And by that I mean a blog post. It’s been a little while since I wrote down my thoughts. I’ve had plenty of thoughts in the last couple of months, but I don’t think I am able to publicize them yet. (This statement assumes that anyone besides Michelle and my mom read these things.) So let’s see if I can squeeze out something to cause a new entry on people’s RSS feeds.
I need some music on, be right back.
Ahhhh, Hillsong: All of the Above. Good choice.
So here’s a brief and vague summary of what has been going on in my life lately. I’ve been facing some “difficult” challenges in regards to how I serve God. I’ve tasted what true devotion to God is like, and it is good. I’ve been challenged in my mind and heart to be completely sold out and dead to myself. Alive to God and NOTHING else! And I look at life in this place I am in and I wonder if it is possible to be fully in service to Him here.
First thought, the Great Commission commands each of us to go “into all the world”. But many, well most Christians have interpreted that as staying home where it is comfortable. “Hey, the bible says Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. So I’m staying right here in my Jerusalem until it is reached.” That’s a pretty common thought, right? (I’m not saying this is wrong, maybe a little skewed though since the disciples were foreigners from Galilee in Jerusalem. So even THEY had left their own culture).
But what I truly have been challenged is the idea that we have all been called to be involved in missions and so many choose to stay home. So if I am completely willing to leave, is it possible that God would rather have me stay home? I mean, how many are out there in Christendom that are actually willing to go? The ones who want to go, should just go, right?
Is it possible that God is saying “I’m glad you want to go, Ryan, and it’s been noted on your file. But you’re to stay home in Canada.”? Is that possible? I guess, since He is Almighty and all. It just doesn’t seem likely to me.
And so I struggle on what our next step is.
Second thought. I’ve agreed to join the leadership team for our church’s Contemporary Campus. This is essentially a brand new church plant being formed out of the current established body and building. In fact, it will look, meet and worship in pretty much the same way that our current assembly does. But our goal is to establish a couple of new mindsets within the membership:
1. Church is not an event that you go to on Sunday morning. It is not the one time in the week you set aside to worship God. It is not the only “feeding” you get. Worship is not to make us feel good. In fact, there is nothing about church that is about you. God and the lost are our priorities. Worshipping God 24/7 because He is worthy is our goal. Showing the world that God is real and worthy of worship is what we do.
2. The ministries of the church always need to be focused outward towards the lost. We are not an establishment to serve ourselves and validate how “refreshing” a church service is. Glorifying God by bringing the Gospel to those who have never heard it is our one and only ministry. So every member of the congregation needs to have an active role in reaching out to the world.
2a. There are no seat filling ministries
3. The “old” way of doing church didn’t work. Sure, some people got saved. We got butts in seats. But they stayed in those seats. We need to get people to realize that we have a command from the Lord God Himself to reach the lost and the only way to accomplish this is to GET OUT OF THE BUILDING. The lost see nothing in our church buildings, which is hurtful to think. So it’s time to reimage what the church service is for and how it is just a part of the greater mission.
And so I wonder, how do I lead people to embracing these mandates? Are there many people in our church today who will willingly accept these and kill everything in their lives that prevent them from fulfilling their purpose as Christians?
The parable of the fertile soil looms large here. How many members of our churches, of “my” church are truly fertile soil? When the instruction comes out to get to work and start finding the lost and telling them about Christ, will the growth inside of them wither and die? Am I prepared to accept butts leaving seats and going someplace else more comfortable since we’d be left with the truly fertile ones?
How do we encourage, motivate or even flat out push people into this way of thinking? Do I have the ability to be the leader that is needed for this endeavour? Can I live up to the words I speak and write or will I be just one more big failure?
(Music break: All I wanna do is worship You. You are worthy, You are worthy Lord. I will live for all my days to worship You.)
Ah, that puts it into perspective. Thanks God.
I want to put so much more down here, but I can’t. Privacy demands that I keep quiet on other topics until their proper time. But I ask that you pray for Michelle and I as we seek the leadership of God moving forward.
Oh ya, next week we’re heading back down to Tlaxiaco for a little R&R&E&DC&BWG. That’s Rest and Relaxation and Eating and Drinking Coke and Being With God. We’re looking forward to celebrating the graduation of this year’s MTS class and assisting the Farr’s and Windham’s in cleaning up and getting ready to move to Houston to start the MTS there in the fall. Interested in more? www.globalfrontiermissions.org is a great place to start.
Wow, 1028 words of babbling. Not bad, not bad at all. And there’s a good chance of stuff flowing out of me once we’re in Mexico next week!
I meant words, not something related to how many tamales I am going to eat.