“Does the church do to people what the zoo does to animals?” I remember when I began reading Mark’s book “Wild Goose Chase” and how this phrase impacted me at the beginning. We make church so Christian that the lost have a struggle finding their way in!
In 12 years of youth ministry we have seen so many transformations in the lives of students who were totally unchurched and had radical encounters with the love of Jesus, leading them to true life transformation.
Daily I grow with anticipation for what God is going to do here in Auburn through our role as student ministry pastors and now Bonney Lake in our role of Church Planters. We are at a place that is unsafe, full of risk, and there are way too many ways we could get eaten alive. Kinda like living in the wild. I have to say, I feel right at home at this place called adventure.
The calendar will fill up more, the finances will be a miracle at every turn, even finding a facility in Bonney Lake will be a miracle…but that is all part of listening to the voice of God at every step of the way.
Many years ago, I found myself on a worship team at National Fine Arts Festival’s evening services called Youth Rallies back then I think (cool name huh). And there were more than 7,500 students packed into this massive room at the Orlando Convention Center. As we called students forward for prayer toward the end of the worship and I made my way to the altar to pray for some who had come forward I remember the voice of God clearly saying, “this is what is in store for you if you will be faithful.” That word faithful echoed in my spirit and became my “Spiritual Name” if you will, like when Saul became Paul in the Bible. I have thought back to that moment often as we have pursued the heart of Jesus for ministry and I remind myself that I am a pastor of thousands. It brings encouragement in the light of discouraging seasons along the way. But I have always wondered why I had not reached that thousand mark after all of these years…honestly it has kinda frustrated me, and I often think it is due to lack of faithfulness in this area or that of my life. Maybe needing to be a better husband, father, pastor, friend, or purer in my ways.
Yesterday, on my way to work, I was listening to an interview on a Catalyst podcast with Mark Batterson in the video above and he was talking about his life goals and God interrupted the moment in my car. Clearer than day the thought invaded my mind, “faithfulness is not speaking to moral perfection, but to obedience to His leading, being faithful in trusting God, following the leading of the Holy Spirit, faithfully seeking His voice, and it means living morally faithful. Sometimes we put God in such a small box, when He is thinking so much broader, freeing us up for adventure and risk.
We must live life faithfully, and we will impact the masses. This generation is seeking those who are what they claim. None want to be caged up by religious practices, but all desire to be free and live out the adventure of living faithful while doing life to the full.
Amen to your “faithfulness” blog. I would add that “God” is seeking those who are what they claim–ya think? If claiming to be a Christ follower, we must continue to pick up that cross and follow. When the storms come, (and they will), our trust in Him and “knowing in whom we have believed” will be tested. But if we’re real with what we claim, we’ll be able to hold on & press thru. If we can’t hold on to our faith thru those storms, He’ll use that as a reality check. For those that claim He’s not real, He’ll run hard after them! That’s good news!
Bless you! Ranee
what a great word Thad – I love your enthusiasm!