Hey! My name is Greg and I am a follower of Jesus.
He’s been leading my life from the beginning. But lately He’s really been messing with me.
And I like it.
About 15 years ago I began to realize that although I knew a lot about Jesus, I did not really know Jesus very well.
Then a few years after that I realized that there was a big difference between believing in Jesus and actually believing Jesus. I realized that there was an equally big difference between believing in Jesus and actually following Jesus. I also began to see that those who actually followed Jesus seemed to have a much more authentic relationship with Jesus. He wasn’t a story, He was a person. He wasn’t someone you talked about, He was someone you listened to. And joined.
I began to take note of how Jesus formed a human heart, starting with mine and then also listening to the stories and watching the lives of many other people. Did I mention I had been a pastor since 1989? So I could do this a lot. I observed when I was being changed and how. I observed people who stayed the same year after year and others who seemed to be on an amazing adventure day after day.
Then about 10 years ago Jesus started really messing with me regarding His teachings on the Kingdom of God. It is a phrase used by Jesus throughout the Gospels, but some how I had avoided really coming to clarity about what He actually meant by it.
He wasn’t satisfied with that, so He started to mess with me and teach me and show me. I am His slow child, so He had to be blunt and persistent. Clarity came.
Clarity has consequences.
I am a citizen of God’s Kingdom by grace, but I was often living as if He had not come, was not present, nor was He up to anything of note lately. But the Kingdom of God is near and He was inviting me to repent and start living in the good news… hmmm…
Finally, Jesus began to merge for me two more things: the mission of God (I had always been fully aware of the Great Commission, I just didn’t realize Jesus wasn’t waiting on me to get started Himself) and the absolute centrality of “discipling” in fulfilling the Great Commission (yes, I am aware that in the Great Commission the word “Disciple” is prominent… like I said, I am His slow child).
All this to say, that’s what Dwelling 1:14 is about. Saving you about 15 years of a learning curve so that you too can understand how to join Jesus’ mission each day and connect with others who are being messed with by Jesus, too.
Jesus is starting a missional movement in the United States. He’s been messing with you about it, too, hasn’t He.
Dwelling 1:14 is about helping Jesus-followers like you connect with each other in your neighborhoods, workplaces and schools for the sake of discipling and living out the mission of Jesus day by day. These communities of Jesus-followers living in their neighborhoods, seeking the Kingdom, connecting with people redemptively are called missional communities.
And I think Jesus is calling you to be a part of starting another one.
(Greg Finke had been a pastor since 1989, spending the last ten years pastoring churches with a 1000 or more in worship. In January 2011 he realized he couldn’t remain a senior pastor and do what Jesus was calling Him to do. Dwelling 1:14 is one of the results of that. Greg and his wife Susan are neighborhood missionaries in a subdivision in League City, Texas.)