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.

9 February 2014

Walls are great... but don't stay in them

A few months ago, something pretty unheard-of happened.   Our church was named the Downtown Champion of the Year by the BIA (Expositor story here) (Brant News story here).  If you don't know, a BIA is a "Business Improvement Association."  I woke up thinking about how amazing this was today.  Imagine... a CHURCH being the entity that most positively effected a thriving business environment.

This morning at church one of the worship songs had the refrain, "You are Lord of All."  It struck me again just how true this is... and how little credence we seem to give it sometimes.  The Church can sometimes struggle with vanity.  I'm am the biggest proponent of regular gathering for worship that there is and, as Louie Giglio said earlier this week,
But sometimes we get caught gazing at ourselves in the mirror, making sure we're a "glorious church, without spot or wrinkle" ... but then, like Elizabeth Taylor in her later years, become paralyzed to go outside and show our real faces without a false idyllic front of mythical perfection.  When we have the courage to remember that, as David wrote in Psalm 24,

"The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it" 

... we will begin to have more confidence to take this GOOD NEWS outside of our walls.  I mean... I dig walls.  They've got their place.  You're gonna get hit with a roof if you don't have walls. But we forget that most of our lives ARE (and need to be) lived outside of those walls. Think about how buggy we ALL get if we don't go outside even for a few days.  We QUICKLY lose perspective... and we get... weird. 

We're very excited to welcome Ed Silvoso, one of my ministry heroes, and his Transformation team
to Brantford this summer (June 26-28 Register Here) for their North American Conference.  A couple of Ed's "Pivotal Paradigms" are very important shifts of thinking. They are the kind of statements that make the difference between seeing The Church be impactful in its surrounding community... or not.

One of them is:

"The marketplace (the heart of the nation) has already been redeemed by Jesus and now needs to be reclaimed by His followers"

Luke 19:10 says “ For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Jesus came to save that which was lost. In this sentence, the word “that” points to something beyond people or souls. Jesus did not come only save souls, but also to seek, find and recover EVERYTHING that was lost.

Colossians 1:19-20 says, "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

When we get criticism that we should be like a good little church and stay inside our walls (and we do both from inside and outside the Church) we smile politely, exercise grace, and continue on acting like we're stewarding God's REDEEMED "everything." We're simply acting out our calling to see "His Kingdom Come and will be done on earth as it is heaven."  This statement and teaching by Jesus MUST be more than just a wish and a prayer.  This is no longer a grappling battle with the earth that too many seem bent upon.  Jesus already won that battle.  We get to reclaim it in his name.

The other paradigm that I wanted to highlight is:

Labor is the premier expression of worship on earth; and every believer is a minister. 

Many don't want this to be true. In the only perfect God/Man interactive scenario we've ever had... whatever labor Adam did every day, he related it to worship because that is exactly what it was. Worship in the marketplace has to do with us both being IN His presence and realizing that He is in OUR presence right in the midst of our daily on-goings. If we leave labor out of the equation, worship on Earth is reduced to a limited activity with very little impact on the horizontal day-to-day's that we ALL live in!

Some take issue with the word, "Premier" but when you consider the challenge we're given in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to "Pray without ceasing"  we MUST conclude that what we often throw away as banal and mundane are in fact DIVINE and HOLY.... and constitute a great deal of our time.  What a tragic waste to not appropriate this principle and simply wait for our "in walls" time.

If you ever stop to ask yourself the question, "Is this whole thing about me or is it about others?" The answer is:

It's always about others... but it's always THROUGH YOU

I'm thankful for Sunday morning worship and teaching.  I would recommend you find a house to hang with.  It's vital and Biblical.   But BEING the church in the community and seeing God transform a business culture (or arts culture, or education culture, or governmental culture, or or or) simply by acting kindly is what we were designed to do. 

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