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Chilly —  May 2, 2016 — 2 Comments

reck·on·ing   [rek–uh-ning]

the avenging of past mistakes or misdeeds.

reckoningDo you ever wonder what we’re really doing or at least supposed to be doing? Why are our methods, passion, and approach all greeted with such resistance, fear or doubt? Why are people in the community more intrigued by and engaged in transformation than people in the church? Why no one seems to be able to find the correct phrase or word to describe us? Are we nameless?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this…

What makes us any different from previous pioneers, revolutionaries or trailblazers of the faith?  Are our ideas so unique? Are sermons more inspiring? …hardly. Is it our tech toys, websites, blog pages, crazy videos, or loud music? … no, I don’t think so. Maybe it’s our jeans & t-shirt Sunday attire.  Ha, that’s not it either – but it’s definitely a perk! 

So, what makes us different? Why all the books, conferences, articles with words like: engaging, convergent, relevant, next generation, influential, mosaic, story-telling, etc.? You know what, I don’t know either…

Maybe the labels and titles came from the rigid, controlling, established, religious, on-their-way-out, leadership of organized churches & denominations. We tend to fear what we don’t understand, and a label always helps us sum up something we don’t really get… was that offensive – I’m sorry – that’s not my intention. Honest. I’m not picking a fight.

You see, I don’t think we’re really that unique. From the first century church to where we are today, there has been a need for individuals or groups of believers that stand up and bring radical correction to the waywardness or blandness of the church Jesus planted. Throughout history there has been a need to get back to the main thing:  Salvation, discipleship, and community.

When we stray from the foundation, we tend to take ourselves too seriously and the results are tragic: religion replaces relationship, selfishness replaces simplicity, lust for power replaces love for people, control replaces compassion, greed replaces grace, jealousy replaces joyfulness, conflict replaces courage, and frustration replaces freedom. Has this happened in your church (or mine)? Oh man, just the thought of this makes my heart hurts…

It’s easy to fall into this and hard to climb out – but, we must!  [Warning: Rant in 3, 2, 1 …] And, I don’t think the answer is to abandon ship – kick dirt on your church, or walk away because ‘they’ won’t change and only YOU know what authentic Christianity is – and, then use social media and toxic small groups to validate your righteousness & meekness (receiving applauds & pity from every ‘hurt’ leader) – grow up, shut up & move on – gracefully. [end of Rant]

For the rest of us, still in it to win it, let’s begin our adventure back to truth & life TODAY! It’s time for a holy reckoning to happen in and through you. I want a better church for my kids and the generations to follow – better doesn’t mean “new” – actually it’s just getting back to the book of Acts and living it in the 21st century. It may be simplifying: Love God, Love Others & Love Life.

Yeah, labels will come… judgments will be made… shunning could happen. Embrace it. And do what you’re made to do – be who HE made you to be. The message IS sacred, the method is not... keep that straight and LISTEN, LEARN, LIVE, and LOVE!  The lost are all around us – they’re looking for something genuine & trustworthy — someone to help them find the truth. Making disciples is still the Great CommissionYOU ARE NEEDED.  It’s time.

                                one to be reckoned with,

Q: What needs a day of ‘reckoning‘ in your life or leadership today?

Living a Riddle.

Chilly —  February 2, 2016 — 50 Comments

This post generated over 40 comments… so, I’ve reposted it for MORE discussion.
(and if you left a previous comment, feel free to update us with what’s up now!)

Have you ever found yourself absolutely lost right in the middle of God’s perfect will? It’s like you totally know that He has you where He has you for a purpose — there’s obvious signs that there’s destiny in your existence — and yet, there’s so much uncertainty and wonder. It’s not a fear thing, or even a confusion thing; because God’s right there. And yet, you still find yourself holding your breath at times as you stare into space searching for significance and some sort of structure that puts everything into perspective.

LifeIsRiddleYou are confident of God’s calling but you can’t seem to find the job description, title, position or opportunity to do the things that make you come totally alive. You feel like you’re close… really close but, then again, you’re not even sure that you would know it if you ran right into it. Like lava churning in your heart, when you try to explain what’s happening, even to God, it blows like a volcano in all directions, loudly, quickly and recklessly.

So, you press on. Serve. Listen. Wait…

I don’t want those who read this to think I’ve lost my mind, but then again, I certainly don’t want them to think I’ve got it all together either. In the last year I’ve been called ‘pastor’ at two great churches, I’ve also been called: husband, father, son, brother, leader, minister, presbyter, entrepreneur, mentor, speaker, coach, friend, neighbor, director, reverend, staff, evangelist, barista, discipler and captain. That’s a lot of hats to wear! And, I’m still not sure that I’m doing all that I’m supposed to be doing (or not doing). Continue Reading…

Fast Thoughts

Chilly —  January 2, 2015 — 1 Comment

We are in the midst of our 40 Days of prayer and fasting. I always have high expectations for extended times in His presence and this time I think I’m MORE excited then I can ever remember! I’ve really been sensing that we’re standing on the precipice of a unique breakthrough. It’s thrilling! I’m also sensing that this season of prayer will be infused with extreme joy and contagious energy – not hype – as we sacrificially press harder than EVER before!  You don’t need to be “here”, geographically, to join us – perhaps God’s been stirring you to a new level of adventure in your journey of faith. If so, JOIN US!

Here’s some details to give you insight…

In Scripture we see several purposes for fasting.

  • It’s part of the discipline of self-control; it’s a way of sharing that we depend on God alone and that we draw all of our strength and resources from Him;
  • It’s a way of focusing totally on Him when seeking His guidance and help, and of showing that you really are serious in your quest;
  • It’s also, at times, an expression of sorrow and deep repentance, something that a person or community will do in order to acknowledge failure before God and seek his mercy. Great moments of reconciliation come through these seasons of grace.

imagesWe tend to think of fasting as going without food. But we can fast from anything. If we love music and decide to miss a concert in order to spend time with God, that is fasting. It is helpful to think of the parallel of human friendship. When friends need to be together, they will cancel all other activities in order to make that possible. There’s nothing magical about fasting. It’s just one way of telling God that your priority at that moment is to be alone with Him, shutting out whatever is necessary in order to go deeper with Him.

I think we often focus (and talk about) too much what we are “giving up” rather than WHO we are pursuing. If you’re just giving up food but changing nothing else, that’s called a diet not fasting. But, when we become so consumed with Christ that our need/desire for food or other things becomes less important; wow! Breakthrough is close at hand!

Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Bring the leaders and all the people into the Temple of the LORD your God, and cry out to Him there. Joel 1:14

Expecting MORE, chilly

Keep Us Little

Chilly —  September 26, 2014 — 3 Comments

So much of ‘today’s ministry’ seems BIG & BOLD – every service is a TV-ready performance choreographed down to the last second. Videos, intelligent lighting, 20 member worship band, gourmet lattes and hip leaders. I guess you can’t argue with the results, right? They’re growing & doing great things. This is not a post to rip on them – or anyone… But, what about the rest of ‘us’ without the big budget, cool buildings or paid staff?

Can we reach people without all this stuff? Can we make disciples without a video class? What if we can never afford to fly to a big conference or pay another pastor to ‘coach’ us? Can we still succeed? What if our ‘theology’ doesn’t receive the approval of the reformed or the anointing of the revived? Can we still love hurting people? Can we be effective if we don’t wear the right clothes or have the right hair style? Will you keep doing what you’re doing when the haters make you their poster child?

Does an unchurched person even notice half the
things we try to do to impress them? Hmmm
…  Continue Reading…