So Then, How Do We Live?

Jimi Williams —  August 11, 2008

One of the pastors at my church gave a message called “When Doing Church Won’t Do” based on the message to the church at Ephesus in Revelation Chapter 2. It really rocked my world.

I was already wrestling with questions about how we should live as Christians. If you are the typical Christian in America, you attend a worship service once a week (a couple of times if you are super-spiritual!), you give some money to the church and other ministry causes, you try and live a Godly life by being a good friend, spouse, and parent, and ever so often you do something to help someone in need.

These are all good things that God expects from us. However, it’s hard to match this idea of the Christian life with the words of Jesus in the Gospels: “Take up your cross and follow me”, “Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, then follow me”, “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.”

There seems to me to be a disconnect between the American Christian life and the Bible. To live the life that Jesus describes would mean radical decisions. And it seems there are so few people willing to take this road.

Every time I make peace with my posh Christian life, I go on a mission trip or encounter a serious need and it all blows up again. If anyone has reconciled this, please share your thoughts for the rest of us!

Jimi Williams

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Jimi is VP of Worship Resources for Capitol CMG Publishing, overseeing all Worship Together initiatives and resources. He also leads worship at his home church and at various events and conferences.

6 responses to So Then, How Do We Live?

  1. At our church we are wrestling with what it means not to “do” church, but to “be” church and have it been all the time, not just a Sunday morning service. As we discussed this, I remembered many years ago hearing Francis Shaeffer and his “How Then Shall We Live?” It’s the same thing.
    My husband and I were missionaries in the Philippines and in South America for more than 18 years. I honestly feel I’m more a “missionary” right now where I am in suburbia, teaching in a middle school.
    Do we have more things? Definitely. BUT, our mindset has been shaped by our life, and our walk, and hopefully there is a difference as we keep pressing on towards the mark.
    That’s the key, IMHO. Perseverance. Pressing on towards the goal to receive what He has promised.

  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I feel the same way for myself and this country so many times.

  3. I totally agree with you brother. I believe that in America we have come up with our own “Christianity.”
    I’ve it heard that the Christians in China call themselves believers instead of Christians because whatever they read in the Bible they believe it to be true. For example when they read of Paul’s imprisonment they believe that that is what true Christianity is. So being imprisoned for the Lord to them is living the Christian life.
    I just recently arrived from a mission trip to the Philippines and Vietnam and I am greatly moved by the work God has done there. It has been my fourth year to the Philippines and my second year to Vietnam. Ever since my first trip to the Philippines and I couldn’t help but feel the tugging of the Spirit in calling me as a missionary. I’m finishing my last two years of college in order to get my Bachelor’s degree and from there Lord willing I’ll be a permanent missionary if God wills.
    Thanks so much for the encouragement brother! Let’s continue to live radically for Him!

  4. You can listen to the full message at
    Click on the message:
    When Doing Church Won’t Do
    Jason Cruise
    August 10, 2008

  5. I would love to hear that message. I can totally relate to what God is doing in you. He has been breaking down my perception of what “The Church” is. If your church has a podcast that would be awesome.

  6. I don’t think our material posessions are important to Him. What he really wants us to give up is our Heart and Will. Once we hand that over to him, God transforms our lives from the inside out! I thank God for that transformation!