion or share them with others. They are copyrighted so others will not abuse them for profit, but you have our permission to distribute them freely as you desire. Like The Jesus Lens, these videos will be available free of charge and with our prayers that many will find them helpful as they relax into a relationship with God. We affectionately refer to this the anti-discipleship approach because so many think have the idea that discipleship is teaching people how to build a relationship with God, which usually involves a heavy dose of doctrine and religious activities. In truth, discipleship isn’t about you building a relationship with Jesus; it’s about Jesus building one with you and you coming to recognize how he is doing that. He wants to draw you into his Father’s heart and teach you the Father’s ways. What that means is the videos are just a catalyst for your own time learning to enter into an engagement with the Abba Father. We’ll post new videos every couple of weeks to give you plenty of time between them to explore how God wants to engage you in your own heart and day. As you focus on him, let him make himself known to you and show you how to participate in an ongoing conversation with him in the realities of your own life. As best you can, relax in the process. It does take time for him to disconnect the frenzied input of the world around you, and the performance-based approach of religion, and free you to relax into his reality in a way you can recognize and enjoy. I am hoping Engage fosters a conversation as well that will incorporate your questions and insights into this process. Please feel free to use the comment section on this blog, and the comment section of the web page when we get it set up, to ask questions you’re encountering on this journey. And if you have a question you think will also interest others, and can record it on a video camera, please send us the recording and we’ll see about using it on future videos. I’m hoping at least the first time through this will be a bit like a class where we can discover together what will most help people who want to engage God and his life. Here’s the first one. If these are helpful I will continue with future videos every two weeks or so. The only way this works is if they encourage you to spend some time exploring your own connection to God and learn to find your way into the conversation God wants to have with you.
I am also including the audio version in the podcast feature of this Lifestream blog. You can access it below or you can also subscribe to audio postings on this blog via iTunes.