After church thoughts (7/19/09)

Today felt good.

  • I had a strong word from God for our church. The message came from Mark 5:1-20. The crux of the message was this – we have a choice to make: predictability or people. Predictability is safe, comfortable, and normal. People are chaotic, risky, inconvenient, etc. BUT, when we choose people, we find ourselves most closely aligned with the heart of our Leader, Jesus.
  • The Church has to often chosen predictability and I believe that’s a leading cause of the decline of the church in North America! We’ve got our programs set, our positions nailed down, and our pretty buildings with finely manicured lawns. You could set your clock by our predictability. That’s safe and comfortable, but that kind of church won’t be effective in life-changing ministry. When we begin touching people for God it will get chaotic! Don’t believe me? Read through the book of Acts, or if you don’t have time, just read Mark 5:1-20, or if you don’t have time for that, read Acts 17:6 where the religious leaders describe the effect that Paul and Silas (gospel preachers) were having on the world in general and their community in particular.
  • The tough part of the message came down to this: if you choose people, two things happen: 1) you give up your rights and 2) you take on responsibility! There’s a myth in the church that goes something like this, “The longer I’m in the church, the more rights I have.” That’s wrong. The reality is that the longer you’re in the church, the fewer rights you have and the more responsibility you have! The longer you’re in the church, and following Christ, the “deader” you are to yourself, your preferences, your desires, and the more aware you are to the call of Christ to “go into the world and make disciples.”
  • We ended the message by asking people to make a choice – predictability or people – and signify that choice by leaving their seats and moving to the front of the church. Only one person remained in their seat. It’s the beginning of chapter two at our church.
  • Today, as we were standing around the front of the church “choosing people” I had an 84 year old man hug my neck and with tears in his eyes say, “Thank you. I love you.” That’s a man who gets it! I can’t wait to serve God with Reid Goodbar.
  • Sherri led the kids this weekend! It was great to see them running around the corner after service today! They were excited! They are having a great time back there, and learning about Jesus! By the way, every parent asks their kids two questions when they pick them up from children’s ministry: 1) did you have fun? 2) What did you learn? We are working hard to answer both questions positively and substantively!
  • Thanks to Ricky and Camille for your help with kids ministry today! Sherri tells me you guys were great!
  • Neva and Rich! Thank you two for stepping up this a.m. with music!
  • Janet! Thank you for getting there early and getting everything set up! You are the sweetest lady I know, and a real picture of Christlikeness!
  • Andrea! Those brownies tasted so good that they must have been calorie free! Thanks!
  • I preached so hard today I started to lose my voice! Charles Spurgeon would have been proud!
  • We came home, crashed and then enjoyed family night at the park! I love Sundays!

To our church, I want you to know that I am pleased to be your pastor. We have an older church, but I am not one bit disappointed about that. In my estimation, your age makes us valuable! We can love better, serve more, give more, pray wiser, and lean our full weight into the mission of helping people discover Jesus because we have you on the team! I love each of you and am looking forward to serving Christ with you!

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