I have recently read a book called “Radical” by David Platt. I had heard about this book from a lot of different people, mostly in the adoption community and I had been interested in reading it but just never did. So, this weekend, since I was sick I had nothing better to do than read it, I did. It is a great book and I would highly recommend it, but with a warning, it will change your perspective on things. The basic idea of the book is that we as Christians living in America have allowed ourselves to follow a watered down version of Christianity that fits in with the American dream of more, better and bigger. When in reality we should not be looking at the world to see how to live our lives but how Jesus lived his, which was in pursuit of a higher calling of relationships and spreading the good news of the gospel. Jesus didn’t pursue the things of the world, but those of God. So what does that mean really? Well, Platt says we should think more radically about what we can do for God and what His callings for us are. He says we should step out in radical faith to do more than we have done before and use the gifts God has given us to pursue people for His kingdom. But he gets radical about it by suggesting a dirty little word called “sacrifice”. He says, “sacrifice is not giving according to your ability, but it’s giving beyond your ability.” We are comfortable giving of ourselves and time and money what we have in excess, but when it really gets hard is giving when it doesn’t make sense to give. It is challenging stuff.
For Glenn and I, we have been rolling around in our heads for sometime now what we can do for God. We have seen the need in the family today. There are three specific types of families that grip our hearts that we would like to serve: adoptive families, special needs families and families in transition (meaning some type of crisis). It’s been on our hearts to do this for a while but we just didn’t know how, and to be honest we still aren’t totally sure, but we have some ideas forming. We would love to work with our church to reach out to these types of families in our community. We understand what it’s like to be an adoptive family and to go through the adoption process and we realize that while we cannot adopt all the children of the world we can inspire and walk with other families as they realize this dream of adoption. It’s discipleship really, pouring into others to bring them closer to God. We are thinking of practical ways to do this and we want to draw other families into the adoption process but also to support adoptive families in the community. Adoption can be isolating. It changes your family in ways that others don’t always understand and it would be so wonderful to have a support group or something of a community of adoptive families that come together to encourage one another. The same with special needs families. That one is more difficult though. More often that not families with special needs children, depending on the needs of the children, find themselves unable to go to church because the church does not know how to handle the needs of their children. We would love to provide a place at our church for such families. It is a big undertaking, but we can do it. And then finally, there are so many families who are in some type of need, such as emotional or physical, and they need support in some way. We all know needy families around us and we can reach out to those personally and collectively.
Wow! That seems big and like it might take a lot of time. Yes, it will. And of course, with our family, time is not something we have a lot of, but we need to do what we can do and recruit others to come along side and help us. This could be life changing for so many families. What if instead of adopting one child in one family, we could inspire ten families to adopt ten children? That makes such a bigger impact and then they go out and inspire more families. Or what if we became known as a church that caters to special needs children and we saw 50 new families in a year come just because we care enough to care fo their special children? What an impact. And what if we could meet the needs of families in crisis, not just the physical and emotional needs but we saw those families become apart of our church and make a difference in their own communities? It just takes one family’s vision to do all that.
What vision has God given you that you think is too big to do? What if you made some sacrifices of time and money to begin working toward that vision and let God provide the increase? What radical thing can you do for God?