Archive | April, 2011

A whole new world…

20 Apr

There is a new movie coming out this Spring/Summer.  It is called “POM Wonderful presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”  It is a new documentary by Morgan Spurlock, the guy who did “SuperSize Me.”  It looks to be a very interesting movie about the idea of product placement and advertising in the American culture.  I was watching the trailer for it earlier, and one of the statements made in it got me thinking.  Spurlock is interviewing Ralph Nader when he asks the question, “Where should I go that I will see no advertising?” Nader responds, “To sleep.”  I laughed initially, but then the thought hit me, that line of thinking can be directly applied to the Christian life.

Jesus and the Gospel should invade and take over every compartment of our lives.  If we are truly committed to and believe the Gospel and everything it entails, then our lives will be all about Jesus and sharing the Gospel with others.  In the early history of the Church it was reported by one secular historian that the Christians were everywhere in society.  They had become involved in the Roman Senate, business, entertainment, and every other sector of life.  Somewhere between then and now, that situation has completely changed.  The church and most American Christians have concluded to seclude themselves from society rather than infiltrate it with the Gospel.  This is a sad state to find our selves.  Why can’t we live out the Christian life that Jesus would have us to live out with the same mentality as that of the American advertiser.  The difference is that 1) we have a much better message to spread, and 2) Jesus can even be a part of our dreams when we are asleep.  There is nowhere that we can go to get away from the presence of God.  Therefore, there should be no compartment of our life where Jesus and the Gospel has not completely and radically changed the landscape.

I think it is time that we begin to live out what we say we believe.  As a great friend of mine has stated, “The Gospel demands action!”  We must cease to sit in a state of inactivity with the Gospel hidden in our back pocket while there are people within walking distance of where we are who are in desperate need of a Savior, namely Jesus.  Let’s begin to shift the way that we think about living in this world as a Christian.  We have to live a life that is completely consumed by, and with, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We must live as we have been called by Jesus to live, and evangelism will undoubtedly be a byproduct.  However, evangelism in itself is not the ultimate goal.

Unfortunately, for the past 50 years or so evangelism on its own has become the goal of the church in America.  The church has amassed a great number of conversions to proceed to drop the ball in helping those converts to then become disciples.  There is a big difference between a convert and a disciple.  And quite frankly, we have never been called to make converts.  In Matthew 28:19, Jesus tells us, “Go and make DISCIPLES…”  Now, where in that sentence do you see the command to simply convert people?  Yes conversion must occur, but it cannot stop there.  Those new converts must then be discipled into what it means to drop everything and become a follower of Jesus.

We must heed the words of Peter, when we tells us in 1 Peter 2:9-12, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

Our conduct must drive people to Jesus.  Meaning that every part of our lives must be consumed by and display Jesus to everyone around us.  If we do this we can move toward a whole new world in which we live.

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I dream a little dream…

1 Apr

I finished reading a book this week entitled, Surprised By Worship by Travis Cottrell.  There were a lot of great things in it.  If you are a worship leader or a worship pastor I would strongly recommend it.  It is a very quick read.  With there being so much in this small book, I could write for days, but I would like to pull out one concept that he raises toward the end of the book.

In chapter 8 of the book, Travis is telling about a recent process that he went through in trying to decide his place in ministry.  He makes a statement in the chapter that had a huge impact on me as I read it.  In reference to a possible ministry position he says that part of the job would be “dreaming of crazy-big things to do for the glory of God with a pastor whom [he] loves.”  When I read that, I immediately thought of my position where I currently am.  I had never articulated it that way, but I knew I felt that way as soon as I read it.  It is so exciting to be in a position where I truly can dream of crazy-big things to do for the glory of God with a pastor whom I love.  My pastor is an incredible man of God who is not afraid to be on the cutting edge of ministry techniques and possibilities.  Therefore, as the worship pastor at our church, I also have the freedom to dream big for the glory of God in the realm of music and creative arts.  It is a very exciting and daunting position in which to be.  However, I would not trade it for anything.  God is here with us, and He is blessing left an right.  I don’t say that to make you think that things are easy.  In fact, they are very hard at times, but (as cliche as this sounds) I have never felt more in the middle of God’s plan for my life.

Being at a church plant for the first time has taken some adjustment, but I am absolutely loving the ride that God has me on.