12 reasons for “Jesus follower”

John Smulo gives his reasons why he prefers the term “Jesus follower”. — Norm

Here are some of the reasons why I normally refer to myself as a ‘Jesus-follower’.

  1. It centers on Jesus.
  2. It implies action.
  3. It raises questions rather than answers.
  4. It encourages further understanding and exploration.
  5. It points others to Someone beyond myself to look to.
  6. It suggests a journey rather than a destination.
  7. It requires a dynamic, rather than static, context.
  8. It agrees that there is room, if not a need, for A New Kind of Christian Follower.
  9. It doesn’t have historical baggage, and unlike a more popular term, is less likely to cause angst and heart burn.
  10. It fulfills what Jesus himself asked of people time and time and time and time and—well you get the point—again.
  11. It is a conversation starter rather than stopper.
  12. It exhorts relationship, interaction, and partnership.

Passing the mic to you. What do you think?

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4 Responses

  1. Hi Norman,

    Thank you for mentioning my posts here. I was very interested to see the name of your blog 🙂

    You have a great blog. Look forward to reading more.

  2. My first thought was that we will probably succeed in creating historical baggage to this term as well, such as the case with “born again believer”.
    But I suppose it depends how well we live out the title – if we truely were followers of Jesus, we would emanate his fragrance – and that is one of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

    … or perhaps do we go to the extreme and not call ourselves anything in fear that we do not measure up to it – like refusing to put a Jesus symbol on our back bumper of our car in case we do not drive up to par…

    Whatever the case, I try not to dwell too much on those matters. I focus on my accountability to God and I return to Him for guidance, repentance, and acknowledgement. I can’t keep up with the latest fads – I choose to walk away from the discussion at that point.

  3. I agree with Twiggy’s first paragraph….
    but we have to start somewhere…
    especially if we are frustrated with how we are /have been walking the walk and how our churches are too…
    more than anything I want to be real/transparent in my life with Jesus…
    most people in my life do not want this.
    Perhaps words always change with time and while Jesus Follower works now in 20 + years a different word may be needed

  4. Words… Just words? No doubt words will change in 20 years, and a different word will be needed?
    Why do we need to change words?
    Words our our attempt to capture reality, but they can never fully capture it.
    Overtime as we get comfortable with the words we have chosen, they begin to lose their original meaning or impact… they can become empty cliches.
    I suppose we could try not to use labels and terms, but does that mean we stop using the other ones we use?
    Like church, like Bible, like family, like prayer…
    None of these words fully capture what they represent.

    I don’t think we can get away from using terms.
    But I do strongly believe that by switching words, finding new ways to express things, that we can continually renew and revive our experience of the underlying realities.

    And yes, eventually the term ‘Jesus-follower’ will become a cliche like the ones it is intended to replace.
    But until then, for me it is a helpful catalyst for rediscovering the depth of the reality of Jesus in my life.

    One more thought, I also think we need to change the word we use for the sake of spreading the message of Jesus.
    For many the term ‘christian’ is loaded with negative baggage, even if it originally meant something good.
    Its like the word ‘gay’ today, maybe a long time ago it meant happy, cheery, bright and pleasant… but today that usage will not be helpful.
    For the sake of getting the message out, we need to revisit the words we use to communicate that message.

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