7 Audacious Things All Christians Need To Do.

7 Audacious Things All Christians Need To Do.
Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash

The whirring of the clippers echoed in the barbershop, amplifying the awkward silence between me and the barber. We'd locked eyes again, an unspoken tension crackling in the air.

I wasn't the chatty type, and his conversation with the other barbers had turned foul, their laughter laced with smoke and crude jokes. My haircut was nearing its end, and I dreaded the inevitable question.

"So, what do you do?" he asked, tilting his head.

On my tongue, the truth died. Shame coiled in my gut. "I help people," I mumbled, the words tasting like ashes.

It was true, in a way, but it was a pale reflection of who I truly was. The pressure of the moment, the fear of judgment, had twisted my tongue, forcing me into a compromise. I was a pastor, a follower of Jesus, and I'd just denied it in the face of a stranger's casual question.

This happened a little over a year ago and the moment replays in my mind like a broken record. . .skip. . .skip. . .skipping beats.

Being a Christian, especially in 2024, is not something you will do by accident. It is no longer a default option.

Your walk with Jesus will have to be the most purposeful thing you do.

But how? Here are a few thoughts.

1. Learn To Say Dangerous Prayers

The reason you don’t pray as often as you’d like is because you made prayer boring; prayer is meant to be anything but boring.

Following Jesus is never meant to be safe. The reason I hid my faith in that barber chair is because I domesticated it. I made my faith too weak to fight for itself.

Bold, dangerous prayers challenge us, make us uncomfortable, break us, transform us, and entirely change our lives.

Here are a couple to try out:

  • “Increase my faith. Help me depend on you more this year.”
  • “Search my heart and break it for what breaks yours.”
  • “I’m at your mercy. Humble me.”
  • “Send me, and I will go.”

2. Get Your Mind In The Right Place

How we think determines the course and direction of our life. Your mind is the seedbed of your actions.

Don’t focus on things that don’t deserve your attention. You always have a choice regarding what you focus on and what you give your attention to.

  • You can focus on lust, or you can focus on integrity.
  • You can focus on the good in a moment, or you can focus on everything that has gone wrong.
  • You can focus on complaining, or you can focus on solving.
  • You can focus on the negative, or you can focus on the positive.
  • You can focus on self and circumstances, or you can focus on God and his truth.
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” - 1 Peter 1:13

3. Celebrate And Mourn Regularly

We should be first in line to mourn the thousands of lives lost in Israel and Gaza, the storming of our U.S. Capitol, and the loss of innocent lives in abortion clinics. Evil is evil.

Politics, traditions, and opinions should never cloud the ability to mourn.

Nor should it cloud our ability to celebrate.

We should be first in line to celebrate when single mothers bring their crying children to church on Sunday or political leaders are held accountable for their actions.

4. Embrace Being The Weird One

Weird is subjective, but there is no denying that Christians are weird.

We commit our entire lives to something we cannot see, we can’t really prove, and most can’t explain. Yet, we openly invite others to join us.

It’s weird. It's almost like a cult. Okay, a lot like a cult.

The God of the Bible isn’t interested in how well we fit in, how well we’re liked, or whether or not people think we’re normal. Instead, we’re called to think, speak and act differently.

God says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). 

We should never feel like we’re forced to bend to how the world tells us to live. We can just be weird and be okay with it.

5. Stop Telling Others How Busy You Are

It may sound like harmless venting, but I don’t think it’s that harmless.

Here is what people hear when you say your life is busy:

  • “I am important because I’m busy.”
  • “Sleep and fun are not a priority.”
  • “I don’t have time for you.”
  • “I’m too busy to actually tell you how I am doing.”

God wants us to be in control of our calendar, not the other way around. So, we have to learn the power of a Yes and a No.

  • Every Yes is saying No to something else.
  • Every No is saying Yes to something else.

Never say Yes so many times that you are forced to say No to the need right in front of you.

6. Stay Informed And Critical Of The World

The issue of how we consume our news media is one of the primary discipleship challenges of our day.

Discipleship is the process by which we are formed to see our world. It is far more than the sum of our belief statements, encompassing our thoughts, motivations, habits, and hopes for the future.

To be a disciple of Jesus is not simply to “invite him into your heart,” but to come under his Lordship in every sphere of life – our politics, our finances, our relationships… everything.

Which leads us to this sobering truth: I can go to church every week, read my Bible, and pray, and yet still be far more discipled by voices that have far more power and influence on me.

So we must stay informed and critical

7. Learn. Listen. Love.

The last on this list can be summed up in three sentences.

  • Learning: same condition, different behavior.
  • Listening: knowing what is said by mouth and heart.
  • Loving: the willingness to sacrifice everything.

Followers of Jesus are responsible for all three, all the time.

Silence in the barber chair, shame for a quiet faith.

No more.

Being a Christian in 2024 is intentional. Pray boldly, focus on what matters, mourn evil, and celebrate good. Embrace being weird, follow Jesus, not the world. Stop the "busy" charade. Stay informed, and be critical. Learn, listen, love.

Let's make this the year our faith goes viral.