But what would the American church look like if we began to acknowledge
that it will take more than programs and education, more than community
and fellowship, more than doctrinal precision and striving to restore
shalom in Creation to make us disciples?
Survey the evangelical landscape and you'll find that accusations abound from one group to another regarding the issue of sin. Some say others have grown too accepting and actually end up watering down grace by their open acceptance of the errant.
Others stand firm behind their ultra-strict and perhaps extra-biblical guidelines ensuring their isolation and insulation from a sin marred world. They receive criticism from those with open hearts and arms.
And the Kingdom waits.
For those who will combine faithfulness and devotion with grace and compassion, those who do not fear for their reputation nor the accusations of their critics. Those with fierce devotion to the ways of the Father. Those who are like Christ.
Jesus was not like the sinners He came to save, yet those are the ones who liked Him most.
As more of our team converts to Mac's I'm sensing that my PC days could be numbered...a lady's Mac is stolen and she finds it, takes a picture of the dudes who stole it and gets her stuff back...greatness.
Andy concluded the last session with an unscripted talk, I thought it was the best of his three general sessions. He pulled back the curtain a bit and let us in on some of the questions he and the NPCC team have been wrestling with over the last year or so...the depth and breadth of his talk shows just how widely he reads and how deeply he thinks. As a church they are able to do this because they've built Margin into their lives.
The quotes first, takeaways second.
1. Q: "To reach people no one else is reaching we must do things no one else is doing." Craig Groschel-LifeChurch.tv
Takeaway: Become preoccupied with those you haven't reached as opposed to those you are trying to keep.
2. Q:"The next generation product almost never comes form the previous generation." Al Reis
Takeaway: Be a student, not a critic.
3. Q: "What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business?" Joel Barker-Future Edge
Takeaway: Pay attention to people who are breaking the rules.
4. Q: "If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he do? Why shouldn't we walk out the door, and come back in and do it ourselves?" Andy Grove
Takeaway: Acknowledge what's not working and own up to why you aren't willing to do anything about it.
5. Q: "When your memories exceed your dreams the end is near."
Takeaway: Don't let success or momentum overshadow your vision-keep the vision out front. *Not sure if this is the exact takeaway-he either didn't say it explicitly or I missed it.
Getting away is good for me. In ministry it's often difficult for me to "unplug" and work on ministry when I'm busy working in ministry. There have been the usual discussions on margin, caring for your staff, watching your health, planning and strategy. All great reminders and needed.
I'm hanging back a couple of days, not planned but that's the way it's working out-attending a friend's funeral on Friday.
Most of the other pastors are heading home tomorrow-jumping right back into ministry.
I'm going to take a few hours to work through my notes, reflect, write and recalibrate. Personally the last few months have been difficult covering extra ministry responsibilities while our team is short handed. I'm feeling the strain.
A few quotes from today's sessions were convicting...I need to chew on them.
margin there is no room to serve one another
under pressure and with no margin I can become very self centered
I'm in Atlanta today getting ready to attend the drive conference at North Point Church. Before rolling into Alphretta harp and I stopped by the Dwarf House and the Martin Luther King Center. Shortly after checking in I received an email that our good friend, Michael Colwell went home to heaven just before midnight Sunday.
That's Michael second from the right(shown here with our old doubles crew). He'd been bravely battling cancer for two years while serving at NPCC. If you've used any Andy Stanley DVD series, checked out their groups website or previewed their curriculum finder for groups you've seen Michael's work.
I remember many things about YoungMC....
His love for the Lord
His love for his family(Jen and boys)
His make it happen servant attitude-incredible
His desire to learn and grow
His funny golf pants
His undying love for Clemson
His questionable tennis skills
Michael was part of our lives at Springcreek for over three years, his influence remains to this day. I know that many are sad to hear of his departure but we also rejoice that he's home with our Father, pain free and that we'll see him again one day when we too meet Jesus.