Jesus Shaped People: Is it a 'programme'? Is it a 'course'?

Life-is-a-daring-adventure1.jpg

.... No. It's an 'Adventure'...

But, why has the word 'adventure' suddenly appeared as a description of Jesus Shaped People? I think we've always been dissatisfied with words like 'course' and 'programme', we just never quite thought of a better word - until now...

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a course as 'A series of lectures or lessons in a particular subject, leading to an examination or qualification'.

Hardly how we want to think of JSP....

A course carries the idea of being something that you start on a particular date, and then finish a few weeks later. Again, not really the concept we want for something as all-embracing and ongoing as Jesus Shaped People.

The word 'programme' is defined as 'a planned series of future events or performances'. That's a bit better - but still nowhere near what we are gunning for with JSP. A programme carries no sense of aim or vision. It can quite readily be a disconnected series of events, such as a series of concerts or films. You dip and and out as you feel - but there's no sense of owneship or continuity.

So, it turns out that neither 'course' or 'programme' really fit the bill.

The church has done a pretty decent job of pumping out programmes and courses over the years. I've got a pile of them gathering dust on the shelves of my study! Many of them were 'helpful' - to a greater or lesser extent. But few - if any - produced genuine and lasting transformation.

Jesus Shaped People is different. Not a course which is 'finished'. But rather a process through which a church can be radically re-shaped around the life and priorities of Jesus.

A church which truly grasps JSP never really 'finishes' Jesus Shaped People. That's because we never really become fully Jesus Shaped, at least not this side of heaven! We are always growing, always changing, always being transformed.

It's a much bigger commitment than simply signing up to the latest hot Christian 'couorse'. But the results are much more satisifying and lasting.

Are you ready for the adventure?