Hey everyone! Some ministry news and possible opportunity for others.
I’m going to be taking on the Saturday Night service at Living Word Fellowship called “The Bridge.” LWF is a very loving, sincere, word-centered and Spirit driven church that is also in need of some “young blood” as it were to balance out the body. The Bridge is going to be part of an effort to bring about that balance. It is generally going to be geared for people 20s-40s but all are welcome.
Have you ever forgotten that you had something? I don’t mean that it was stashed away in a box in the garage, out of sight and out of mind. I mean it was in plain sight but you forgot about it. Then, you meet someone who is excited about this thing that they have, and you discover it’s the thing you have. You used to be excited about it. You used to want to show it off. What happened? This is what happened to me the first time I read Haverim by Paul Gibbs. I got excited again for something I had lost sight of over the years; a passion to help others study God’s word so as to transform their lives and the world around them. That’s the promise of Haverim.
As someone who has spent a fair amount of time vocationally as a pastor, I should love church, but I don’t. As someone who has always had a heart for young adults and discipling them to live like Jesus, I should be out there with a crew of people mentoring them right now. But I’m not. Why not? Like so many others, I got burned out and burned up by what we call church, both by leaders, and by members. There is too much that feels broken to make any genuine change or growth as there should be. Churches want millennials to adapt to them and millennials want churches to adapt to them. In many instances each side is right about what is wrong, but wrong about what to do about it. For me, current Americanized church culture has become a nearly impossible environment to minister in either direction; to the church and to the people. To a large degree that is on me. I own that. At the same time, most everyone thinks that they know what should be happening, but it’s usually based on bad information so nothing changes for the better. I’ve come up with a name for this bad-information-no-forward-motion phenomenon. I’m calling it “presupposition paralysis” and it is the elephant in the room no one wants to deal with. Well, here it goes.
In Star Wars Episode 1, Jedi Master Yoda has a line. “Fear is a path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leader to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” In many ways this is the completely wrong quote with which to open this post. In many other ways it could be the completely right quote. In either case the quote demonstrates a progression that could end poorly, or could end well depending on choices that are made. I think the choices that Pastor Brian Brodersen is making concerning Calvary Chapel (CC) are part of a progression that is going to end well for this reason; while Brian is being accused of doing things that move further from the roots of CC, I think that they are actually moving closer to its roots. I think there is some really good stuff on the horizon. Lem’me ‘splain.
At the end of Deuteronomy 18 God tells Moses what to do with someone who claims to be speaking on behalf of God and says something like, “God told me that thus and such are going to happen,” and it doesn’t come to pass; you stone them to death. It’s clear that God doesn’t like it when someone puts words into His mouth. While I can’t cite chapter and verse at this moment, I think it would be right to say that God also doesn’t like it when people put actions into His hands that he did not do. I am genuinely concerned about this because more and more I am reading people on social media attribute things to God that it is very possible, even likely, that He did not do. In particular, I’m seeing the phrase, “God moved powerfully at (put gathering name here).” Really? I hope that He did. I also hope that we can tell the difference.