Friday, March 11, 2011

Lisa's Radical Experiment

If you've not read The Radical Experiment by David Platt, I would urge you to do so, especially if you want to grow as a Christian.  It is one of several books I've read this past year that has totally changed my perspective on what Christians should be doing to further the Kingdom of God.  Three additional books with life-changing messages are Crazy Love by Francis Chan, Becoming a Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg, and Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels. 

There are five basic challenges Platt outlines for people to live as part of the experiment, and the experiment lasts one year.  The thought is anyone can make a commitment for one year.  What are the challenges?  I'm so glad you asked.

  1. Pray for the entire world.  Platt offers information on the Radical Experiment website on how to pray, but I think Bill Hybels offers a very good plan for prayer in his book Too Busy Not to Pray.
  2. Read through the entire Word.  Platt provides a daily reading schedule on his website.
  3. Commit your life to multiplying community, which basically means find other like-minded people and share, show, and teach the Word while serving the world.  This is where I think Becoming a Contagious Christian really offers sound advice.
  4. Scarifice your money for a specific purpose.  This means giving until it hurts.
  5. Spend your time in another context which Platt equates to 2% or one week.
So how am I doing? 

I'm working on the praying.  This is a sad statement for someone as old as I am to make, but it's reality.  No sugar coating allowed on this blog.  I pray, but it hasn't been meaningful.  Meaningful to me means I don't go through the five minute routine..."Thank you Lord for today, for watching over me, please forgive me of my sins, watch over the people on my prayer list, and could you do this for me...Amen."  Meaningful means praising God for who He is, which Hybels calls Adoration.  Meaningful is confessing, thanksgiving, and finally supplication (asking for help) for people I love, the world, and for me.  It takes longer than five minutes.  It means I need to stop long enough to listen for God to speak.  And stopping is really hard for me.

I'm re-reading the entire Bible.  This is going well.  I have set the alarm for 30 minutes earlier and each morning I spend the 30 minutes reading and studying the Word.  I want it to be longer, and that's something I'll work on during this year, but for now 30 minutes is more than I've spent each day in a long time.  Another sad statement, but the truth.

I haven't really figured out the multiplying community,  I believe my work with the Lakota fits this, but I'm working on another possibility.  More on this later.

I know I haven't sacrificed until it hurts.  I'm preparing by identifying organizations where I can give my money to further the Kingdom.  I have two I know I'll support: Lakota Baptist Church and the Kingdom Mission's Fund.  And of course, I'll support my local church.  I think there are other wonderful opportunities, but I have to choose.

Finally, for me the last is the easiest.  I already spend a week each year on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and with a white population of 4%, I'm out of my context when I go there.  This year, I plan on going to New Mexico to work with the Navajo kids, thanks to the generous offer from another sister in Christ, Andrea Donnell.  So, if all goes as planned, I'll spend 4% of my time this year out of context. 

It's going to be an interesting year. 

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