The Uncomfortable Call

This past week at the men’s retreat, we learned a lot about call and being “on mission.”   We learned that Imageevery Christian has a calling, a gift, and a place to begin “going”, whether that be in our home, our church, or our “work” (everything else).  

I was reminded yesterday, listening to an excellent sermon by Tim Keller, that going on a “radical”  mission with God is safer than being comfortable without him.  But a call to be “RADICAL” will look different for all of us.  The one consistent theme amongst all of our missions, however, is that they will always include a call to LEAVE whatever makes us SECURE and to GO without understanding how everything will work out.  It is a call to walk a path where our only confidence is that Jesus has said, “follow me.”.  

I would encourage everyone to listen to Keller’s sermon.  It is about Abraham and his calling to leave everything he knows and follow God into the unknown.  

You can hear  or download it at this link:.  http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sites/sermons2.redeemer.com/files/sermons/RPC-Real_Security_and_the_Call_of_God.mp3 

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Church Planting Lesson #31: No One and Everyone

Over the limited years I have had as a pastor/planter, I have learned that there are two kinds of CHRISTIANS that come to, and sometimes through, a church. They both have very different expectations coming into a church family and, as a result, both have very different experiences.

One comes in expecting to get everything and plans to give nothing.  They reach out to no one. They connect with no one. They talk with no one. They fellowship with no one. They learn with no one. They pray with no one. They give (nothing) to no one. They serve no one. They sacrifice for no one.  In the end, they have helped no one and no one knows them.  Then, in their time of need, no one shows up, and they judge everyone.

The other comes in expecting nothing but plans to give everything. The reach out to everyone. They connect with everyone. They talk with everyone. They fellowship with everyone. They learn with everyone. They pray with everyone. They give (everything) to everyone. They serve everyone. They sacrifice for everyone.  In the end, they have helped everyone and everyone knows them. Then in their time of need, everyone shows up, and they judge no one who didn’t.

We must fight the temptation to look around to find someone who is like this, and look inward to see if we are the one.  Essentially, we are talking about the love for “one another” that Jesus talked about–the tangible love that is supposed to characterize his followers.  Though I addressed this blog to Christians, I wonder if one is in fact not a believer at all.  Consider that one is self-centered and one is Christ-centered. One has a mind of their own, and the other has a mind of Christ. One hates the church, one loves the church because Jesus does. One looks at the church to judge the weak or missing parts of they body, while the other looks at the church to understand what part of the body Jesus made them to be. One tends to remain in a church long-term, develop deep roots, and real Jesus centered-relationships to help face any problem.  The other tends to go from church to church dissatisfied, refusing to make new friends, and ultimately blind to the real problem–their own heart.