ESSENTIAL #5: Implementing the Alien Lifestyle

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This is the "where do we go from here?" section. There are many Christians who have the passion and drive for a while, but then they get burned out. Most Christians know that church is important, but there are so many different ideas of what church is, that many Christians never seem to be satisfied. Some may ask: "Besides going to church, what else can I do?"

The Church:
What is church?
What is it about church that you think turns people off?

As radical Christians, we have to be ready and honest to ask the hard questions: "What do people not like about church?" "Why does it matter what we wear for church?" "Why are we constantly talking about money?"

If you have had thoughts such as these, then you are human like the rest of us! Honestly, we believe the church has a long way to go to before it becomes all that God wants it to be. In a lot of ways, we think that the church today bears little similarity to the church in the book of Acts. However, God has a plan to change the world through His believers, so we must not become church-haters. One of the most depressing things we see in the world today is Christians who do not believe in going to church or being a part of Christian fellowship. Inevitably, they become strange and ineffective for the gospel.

Church is not a program. The life of the church is not just shaving, dressing up nice, sitting for two hours on a Sunday morning, and sleeping through a sermon. Teaching and preaching are beneficial and necessary for the Christian life, but church cannot stop there! Church is living life with believers, encouraging one another in faith, praying together, and having strong relationships that are based on eternal things. Part of church life is to be taught, exhorted, challenged, disciplined, and even rebuked by your godly leaders.

Is there anyone in your life that is not afraid to tell you when you're wrong? If so, when was the last time that happened?
How did you respond?

There is no lack of great teaching in the church today. When we want someone's life to change, why do we assume he needs to hear a different preacher? When we are not satisfied with our lives, why do we say, "My pastor just isn't challenging me anymore"? It is because we sometimes think that all church is about is preaching.

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people…"(Acts 2:46-47a).

Church is about living life all week long with Christian fellowship and godly relationships.

For most people, going to church is not enough to stay strong in their faith. This is a result of a lack of discipleship. There are many different ideas of what this actually is, so let us look at Jesus. There has never been more wonderment about a person than Jesus. He had the power to heal and the authority to forgive. He could have had a "church of 10,000" but he chose to spend most of His time with twelve men. He loved them, rebuked them (Mark 8:33), and served them (John 13:12-17).

What is discipleship?
We define it as producing Christ-likeness in someone else. The obvious qualification to disciple someone is to be Christ-like. Sometimes this can be accomplished in small groups. Sometimes, however, a more radical step needs to be taken. We encourage young Christians to find an older, more mature Christian. Show them your zeal to learn about God! Accountability comes into focus here, because the leader identifies the areas where the student is not following the word of God.

We see this with Paul and Timothy when Paul said, "…as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel" (Philippians 2:22). We know that Paul took Timothy with him on his missions and seemed to dearly love him. Discipleship is so effective because it is based on personal relationships. Many people all over the world go to church every week but they have never had someone talk to them about their relationship with God. I am not against big churches with thousands of people; many of these churches are taking steps to be more involved in personal lives. This is encouraging because it is vital, in our leadership, to be directly involved in reproducing Christ in lives.

Is there someone that you respect as a radical Christian that you could ask to teach you about God?
How would this type of relationship be beneficial for you?
Do you have any friends that you are held accountable to?

As serious Christians we have the desire to please God in everything we do. We want to feel like we make a difference in the world. When we want to be great leaders for God, we are usually advised to go to Bible College! This can be beneficial for some, but it is not the qualification we see in the Word for leadership in the Kingdom. All of us can learn from Jesus how to be great in the Kingdom of God.

Have you ever been nervous to talk to your pastor? If so, why?

We have this idea that pastors and ministers are superhuman. However, they are servants just as we are. True leadership happens through serving. You will never be great in the kingdom of God unless you have served the people of God. Jesus said, "…(I) did not come to be served but to serve…"(Matthew 20:28). Again we see the Savior of the world serving the disciples by washing their feet (John 13).

Read Acts 6:1-5
Why was Stephen chosen to serve?

Read Acts 6:8-10
Stephen was not paid by the church, nor was he an apostle or prophet. He was not one of the most distinguished or recognized Christians, but he was noticed to be faithful and full of the Spirit. Stephen was so mighty for God that his radical attitude created controversy among his peers. Ultimately he became the first Christian martyr.

If you want to become great in God's eyes then you must become nothing in your own eyes. Instead of wanting to be recognized for your gifting and leadership, begin to serve the church by cleaning up, or taking out trash. Being a servant can become even more practical while you are living at home! Serve your parents by obeying and showing your zeal for God by your godly attitude. This may seem trite or "not spiritual enough," but God teaches us that when we are faithful in the small things, He will reward us and give us more to be faithful for.

How can I serve my parents? My church? My friends?

Now that we have discussed church-life, discipleship, and becoming a leader through serving, what is it all for? As a Christian, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture. We need to ask God for vision.

What is vision?
Vision is the dream that you can see in your mind's eye. It is not hope or wanting; it is the goal for which your very life is purposed. Having vision is a necessity for having peace. Without it there is always something nagging your mind saying, "Is this everything that life is about?" Unfortunately most people's vision only has to do with themselves.

Read Acts 2:44-45

Why were Christians selling their possessions?
You would have to be deeply committed to something to go so far as selling your house. The New Testament church had the conviction that nothing else mattered besides being a Christian. Everything they did was geared toward taking over the world for Christ. This is also the reason that so many Christians have died for their faith. This is also part of the reason why the apostles rejoiced, since they had been counted worthy for being beaten for Christ (Acts 5:41). Having vision for the kingdom is about more than just your life and your happiness. In fact, if your suffering and martyrdom would bring glory to God, then it would be worth your life to die for the vision.

The Bible says that without vision the people perish (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). Without vision, you will become everything that you hate about modern Christianity - Christians who study the Word and read books to learn more about the knowledge and mysteries of God, but never consider giving fifty cents to a beggar on the street. It is easy to become cynical and mad towards the church in America because we lack vision. Wouldn't you love to see our nation change? Wouldn't you love to see Jesus glorified in every nation on earth? We are on a mission to spread the hope of Christ to all people, not only to speak the truth with our mouths, but to also see Christ's kingdom come to earth. Everything that you do has to fit in with your mission. How will this happen? We cannot despise the church, but instead we must work together to win our cities for Christ! How do we do that? We must win our schools for Christ! How? We must be a light in the darkness to our friends and our enemies alike. The alien youth do not care if people hate them. The alien youth are not shaken when tragedy comes in their lives. The alien youth do not care about the things that the world cares about. The alien youth are not preoccupied with the love of money or material things. They are not concerned with popularity. The alien youth are not man pleasers. The alien youth are ready to do whatever it takes to take over the world for Christ!

In response to the end of the study, we have some suggestions to help you implement the alien lifestyle:

01. Start discipleship relationships immediately! We suggest an after school meeting once or twice a week. One-on-one meetings (guy to guy, girl to girl) are best. The reasoning for this is that this is not just for teaching but also for discussing personal issues, such as lust and ruling sexual thoughts, etc…
02. Begin to serve your parents and command your attitude to be Christ-like (Make your bed, clean your room, wash the dishes, etc.).
03. Start accountability partners with your friends. (These should not be co-ed partners. You are asking for trouble, believe us!)
04. Ask God for vision for your school and church. What can I do to make a difference?
05. Start evangelism teams of two or more to spread the good news with love and humility.