Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Lord Thinks We Are Crazy (Part One)

I have a note stuck to the door of my church office which reads “The Lord thinks we’re crazy.” Occasionally people wonder why. Here’s the story.

I moved from New Jersey to Virginia Beach two years ago. One major difference between the two locations is the number of evangelical churches per square mile and, for the matter, the number of Christian license plates as well. In Virginia Beach, it seems to be the exception that someone does not have a Christian vanity plate (such as my favorite, HALOO-YA).

Because of this contrast, I began wondering and praying about what purpose the Lord had for me in this regard. How do you do ministry in a way that is not sinfully competitive? How do you rid yourself of the sinful tendency toward suspicion of other churches – you know, the attitude that says “they are not like us, therefore they must be doing something wrong.”

Finally, I resolved to get to know some of the other pastors in the area. My goal was to simply meet them, learn about their heart for ministry, and incorporate their concerns into some of my prayers. For example, if I were to drive by their church perhaps I could pray for them. What I did not plan to do was create some sort of elaborate partnership that would never get off the ground, or make promises that couldn’t be kept concerning ministry partnership. Simply get to know them, put a face to the church, and pray for them.

I decided that the first pastor I would try to meet would be the Calvary Chapel pastor up the street from our church. After all, I used to attend a Calvary Chapel church. I left that church as my theology took a turn for the more historical and Reformed, but I still love them. And besides, the church is only a half (not full, but half) mile away.

And as I headed toward his church, that’s when it hit me in full force: The Lord thinks we are crazy.

Here we are as Christians, whether pastors or not, seeking to serve our communities with the gospel. And yet we don’t even know the first thing about what other churches are doing. Let me tell you why this is so crazy: As Christians, we are brothers and sisters. We have a common Father, Savior, and Spirit, and we are on a common mission. If we don’t know what Jesus is doing in other churches, especially ones a half mile away, we don’t really love our community in Christ’s name; we love ourselves.

It’s really quite insane.

As I pulled into the Calvary Chapel to say “hi,” I noticed they sponsored a daycare center for disabled people. I should know that, I thought. What if I were to share the gospel with someone who would benefit from that service (in Christ’s name, no less)? What if someone in our church were to benefit from this?

I should know that!

What else don’t I know? Or rather, who else don't I know - and why not?

It’s crazy...

1 comment:

Joni said...

Hey... this is all new! Or is it a new format? I like it. With the Mosse and all you look like a Yooper. Good writing btw.. as always. Thx for coming by my hub