Like many other great religious leaders, Jesus taught a way or path to his followers. His teachings point to an understanding of the religious life as a journey. He spoke about alternative paths encountered on the journey—the wide path and the narrow path.
He talked about seeking and entering the kingdom or reign of God. These are active words. They imply doing something, moving from where we are to someplace new. These are not words of correct beliefs and doctrine, but words that call us to get up and get going.
Jesus called people to follow him in a way of living. As a result, the earliest members of the Jesus movement were known as “followers of the Way.” This website is devoted to exploring the Way of Jesus in a postmodern world.
not just for Christians
[Jesus] belongs not solely to Christianity, but to the entire world.
—Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)
Following Jesus is not just for Christians. The Way taught by Jesus is not a particularly religious activity. Instead, it is a decisively human activity transcending all religions. It is not a way of believing; it is a way of living. It is centered in human love for one another and is focused on compassionate action toward those in need. It involves our ethics, politics, and economics. The way of Jesus calls us to radical generosity, service to others, and the pursuit of social, political, and economic justice. Jesus offered a vision for humanity’s future called the kingdom of God. It was not about a heavenly afterlife. It was and is about a better world for all people, especially the poor, the hungry, the sick, and the outcast.
The mission and message of Jesus is appealing to many people the world over—those of other religious traditions and those who do not identify with any formal religion. Gandhi reportedly said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Many postmodern people share that belief. The churches of the Global North are in decline and younger generations no longer seek meaning there. Yet, many of the people characterized as “nones” (no religious preference) and “dones” (those who have left the church) still find Jesus and his teachings compelling. Many of those who remain in the church struggle with how to remain faithful to Jesus while rejecting various aspects of orthodox creeds and dogma. Slowly, traditional “church Christianity” is giving way to some new path of living faithfully in the world. German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945) called it a “religionless” Christianity consisting of contemplative prayer and righteous action in the secular world.
The Following Jesus website offers many different people—those who remain in the church, those who dwell on its margins, those who have left, and those who have never ventured near—with a life of faith that is both intelligent and passionate. It is an invitation to forsake a religion of comfort for a life of challenge, risk, and fulfillment. It is an appeal for all people of passion, zeal, and courage to embrace a life of service, justice, and nonviolence, and by doing so become followers of the Way of Jesus.
an invitation to follow Jesus
Take three-and-a-half minutes to listen to the words of Jesus inviting you to follow him in a life-changing experience.
Animation: Copyright © 2014 Kurt Struckmeyer
Music: “Expression,” Copyright © 2007 Helen Jane Long. Used with permission.
the following Jesus website
Visit the newly redesigned Following Jesus website. It has the same great content in a clean, crisp, and responsive format that is viewable on all digital devices.
the following Jesus blog
Read a collection of occasional theological musings from the Mustard Seed School of Theology.
Mustard Seed books
Explore new books about a life of faith in a postmodern world from the Mustard Seed School of Theology.
See the new book by Kurt Struckmeyer: A Conspiracy of Love: Following Jesus in a Postmodern World (February 2016). It is available in paperback and eBook versions.
Back cover description:
Before there were worshippers of Jesus, there were followers of Jesus. Before there were organized churches with creeds and doctrines, there were small communities of love, equality, and sharing dedicated to the practice of Jesus’ teachings and committed to a wholly new way of living.
Today, the churches of the Global North are in decline and younger generations no longer seek meaning there. Traditional “church Christianity” is gradually giving way to some new way of faithful living. From a Nazi prison cell, German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer imagined a future “religionless Christianity” consisting of contemplative prayer and righteous action in the secular world.
A Conspiracy of Love presents the contours of such a faith based on the “way” of Jesus. It calls us to become troublemakers, revolutionaries, seekers of change, and agents of transformation engaged in conspiracies of love to establish justice and peace in a postmodern world. It offers many different people–those who remain in the church, those who have left, and those who have never ventured near–with a life of faith that is meaningful, intelligent, and passionate.
A Conspiracy of Love can be purchased at a 20% discount ($22.40 USD) from the publisher Wipf and Stock, for list price ($28.00 USD) from Amazon paperback, or as an Kindle eBook ($9.99 USD) at Amazon Kindle.