1. Can anyone verify these promises?
The obsession with the new, with progress, with technology as a way to improve the church, has always been a problem. In seeking to be relevant, Christians have created problems for later generations to correct. Our response to a new idea should be patient testing. Ideas and programs need to be evaluated. Christians are not under any pressure to incorporate the new. The church will remain after we are gone. Stick to the old simple ways proven in times past. Christianity has been around for a long time and will continue to survive through difficult times.
2. Can I maintain this pace?
We can do almost anything for a little while, but Christianity is a lifetime commitment. Christians need to spend a reasonable amount of time in devotion, church service, and study that they can sustain for years. If we feel worn out, beat up, and discouraged, we are probably doing too much. A good pace is challenging but not overwhelming. As Christians we have a responsibility to do a lot of things well. We have responsibilities to family and work, as well as church. Most human-designed, trendy programs will require an unreasonable amount of time and energy and are counter-productive in the long run.
3. Does this program offer a quick fix or a long-term plan?
Most things in life take time. Becoming a decent musician takes time. Becoming good at a new job takes time. Maturity in the Christian life takes time. A lot of programs are short-term, passing fads that lead to burnout. They offer solutions in a matter of weeks or months. Before long, the church is interested in a new program because the current one isn’t working. This constant following-the-hype will burn out Christians.
4. Is this method more about self-improvement or learning the gospel?
Christianity is about Christ Jesus living and dying for the sins of the world. Christianity is about our response to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Christianity isn’t about moral improvement but rather a life of faith. Yes, because we have faith, we will strive to obey what Scripture teaches. But we strive with a thankful heart because Christ has already promised to give us eternal life. All we have to do to get eternal life is believe in Christ as our savior.
True Christianity teaches that believers can rest confidently because Christ’s work alone is sufficient to save them. Any method that focuses on self-improvement to the neglect of Christ is not Christianity. Focus on Jesus and his redeeming work accomplished on behalf of all who trust in him alone for salvation.
Christians who can no longer listen to one another will soon no longer be listening to God either. ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer