Did you ever play hooky from school?
That’s how I feel right now.
I’m heading to the airport in less than an hour here in Chattanooga, but I’m always at Lifepoint at this time on Sunday morning helping with setup. Though I know that everyone I help with is supposed to be there and will do a great job, I’m still in the “wondering” mode… I wonder if they’ll remember where the cables for the flat screen in the “cry room” go, I wonder if they’ll remember how to position the tv in the preschool area, I wonder if they’ll know where to get the pens to hand out, I wonder, I wonder…
I work with a great crew, from the setup to the ushering. Jerry, Milo, Diana, Natalie, Mike, Jose, Lisa, Donna, Sterling, Eddie and Jeff. Every one of them capable, every one of them willing to do whatever needs to be done.
Thanks guys, for doing what you do so well and helping to keep my “separation anxiety” at a minimum!
Want to know what makes me get all weak-kneed and teary-eyed?
I know each of these kids.
I’ve held them in my lap; I’ve prayed for and cried with their mothers about their mother’s fears for their futures; I’ve given bags of rice, beans, powdered milk and handme down clothes to them; I’ve nursed some of them back to health; I’ve received gobs of slobbery kisses and little arm hugs as I’ve watched the lice crawling in their hair and seen their stomachs moving with worms under the skin; I’ve spent more hours and nights than desired asking “why” and “how” and “when.
I’ve despaired, depressed and desired about them, and their brothers and sisters —126 of them— to the point of numbness and back to hope again.
Those smiles… they tell me that it was worth it! Shucks! I don’t think I’ve seen anything yet…
[check out some of the new photos at G(i)FB(o)]
Our Lifegroup (small group) Sunday was a perfect example of what happens when you decide to cross the line and open yourself up.
We’re ploughing through Ephesians. We finally managed to get out of the first chapter after three weeks — well, we finally managed to finish the first chaper; we still have to start the second.
Ask anyone in the group what’s happening. “Man! This is making my head hurt!” “I had no clue.” “My brain is stretching.” “When did someone put this in there?” “Does this mean that…” “Why hasn’t anyone ever told me?” “You’re kidding me…”
Ever seen someone “see the light” for the first time? I’ve gotten a sunburn from all the lightbulbs flashing off!
This is so cool!
—Vince Antonucci (you have to read it!)
What are these two fellows doing? Why is everybody laughing? Are they:
a) Hanging out in a bar?
b) Watching an entertaining show?
c) Attending church?
d) Waiting their turn to play darts?
Correct answer: here
Remember my meanderings on the temperature and time sign?
I made the mistake a few years ago of reading some of the works of a certain K. P. Yohannan, in particular, his Revolution in World Missions and Road to Reality profoundly affected me. I’ve given away almost 50 copies of Revolution in World Missions simply to expose folks to his “radical” approach to world missions. His Road to Reality is one of those books you do not want to read unless you are ready to swallow hard and look at your faith brutually in the mirror.
K.P. has been on my mind alot recently.
I’ve found myself asking the question: How do you become a person who attracts the unchurched? Isn’t that what it —being a Jesus follower— is all about? Everything else is secondary, or, at least when I read through the New Testament that is what I understand (yeah, I know I’m rather silly).
The answer is making me realize that I haven’t done much over the years to attract them. How do I change that?
I am fascinated by what Forefront is doing in a bar in Virginia Beach. They have taken a path that is guaranteed to upset the status quo and I sincerely feel that such an approach is sorely needed. Over 70% of the people who attend Forefront were formerly unchurched. Seventy percent! Try counting the folks in your church who were once “unchurched;” you might be sadly enlightened as to how few you have.
Hey, don’t look at me like I’ve got the answers! I’m stumbling through this on my own and can’t find a good instruction manual. When I read this today, I’ll admit it sucker punched me — that is what is supposed to happen!
How do I do it in my life?
This is way too long today. Sorry. If you read this far, I’ll keep it shorter. I’m absolutely intent on figuring this thing out, but will try to do so will fewer words.
I’m curious, anyone else wrestling with this?
Interesting things happen when you do the unexpected.
Last Sunday, Lifepoint did what every mother tells her child in church NOT to do. We wrote on the chair. With black permanent markers. All of them.
And we didn’t get in trouble.
Why in the world would we do such a thing?
Because our Dad is letting us run wild in His house!
He said go out, find them and bring them in. We took names (actually, we wrote them on the back of the chairs) and kicked tail (actually, we went out and invited them to come). The really neat part is that they came!
People were telling me yesterday, “The people whose names I wrote on the chair came!” Another told me, “You aren’t going to believe this, but one of the people who I wrote his name on a chair came…and he brought a friend!” Another, with tears in her eyes simply said, “They’re here.”
Pastor Jeff said six more entered the Kingdom yesterday.
Is that cool, or what?!
The most interesting thing is that we haven’t seen anything yet. It’s amazing what happens when black ink, white chairs, broken-hearted prayer for the lost are stirred together and baked in intense love for several weeks. I hope we are ready…