Experience vs. Process

experience vs process

A big event means a great experience. I bet you can remember a “life-changing” experience in your life. Maybe you can think of two or three. These are the crucial moments in our lives that change our trajectory. It might be a retreat, a mission trip, a worship night, or a conference.

These are necessary.

In your desire for the experience, you are likely to forget about the need for the process.

The purpose of the experience is to strengthen the process.

Tim Elmore said, “If all we do is offer big events, we may inspire students, but we’ll never get beyond the excitement and emotion of the event.”

The process is essential because that is where real growth happens.

Here are five differences between an experience and the processes. We need both, but we often neglect the process.

1.  An experience inspires a group, the process transforms a group.

This is why you should be in a small group or discipleship relationship. Growth takes more than one night or weekend. The experience is like a catalyst to the process. Too many people are motivated to transform but are not willing to go through the process.

2.  An experience is attractive, the process is necessary.

It is more fun to show up to an event that involves free food, loud music, lots of people and a heart-grabbing message than have it be your week to bring the donuts to Bible Study. The processes is necessary because it is over time that our hearts are broken and restored. It is in the processes that we struggle with what it means to be a disciple.

3.  An experience usually needs money, a process always needs time.

Big events are expensive for someone, probably not you, but someone paid for the space, entertainment, food and free stuff. The best thing about the process is that it requires little money, but it always requires a lot of time. Do not grow impatient of the process.

4.  An experience requires a small commitment, a process requires perseverance.

This is why more people will be in church on a Sunday than small groups during the week. We like our Christianity without genuine commitment. But growth requires perseverance.

5. An experience allows us to stay hidden, a process requires that we be real.

It is easy to hide in the back at a large event. Events often do not require that we talk, share or interact with people on a deep level. The process takes away the ability to hide. That is probably why some of you are scared of joining a small group.

If all this true, why are we so afraid of the process? 

Three Things Monday (Mar. 3)

Here are a couple things from around the internet that are worth your attention.

Why I Don’t Love My Fiance 

“In 130 days I’m getting married, and a friend recently asked me why I love my fiancé. I wanted to share a deeper perspective on Amanda and I’s relationship, so before I answered why I love her, I had to first explain to him the reasons I don’t love my future bride to be.”

Olympian’s Alternative Lifestyle

It is interesting what the world thinks of an athlete who is married, has a kid and wants to be a pastor.

Time Management for Leaders

The best leaders manage their times well. Check out these four tips from The Resurgence.

AW Tozer

When Missions Isn’t Sexy

Missions, Andes Mountains

I have been on a lot of mission trips. I have built churches in Mexico, spent weeks in the Andes’ Mountains, and slept on the ground of an orphanage.

I’ve never shared Jesus with my neighbor.

I discovered something recently. Mission trips are sexy. They attract our attention. That is why you are likely to jump at the chance to go. Everyday evangelism lacks appeal.

Let me give you some examples:

  • “Four weeks in the jungles of Brazil”
  • “Help rebuild Haiti”
  • “Dig wells in an African village”
  •  “Love street children in Thailand”
  • “Spend a month with the underground church”

Maybe you have been on these. Maybe you are planning on going. I really want to go to Thailand, I heard it will forever change my life.

Is it possible that missions serves my purposes more than it serves the purpose of God?

Do not misunderstand me, global missions is needed. God might want you to go on all five trips. The world is in desperate need of his redemptive power.

Mission trips are attractive because they require only a week or two of commitment. I get to travel somewhere new and experience a new culture. I benefit.

What happens when the mission God has called you to, is not sexy?

  • “Share the Gospel with your lab partner”
  • “Start a Bible study for your intramural team”
  • “Take your roommate to church”
  • “Wake up early and pray for your professor’s salvation”

I think these fall under the category of “unattractive”. They are not eye-popping. They are unattractive because they require actual commitment. No one will celebrate or ask to hear about this mission trip. You cannot put it on a resume or share pictures with your church.

I believe the true test of the great commission is found not in the attractive but the unattractive. It is found in the mundane not the extraordinary.

Would our campus look different if we embraced the unappealing?

Why travel the world when I can walk across the street?

Three Things Monday (FEB 24)

Sarah’s Story

Worth five minutes to read. “I went into my freshman year at college with a plan to kill myself by Christmas break. I had excelled academically in high school and often reveled in my own sense of superiority. I wore black, I read existential literature, I had a lip ring. I was enlightened. More than anything I wanted to be tragic and important.”

The Closing Ceremonies and the End of History

Ed Uszynski writes about the closing ceremonies and the peace we seek and the day we will find it. 

Marriage and Purity

Maybe you saw the picture that went viral last month. This is the story of the bride behind the picture.
wedding
“I wanted to share the story behind the photo for the hundreds of thousands of people who found inspiration through this sweet moment we had.”
Missions