What Diet and Exercise are Teaching Me About Discipleship

I don’t know about you, but in times past I have made attempts to get “healthier”, but I tended to focus on either diet or exercise. Though intellectually I knew that I was supposed to do BOTH, I for some reason chose one to the neglect of the other. What is probably no surprise to hear, my efforts toward greater health didn’t exactly work. Sure it was better than doing nothing, but diet and exercise are meant to go together.

For about the last 3+ weeks I have been disciplined in regards to both diet and exercise and it has made a huge difference. Not only do I feel healthier, but there are tangible results that confirm I am getting healthier. So this got me thinking…

In the world of the church and growing as disciples of Jesus, I think people often time choose gathered (Sunday morning service) or scattered (community groups) in an attempt to become spiritually vibrant and healthy. The problem is, like diet and exercise, gathered and scattered are meant to go together. They complement one another. They are two sides of the same coin. To emphasize one over the other is a false dichotomy. They need each other. You need the church gathered weekly. You need the church scattered weekly. To pick only one will not bring the growth and health you desire.

I believe the picture of the early church confirms this reality…

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
– Acts 2:42-47

Sometimes these verses are co-opted by those who over value the scattered to the detriment of the gathered. But a closer look reveals that the early church did gathered and scattered. There was clearly gathered (apostles’ teaching/attending the temple) and scattered (fellowship/breaking bread in their homes). I believe this is the way Jesus designed His church to function in order to be healthy and growing.

Will you commit to both the gathered and the scattered?
To do less is to rob yourself of the health God desires for you.


One Comment on “What Diet and Exercise are Teaching Me About Discipleship

  1. Wow, this very true. I am one person who prefer scattered, after some good and bad experiences. I had largely good experiences with the scattered approach, more intimate, communal and caring. The gathered overemphasized my insignificance, especially after coming to US, I never had the problem before. However, often I realize the need to be insignificant and anonymous. I realize, I can only grow better when I am nothing and Christ is everything. Thanks for the great posts.


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