Monday, January 18, 2010
Where the LIghthouse Sits...
It's late at night, and I'm almost asleep. And here comes Taylor all bright eyed and bushy-tailed ready to share her weekend trompabouts. I love it when she does this...It's time that I treasure! Her re-telling of her adventures leaves me in stitches most of the time and last night was no different...tales of muddin in the cold...getting stuck...looking like a nut...funny things her friends said and did...memories she is making.
The conversation shifts and she started to talk about God, different ministries and other things faith related. I am so thankful she is growing. I see God moving in her and her faith is rekindled. Some of the things she shares leaves me sitting there with my mouth hanging open, jaw on the floor. She's gaining insight and wisdom...my little girl is growing into a woman of God. Okay, :) let's get back to the story...So yesterday, she and her friends went to Connect Rome's first service in the mall. I wasn't sure about it but she really wanted to go so I caved (as usual) and I'm glad I did. I had no idea my kid could re-count an entire sermon lol. That was a WOAH! moment. I listened to her talk about the service... "Josh sat on a stool...the same stool probly from six years ago...I think it had holes in it." She talked about the layout of the place and how during worship, no one was watching anyone else, no one seemed to be judging and that there were all different kinds of worship. But there was no pressure. She shared the passion she witnessed from the people who led worship and the passion with which Josh spoke to the people who had come to listen...or "see" what the "church in the mall" was going to be like. Taylor said she and her buddies were in the smoking section...I nearly fainted. I was thinking "What have I done letting her go there??" Taylor was like "hahahaha Mom...NO...we sat where the smoking section was when this used to be a restaurant" I breathed a sigh of relief.
The layout seemed different to me but at the same time I was impressed. I've learned to stop being so closed-minded...yes, miraculously that is me talking! Haha! So I got to thinking. God is everywhere. He is omni-present. He's in the big churches, the little churches and yes He is in the church at the mall. God will visit where-ever He is welcome. Oh...He's where He is not welcome too, we just fail to connect with Him (I just had to say that). Then my thoughts took another direction. I'm sure some people will criticize the what and the how things are done. But think about it. When Jesus walked on this earth, how did He teach His followers? Oh yes, there were temples and synagogues and many people attended them and that was probably the "accepted/normal" way of going to worship. But think about Jesus. What did He do? He went to where the people who needed Him the most were. I had a picture fleet through my mind for a minute of Josh sitting on his stool...telling those young people his story-sermon (it was a thinker-thumper)...and then I pictured Jesus sitting on a rock, or on the ground, surrounded by His followers and people who had come to "see" what was going on with this Man who was doing things in such a different way than what was the norm for that time and place. And while He was sitting there He taught those who were listening to Him through His story-sermons/parables. My Bible paints a picture of a Man who caused quite a stir in the region, a Man who walked the hills and the valleys, in search of the ones who didn't frequent the temples. So I started thinking...maybe this Josh guy is onto something...maybe having church in the mall...where people coming in the front entrance will hear the worship and the sermon, maybe having church in the mall, where the Friday night service will be in The Nest...and kids who come in the cafe side for coffee...will hear the message of Christ from the other side...maybe just maybe...Josh is on to something there. Have you been to the mall on Friday and Saturday nights? Have you seen the kids who now may have seeds sewn into their lives? Some of these young people probably couldn't be tied and drug into a conventional church...ever. Now they may see, though, a glimpse of Jesus thru the hands of His people, whose arms are reaching...
I hope that people will see the potential for this ministry. Most would probably support this outreach if it were in a foreign country, or if a missionary was doing the same thing. Our country can almost be compared to third world countries with the amount of pagan religions and numbers of unbelievers that walk the streets and alleys. The whole purpose is to be a lighthouse...I don't think it matters so much what cliff or shore you are sitting on as long as the foundation is the Rock...God...So I guess what I hope is that maybe we might see beyond what we think is the "right" way to do things and know that there are all kinds of ministry out there...just as we know that all "kinds" of people need God.
All I know is, I will pray for Josh to have wisdom in his sermons, and that his passion to reach people will grow and multiply and bear fruit. As long as what he is preaching is Biblically sound...whatever means he uses to reach the lost...I pray is a success.