What’s “Your” Church?

Where does your heart and passion come alive?

For those that don’t know me, I’m not a country music fan.  However, when I let Amazon Prime Music play random selections, about 1 out of every 4 songs is a popular country song.  I heard this one the other morning that got my mind turning. It’s called “My Church” by Maren Morris.  Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

“Can I get a hallelujah
Can I get an amen
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya
When I play the highway FM
I find my soul revival
Singing every single verse
Yeah I guess that’s my church”

It’s not really a song about church (the way I understand it), but it does shine a light on something interesting. It might not actually have any theological foundation about “washing my sins” away… but in terms of how most people view church, it’s an honest assessment of where this person’s heart is and what stirs them.

Too many people attend a service simply going through the motions with very little passion or heart connection. The song is about listening to people that connect with the driver of the car – “When Hank (Williams) preaches the sermon, and Cash (Johnny) leads the choir” – the song says THESE ARE MY PEOPLE. This is MY CHURCH.

Close the Museum

When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997 – the first thing he did was clear out the “museum” of old products and gave them to Stanford University.  He cleared out the archive because the company was stuck at looking at what it had done in previous years and trying to make changes FROM there.  He reminded them that the future is what matters THE MOST and thier job is to LOOK FORWARD and invent tomorrow.

I think the church could use some clearing out of past methodologies (practices) and stop trying to tweak the already ineffective and LOOK FORWARD.  Most people disagree with this because of some rant about history or heritage of those before us.  I’m not suggesting we remove “baptism” or “communion” or “worship” from our methods – these are clear in scripture and are essential to our faith.   I am suggesting that more churches remember that the time as ambassadors of Christ is NOW and our future success of living out HIS MISSION of the Fame of God and Freedom of Men is NOW.  This will require us to “invent tomorrow” the paths, methods, and practices we engage in to reach every man, woman, and child with the gospel.
Can you think of anything in the churches “museum” that we need to stop analyzing (or tweaking)?   What are some great examples of people or churches that are “inventing tomorrow”?

A Fresh Coat : A New Look

paint_ta_49821I’ve been inspired by a fresh coat of paint.  Is that possible?  I’m in the middle of painting our children’s playroom and we are converting it into a playroom/classroom.  We’ve been in our home for over 4 years now and this is the first time we’ve done anything to this room.

The inspiration is seeing something transform before my very eyes.  It’s the same room.  Same walls, Same ceiling, Same room.  It’s not done yet, but it’ looks new, fresh, and is changing.  It will serve a new use, a new season, a new room.  This might not seem like much to inspire, but for me… it’s been an amazing night.

My life has been in a steady pace of renovation over the past 12 months.  God has been initiating change all around me, walking me down some roads I’ve been praying for.  I feel like I’m in the midst of a re-direction in my life.  I’m still the same old me, but I’m changing.  I’m on the edge of a new season, a new role, a new opportunity.  I’m not entirely sure what the season fully looks like but I’m feeling the freshness of a new coat of paint, and re-purposing of my passions and talents.  Similar to my project, I don’t think God is done with me yet, but I feel fresh, new, and ready to see what God is going to do.

I’m inspired by a fresh coat of paint.  How about you?  What has God done in your life lately to reveal the work He is doing in you?

Does God want us to be Efficient?

www.usnewsOkay, so it’s a strange question.  Does God really want us to be efficient?  This question comes after a hour long session today of a Google Docs tutorial on Calendar and syncing it with our Macs and phones.   We were all very excited at the end of it because there was a feeling that we would be better organized, communicate better, and overall our efficiency would increase exponentially!

So I thought – Does God want us to be efficient?  Is time management a question of stewardship?  Here are my simple thoughts.

Freedom vs. Grave-Tending

9TzrLLjTEStrange title?  Maybe…  or maybe not!

I was reading in a small men’s (men of all sizes actually) S.O.A.P bible study this morning Romans 8: 1-17.  I recently purchased this amazing parallel bible that gives me the NIV on the left hand and the message paraphrase on the right of the same verses.

I have always loved this passage because of the freedom in the spirit of Christ that it reveals.  However, some new words and thoughts occurred to me this morning as we read it together.

The first part is a great contrast between choosing to “live in” the Spirit or “live in” the desires of the flesh.  It then quickly sets us free that we are not “controlled by” by the flesh if we have the Spirit within us.  However verses 12 – 15 jumped out at me today as I looked at both the NIV version and the Message paraphrase.

The Rules of Men…

RulesSo, I’ve been praying about the future and about churches in general.  I am doing some study on John 4 right now and it has taken me back to when Jesus quotes Isaiah and says “these people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  Their worship of me is made up only of RULES TAUGHT BY MEN!” (caps added by me)

The woman at the well was also caught up in what religious practices where supposed to look like (we worship on the mountain, you worship in the temple…)  As I pray about what a future church looks like I am feeling more and more trapped by the RULES I’ve been taught about what church is supposed to look like.  I mean, what we see on Sunday’s is not exactly taught in scripture, and what’s even more perplexing is that we even argue among believers which RULES are better.  Traditional, Contemporary ::  Reverent, Relaxed :: Deductive, Inductive.  The more I prepare my heart for the future, the more I see the trappings of the RULES I’ve been taught by men.

Risk = Freedom

Do we ever consider that risk = freedom?  That living a life at the edge of the unknown might not be the the most free we could ever feel in our lives.

I had the opportunity to speak at my church this past weekend about regret and I used a statement I had written several years ago about the definition of the Kingdom’s Path.

“Follow God with abandon at every age – with an eager expectation that God can use our lives for His purposes in the world.  Risk always: Never Completely Settle: Be Different, Be HIS, and Die Gloriously”

I didn’t spend much time the idea of risk this week because the sermon was on regret, but I couldn’t shake the idea of risk and freedom from my mind.