Do You want to be a Greater follower of Jesus? Join the Red Letter Community!

We are excited to announce the Red Letter Community! This is a community of people that commit to becoming greater followers of Jesus. 

Are you in?

This blog will answer three questions: 

  1. Why does the Red Letter Community exist?
  2. How did the Red Letter Community come about?
  3. What does the Red Letter Community look like?

 

  1. Why does the Red Letter Community exist?

 

We have discipleship problems. 

Chief among them is that nearly every Christian understands how important it is to be a disciple but has very different definitions. So, let me clear it up.

A disciple is a follower of Jesus. Nothing more, nothing less.

Many Christians know we are supposed to follow Jesus, but we aren’t sure practically how that looks today. Crazily, we live in a day where we have more discipleship information than ever. Yet, I would argue more confusion than ever.

Disciples need clear targets. 

As Christians, we can have the best intentions, but if we succeed at things that don’t actually matter, we can do more harm than good. D.L. Moody once said, “Our greatest fear shouldn’t be of failure but of succeeding at something that doesn’t matter.” So I’ll go a step further and say my greatest fear is that Christians succeed at something that actually pushes people away from Jesus.

It’s fine to have good intentions. But, in our good intentions, somehow, we’ve missed the targets that Jesus is most known for. Jesus is known for love, grace, good works, kindness, and unity. But, sadly, Christians, from the book UnChristian, are known for judgment, hypocrisy, division, and being out of touch. 

If Jesus is known for grace, which is getting a free gift you don’t deserve, and we are known for judgment, getting what you do deserve, we have miserably failed. By definition, judgment and grace are opposites. We have missed the mark. If Jesus is known for unity and we are known for division, we’ve missed the mark. If Jesus is known for His good works and we are known for our hypocrisy, we’ve missed the mark.

We haven’t just missed the mark a little bit. Instead, we’ve become known as the exact opposite of the One we are called to embody. 

Intention to follow Jesus without precision on Jesus leads to confusion.

It’s time to shoot at the correct targets. If our intent is to follow Jesus, let’s take precise aim at Jesus. Why would we look to anyone other than Jesus for how to be a disciple? It’s not like we have to guess what a disciple looks like. God sent His Son Jesus into this world to not only give His life for us, but He also showed us the path to follow Him as well.  

Intention to follow Jesus with precision on Jesus leads to transformation. 

About a decade ago, as I was planting a church, I had this longing to lead my church beyond its comfort zone. I noticed strengths in my core group. Loyalty, commitment, and generosity to support a church plant were chief among them. But, when it came to serving in the community or inviting a friend to go to church, I noticed pushback. So, I came up with this crazy idea. If they won’t listen to me, someone they certainly cared about but was new in their lives, might they listen to Jesus? So, here was the question I began pondering. 

What if we take the words of Jesus and actually put them into practice

Literally.

Before you start giving me too much credit for my idea, I must admit that I stole the idea from Jesus Himself. Jesus provides us with the key to following Him at the end of the Sermon on the Mount.

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

If you have read the Sermon on the Mount, you know it’s rather difficult to understand. Jesus uses humor and sarcasm and introduces counter-cultural ideas. It amazed all who were in attendance. It still amazes us today. 

But what stuck out to me is that He closes this sermon with an illustration so simple that it reminds me of the children’s story “The Three Little Pigs.”

Jesus says, “If you want your house to stand up and not blow over when the winds, storm, or bad, evil wolf comes, practice what I’m preaching. Do what I say.” Jesus says in Luke 11:28: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” James, the brother of Jesus, says it even more simply in James 1:22: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” 

That’s the big idea. 

The best way to follow Jesus is simply to follow Jesus!

To change the picture we are giving of Jesus, we will look to Jesus. We will take Jesus’ words, written in red letters in your Bibles, and put them into practice. We will look at His life and do our very best to embody Him in this world. That’s the very unoriginal yet revolutionary idea that will change not just the followers of Jesus but the world in which we live! 

So, will you join us on this journey?

 

  1. How did the Red Letter Community come about?

 

Over 7 years, from 2011-to 2018, I captured many of the above thoughts and put them into a 40-day challenge book called Red Letter Challenge. Once I finished writing the book, I intended to continue to be a lead pastor. I had no intention of doing anything else. 

That’s when something crazy happened!

Hundreds of thousands of people were introduced to Red Letter Challenge. Many talked about how life-changing this 40-day journey was. My wife Allison’s heart began stirring towards offering a kid’s version. She believed (and I agree) that kids not just can be disciples, but they are disciples. So she went to work writing Red Letter Challenge Kids, and it was published in 2019.

More and more pastors continued to encourage us to write more books, specifically practical books centered on how to follow Jesus. 

After hearing from enough of them, Allison and I made a tough decision through many conversations with each other, with others, and especially with God. 

At 36 years old, in the summer of 2020, in the middle of leading an extremely fast-growing church, I would step down as the full-time lead pastor and move into a part-time role. This enabled us the time, energy, and resources to continue to develop more resources that challenge people to become greater disciples of Jesus.

This is my life’s call. In fact, it’s my personal mission statement: I exist to challenge people to become greater disciples of Jesus.

Fast-forward a couple of years, and we have gone from one series (Red Letter Challenge) to multiple series (Being Challenge and Forgiving Challenge). Did I mention we are writing the newest 40-day series Serving Challenge right now? Not only this, but we have developed loads of FREE resources for small groups, FREE YouVersion Bible Reading Plans, FREE ebooks, and a FREE Red Letter Challenge Assessment (a tool that has been completed over 4000 times). 

In addition, we have regularly been blogging and have even launched a discipleship podcast. On top of this, we are continuing to create more resources this year that will help, and we are beginning to issue weekly challenges to continue to take steps of faith toward Jesus!

What started as a tremendous 40-day experience, through a book we hope launches into a lifetime of truly following Jesus.

And that’s why we are forming the Red Letter Community.

 

  1. What does the Red Letter Community look like?

For now, it’s a totally online community, and it’s done primarily through email. If you get our emails you are in already! If you enjoy our emails will you share them with a friend and invite them to join you in this community? This community is where you will receive all of the latest and most significant resources to help you become a greater follower of Jesus!

In your email inbox, you can expect to receive your weekly discipleship challenge each week. In addition, you’ll get alerted to the brand-new podcasts featuring world-class disciples. You’ll also see Jesus-centered blogs to help you grow in your faith. 

Not to mention, we’ll keep you updated on our newest projects, send you loads of FREE resources along the way, and give you some sweet discounts you’ll find nowhere else!

To get in, just visit this link, and share your email address with us. 

We believe this is just the start of something that will be very BIG. We have a vision for how this community can grow in the future, but for now, jump in, let’s follow Jesus together, and let’s give the world the fullest and greatest expression of Jesus possible!

Join the Red Letter Community!

Jump into the Red Letter Community where you’ll receive weekly discipleship challenges, brand new podcasts featuring world-class disciples, and Jesus-centered blogs to help you grow in your faith and become a greater follower of Jesus!

By clicking the sign up button you agree to our Terms & Policies. If you have unsubscribed in the past, click here to resubscribe.

Red Letter Living Featured on:

5-Step Guide to Grow Your Small Groups

Download the FREE pdf that will give you the Super-Simple, Easily-Doable 5-Step Guide to Grow Your Small Groups.