Discipleship is all about processing Kairos Moments.

Discipleship is all about processing Kairos Moments.

I’ve always loved the book of James. In fact, I cannot read the book of James without my faith and works being challenged in every season of my life. None of us have arrived at perfection. In James, we wrestle with that reality of not reaching perfect, and we wrestle with what I call the tension of “and;” i.e. trials and temptations, living and dying, faith and works, listening and doing, etc.  I think the authors of the Life Application Bible Studies sum up my affinity to James well, “With energetic style and crisp, well-chosen words, James confronts this conflict head-on. It is not enough to talk the Christian faith, he says; we must live it.” Those tensions and challenges we experience in study can be both deep moments of information and revelation – if we allow them to be. The language that describes these opportunities of tension and challenge, information and revelation, is Kairos Moments. Let me just say that as I prepare to lead a study on the book of James, I am reminded that one of my favorite things to process with individuals is these Kairos Moments.

What is a Kairos Moment?

Throughout this series, we will be referring to and processing Kairos Moments. Simply stated, Kairos Moments are a measurement of time. A study of the Greek language shows that there are two measurements of time – Chronos and Kairos. Chronos is the measurement of time in which we are the most familiar. Chronos is the time we can keep and find on our wristwatch. It follows a timeline. Chronos is successive or sequential. Kairos is a completely different measurement of time. We might say that Kairos is an event, an opportunity, or a moment in which everything changes. When you experience a Kairos or a Kairos Moment, it seems as if the rules of Chronos time are suspended or paused. That moment becomes an event or moment that changes everything. Kairos shifts the trajectory of your life in some way. Author Michael Breen defines Kairos Moments as, “when the eternal God breaks into our circumstances with an event that gathers some loose ends of your life and knots them together in his hands.” He also states that Kairos Moments signal opportunities to grow.

It’s important to understand that Kairos Moments can be good or bad. In Kairos Moments we feel as if we are experiencing each aspect of an event – but they can be either good or bad in their existence. The birth of a child, our wedding day, career changes, and the death of a loved one are all events that shift and shape our trajectory. So are terrorist attacks, tragic events, broken relationships, and divorces. In each of these Kairos Moments, we can allow the experience to shape us and our trajectory or we can seize the moment and experience growth through it towards a new and healthier trajectory.

            We see that Jesus and John the Baptist offer both Kairos Moments and a chance to experience growth through them to a new and healthier trajectory. The Kingdom of God (healthier trajectory) is always experienced by seizing the moment in which it is announced – repenting and believing. Listen to Jesus in Mark 1:15, “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near (Kairos). Repent and believe (Seizing/Believing) the good news!” Identifying a Kairos Moment is easier than it might seem. When we are reading a passage and we find ourselves either wrestling with it or feeling convicted by it, it’s in that moment we find an opportunity to grow in a way that might change our trajectory. Make note of the moments throughout a week you struggle with loneliness, anxiety, and fear. These are Kairos Moments. They are opportunities to seize the moment and grow, to repent and believe in new ways. It is in this way that we grow in our faith and work out our salvation.

Once we experience and identify a Kairos Moment in our life, it is important we then begin to deeply discern and process through it. Far too often we want to make note of these events and then try to fix our thinking or behavior. Instead, we are going to suggest a way to live in the tension of the moment to fully encounter what it means to repent and believe.

The Message Translation of James 1:2-4 captivates this idea of growing by learning and living in the tension well – it reads, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So, don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

In our series, we will be using a tool called The Learning Circle that was developed by Author Michael Breen and 3DMovements. There is great meaning behind each step and process of this tool, that we will not get into in this series. However, we will use these steps (Observe, Reflect, Discuss, Plan, Account, and Act) as a way of entering these opportunities (Kairos Moments) and seizing the moment to grow into a healthier trajectory of faith. We will be looking to see where Kairos Moments show up in our day to day lives, both in-between our gatherings and as we read each passage.

When we observe these moments of tension – in life or in a passage- far too often we want to just run in another direction or try behavior or thought modification. That almost never works. What The Learning Circle tool does for us, is forces us to slow down and process what is really happening and why. It has the potential to change our trajectory as it becomes more than just information and revelation, but practice imitation but as our discovery becomes part of our identity. This tool helps us to not get out of anything prematurely, so that we can become mature and well-developed.

Listen to James 1:2-4 from The Message one last time.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So, don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

What Kairos Moments have you experienced this week? Where have you tried to leave tension prematurely. How will this tool help you slow down and really discern what God is wanting to teach you?

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