The Glorious, Radical, Ordinary Christian Life

Christians are supposed to have an impact on the world in which we live. Like the followers of Jesus in Acts 17:6–7, present-day followers of Jesus should be turning the world upside down. However, when we think about turning the world upside down for Jesus, we often think we must live "radical" lives. That is, we need to sell our Chevrolet, give up movies, and relocate to the Bolivian jungle in order to engage nomadic peoples who've never heard the gospel. That is the real way we make a serious impact. Tony Merida has a different perspective. In his book Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down, Tony calls Christians to a new normal: "Most gospel ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality." If we can understand this, then we might see an "'ordinary movement' that involves ordinary Christians, not just 'super Christians,' who live on mission in the rhythms of everyday life."

He is calling Christians to simply care about what God cares about. Looking closely at the Book of Job, Tony unfolds four categories crucial to our witness: advocacy, hospitality, fatherless ministry, and neighbor love. Practicing the principles found in these categories is part of what it means to be an "ordinary" Christian.

Living the Ordinary Christian Life

Loving Your Neighbor

The ordinary Christian life looks like love for neighbor (Matthew 22:34–40). The question isn't how famous you are but whether or not you care for those around you. Some have called this "mercy ministry" — but there's nothing theologically weak here. Quoting Francis of Assisi ("preach the gospel and if necessary use words") doesn't actually work because the gospel is an announcement. At the same time, Tony also steers clear from the logic that says "social action is a slippery slope to liberalism." Ordinary Christians will love their neighbor through acts of kindness and mercy while sharing the good news of Jesus.

[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]