Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

16 February 2010

A Greater Song

One of our worship regulars at Freedom House is Paul Baloche's "Greater Song". It says,

I see the heavens proclaiming You day after day; And I know in my heart there must be a way to sing a great song to you on the earth.

The more I've thought about these lyrics and the following cry of "Hallelujah we want to lift you higher" ... the more I think the "greater song" our spirits cry out for is what happens when we worship and work TOGETHER. You can encounter God in a very real way alone in your bedroom, and many have argued that that is enough. It quite simply is not. There is a God mandate of worshiping together. It's a different thing that happens when MANY join voices with a collective passion.

There is also a God-mandate to work and serve together. What happened yesterday in our community does not happen without cooperation, corporate generosity (within our church and in the community), organization, and the humble sacrifice of SELF for the benefit of THE WHOLE.

Over the last 3 days... an estimated 10,000 people (roughly 15% of our city) came through a winter carnival that little old Freedom House funded, planned, staffed, and executed with excellence. Every half hour I (dressed in a big red leotard as Captain Kindness... a super hero we invented and who is now a recognizable entity in our community) shared the message that Kindness can and WILL change our city. It will change it BY good, INTO good. That alone was amazing to me... but frankly those words paled in comparison to what our guests saw and experienced.

There were adults and teens alike in the cold making funnel cakes, running horse-drawn trolley rides and taking tickets while kids spun around on an old time carousel. There was the "Kindness Crew" that spent the weekend handing out free chocolates and stuffed animals with the message that we should be kind... because it brings change in MANY lives when we pay it forward. It was a living TEAM (or a BODY if you church it up) functioning together... not so they could be "blessed" but to "bless" others. It was a true depiction of what can happen when Isaiah 26:8 gets into our heart and we choose to work it out in the real world.

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you;
your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.

This is what one of our local newspapers The Brant News wrote about it:

The carnival, which runs until Monday, features a carousel, pony rides, horse-drawn trolley rides, games, skating and lots of food. It’s a way to serve the city and help make positive changes downtown, said organizer and Freedom House pastor Brian Beattie.

“It’s a great world we live in, but we can make it better,” he said.

That’s where Captain Kindness comes in. Dressed in a red, large-muscled superhero costume, Dave Carrol of Freedom House played the kind crusader during the event. His job is to teach children and parents alike that kindness can change a city. He’s quickly becoming a recognized face in the square, where he’s spread kindness at several other city events.

“I love coming downtown and seeing people here enjoying themselves,” Carrol said. “Downtown has always had a bad rap and the city has been able to change that, but you have to change the culture as well and that’s what I think we’re doing here.”

At church Sunday morning Brian made what I thought was a very profound statement. He talked about how when churches used to prepare for outreaches we'd say, "if only 1 gets saved it's all been worth it". But yesterday he noted the that reality is that if not a single person comes to Christ after this past weekend... it's STILL all been worth it. In fact this whole weekend, we did not "preach" a single time. That's not ALWAYS how we do it... and we no qualms about speaking publicly about Christ but for this event why didn't at all. Why? Because Jesus Himself also told us that we are to:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself."
Luke 10:27

Worship and Work. Our job is to reflect Christ in our community/to our neighbor because we love Him... and since we love Him, we love the community BECAUSE of the hope we have in HIM! He said to do it... so we do. Period. It's our job to sing that "greater song". Then it's God's job from there. One that He paid the price on the hill of Calvary to be able to fulfill. Jesus said in John 12:32, "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself."

Romans 2:4 also says that "God's kindness leads you toward repentance"

Freedom House... we played our part in this miraculous spiritual process this weekend EXCELLENTLY. Anyone who wants to come with us is welcome. There is room and roles for everyone willing to worship AND work. Shall we?

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