Introduction: Three Simple Steps Chapter 1 - Follow There is a common misconception that the church is a gathering place for saintly, perfect people. Moreover, some think that being a Christian means observing a set of rules or commandments. The reality is that the Christian life is about a relationship with Jesus Christ. And at the heart of that relationship is an invitation that Jesus extends to people from all experiences of life: "Follow me." Jesus extends his invitation to people who know something's wrong but aren't sure what to do about it. He invites people who know they are not all they ought to be. He didn't ask Matthew to clean up his act before following him, and Jesus doesn't ask that of us. In time, within the context of his relationship with Jesus, Matthew experienced incredible life transformation. But Jesus' initial request and his request from there on out is simply, "Follow me." Will you follow Jesus Christ? Chapter 2 - Believe Jesus' initial invitation to his disciples was a simple one: Follow me. He invited them to watch and listen to his interactions with his heavenly Father and with others. In time, however, those who followed Jesus began to discover God's character through Jesus Christ. And in that discovery they found themselves drawn to take a second simple step: Believe. When this message captivates the human heart it impacts our behavior. Forgiven people find it easier to forgive. Loved people find it easier to love. Accepted people find it easier to accept. Sinners who've been forgiven of sin find it easier to abandon their sin. Chapter 3 - Obey The church often mistakes Christian obedience as the first step in the Christian life. As a result, for many people the Christian faith becomes a rule-based religion. Instead, the Scriptures reveal that Jesus' initial invitation is to follow him. He invites us to follow him until we begin believing that He is indeed who he says he is. This belief that God loves us and has the best in store for us, then, becomes the reason we obey. We can attend church and experience great music and informative sermons, but these things are not life changing. Obedience to Christ makes all the practical difference in the outcome of our lives. What areas of your life do you need to surrender in obedience to Christ? Chapter 4 - The Simple Life Follow. Believe. Obey. These are the simple steps one takes to know Jesus. But what does this look like as a way of life? In this final chapter, we look at what it means to move beyond steps into a relationship with Jesus that leads to a changed and transformed life. Conclusion
Communicator, author, and pastor Andy Stanley founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995. Today, NPM consists of six churches in the Atlanta area and a network of more than 70 churches around the globe that collectively serve nearly 118,000 people weekly. As host of Your Move with Andy Stanley, which delivers over seven million messages each month through television and podcasts, and author of more than 20 books, including The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating; Ask It; How to Be Rich; Deep & Wide; Visioneering; and Next Generation Leader, he is considered one of the most influential pastors in America. Andy and his wife, Sandra, have three grown children and live near Atlanta.