It’s rare (especially here in the Sooouuth) to find pastors with a kindred spirit — a similar outlook and philosophy as far as reaching a lost and hurting world. That is why, when I read an article the other day from one I felt like I was reading my own diary. The following is the gist of what I read (and WHOLE HEARTEDLY AGREE WITH);
From time to time we will have a pastor/church leader call us and want to know what in the world we are doing to reach so many people.
I have had this conversation with many peopleâ€¦and I have seen many walk away from that conversation either discouraged or disappointed because I could not give them a magic formula or a program. (<-- Ditto. Can't tell you how many times this has happened here at Southbrook -- Pastors will visit on Saturday evenings and try to pick up a 'trick,' or 'gimmick' here and there for use back in their own congregations. I try to tell them that that isn't it, but it seldom hits home. :) ). Anyway, let's continue...
The bottom line is that if a church wants to impact a communityâ€“IT TAKES WORK.
For far too long the church has been lazyâ€¦thatâ€™s rightâ€¦LAZY. We have sat back on our butt and done nothing, asking God to â€œdo it allâ€ and claiming to be â€œled by the Spirit.â€ And then people walk into our boring, lifeless and predictable services and we give â€œGod all the gloryâ€ (or the blame!)
One of the things I have realized in reading Scripture though is that Jesus was far from boringâ€“He created experiences for His followersâ€“experiences that they NEVER forgotâ€¦do you rememberâ€¦
Jesus walking on waterâ€¦donâ€™t think for a minute that Peter didnâ€™t think about that moment every time he walked by a lake.
The mount of transfiguration. Peter & John were both so blown away by this that they both wrote about it in Scripture.
The feeding of the 5,000.
The day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
Bringing back Lazarus from the dead.
Turning water into wine (the Baptist hate that one!)
I could go onâ€“the bottom line is that Jesus was constantly creating experiences that communicated to His followers who He was in a way that they would never forgetâ€¦
AND THE CHURCH SHOULD BE DOING THE SAME!!! (Hey, it’s me again (pastor Rob)– Don’t start with a moonshine deal in your backyard, it needs to be a God thing! :) Ok, back to our story…
Today I sat in a room for two hours as our creative team talked about the next several Sundayâ€™s. We spent around 10-15 minutes on how to conclude the sermon for the 17th of this monthâ€¦we are serious about Sundayâ€™s and the experience that is created for people coming in these doors.
I have heard pastors say that our process leaves no room for the Holy Spiritâ€¦and that we are not openâ€¦and quite frankly if one ever says that to my face I will have to be restrained from punching him in the throat! (ok, so this guy has some anger management issues, He’s actually just saying what a lot of us feel — And some of you out there in blogger land want to give him a peice of your mind right now (if that’s you, please reconsider — you may not have that much to spare <-- just a thought :) but just in case, I'm not including his name or Church name. I don't want anyone blasting him. Continuing...
I am sick and tired of pastors and church leaders blaming their laziness and lack of preparation on the Holy Spirit!!! One of the things that we have discovered here at Generic Church is that the Holy Spirit is always at workâ€¦and NOT just on Sundayâ€™sâ€“but during sessions where ideas are brainstormed and well thought out.
If you attend Generic Churchâ€“let me make you a promise. We take church seriously. Everything you see is done with a purpose. We are serious about Jesusâ€¦and serious about as many people as possible meeting Him. And because of that fact we are willing to do all that we can to reach those people!
It is our desire NOT to just have a church serviceâ€“but to create an experience through song, video, messagesâ€¦and any other tools that the Holy Spirit might choose to place in front of us.
So now you know, we are not alone. Pastors are waking up all over the place and the Lord is renewing a sense of urgency and excellence among at least some of us.
That really spoke to me. It’s my heart too. I hope it resonates with you too.
I love Southbrook Church. I love you guys (that’s Californian for, ‘y’all). Keep it up. We are making a huge difference!