I haven’t blogged in a long time. I’m going to start again.
With that being said, I’ve been hunkering down on a new job as the Junior High Pastor at Eagle Brook Church in White Bear Lake, Minnesota and beginning school at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. I may be the only Luther Seminary student to ever work at a semi-baptist church. Either way, it’s further evidence of the total disappearance of denominational lines. I’m just representative of the trends that are occurring across the world.
To sum it up: I am in a sweet, sweet place. Challenging? Yes. Time-consuming? Yes. But I feel like God has brought me to the “sweet spot.” I love my position. I love the church. I am fully devoted to the vision and mission of EBC. And I am sold out to engaging and learning and growing as a theology student. I am 100% certain I will learn more day in and day out being a Junior High Pastor than being in seminary, but I know and hope that seminary will further equip me to be the best pastor and ministry leader I can possibly be on this side of eternity.
(As this blog continues, it will never, ever reflect the values, thoughts, beliefs, statements of the church I am working at. In this case, Eagle Brook. This blog is entirely my own ranting and raving about various issues involving life, God, ministry, leadership, and church).
With that being said, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to pump up the leaders who serve on the Ground Zero (our unfortunate Junior High ministry name — but they DID try to change it post-9/11; it just never caught!!).
All God presses on my mind is how He alone can do supernatural things. We work VERY hard at Eagle Brook to make exceptional, attractive, purposeful, and relational Junior High ministry.
But God alone does the growing. God alone does the healing. God alone does the supernatural.
I firmly believe human beings are God’s PLAN A to accomplish great things on this earth. Ultimately, however, he is God and we aren’t (and I’m thankful for that).
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
I don’t believe in what is known as the prosperity gospel (do good and God will do good for you). But what I can’t shake from scripture is that God WANTS to bless those who love him and are obedient to him. He wants to! Don’t get me wrong, there are times when God doesn’t seem to be doing much good for certain people and does great things for horrible people. I don’t understand that and we won’t until eternity.
But what I do know is that God WANTS to use YOU – US – ME — Eagle Brook – GROUND ZERO – HIS PLAN A — to accomplish unreal things in his name!! And while he uses us, he wants us to LOVE him, to prepare excellently, and to give it our all. When we do, He wants to bless us. He wants to BLOW OUR MINDS with what he can do.
I’m challenged by a pastor and author named Francis Chan. If you haven’t read Crazy Love or Forgotten God, you should. He is incredibly radical and challenging – exactly what a Christ-follower should look like in my opinion. Here’s a quote from Crazy Love:
“Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty. They want to do the bare minimum, to be “good enough” without it requiring too much of them.”
The Seattle Seahawks motto this year is “All In.” At Ground Zero, I am urging our leaders to go “All In” this year. Don’t be lukewarm. Don’t be half-here. Be sold out. Devoted to this mission. Devoted to connecting Junior High students to God, to a loving adult, and to their peers.
I read another article by Chan. In it, he talks about how as redeemed followers of Christ we’ve been given a race car, but so many of us our content with driving it 30 MPH! But with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead DWELLING inside of us, why are we content driving at 30 MPH!?
He goes on to say that “a nonbeliever can accomplish a lot of what you’re doing.”
As long as I have a leadership role, Ground Zero will NOT be another YMCA program. It will NOT be just a glorified after-school program.
That’s NOT what we will become.
Before I begin this year, I am asking our leaders to deeply commit and go all in. Maybe you should join these commitments…
Let’s commit to preparing for supernatural things to occur.
Let’s pray that God will lead us into tasks that can ONLY be done by God.
Let’s pray for results where ONLY God gets the credit.
Ask God to use you for what ONLY you can do.
Let’s give dangerously.
Let’s prepare exceptionally.
Let’s be SOLD OUT, not lukewarm.
Let’s pray for supernatural growth.
What can you do to prepare for what God is doing?
1. Start with a deep love for God.
2. Continue with a great faith of what God is going to do.
3. And work diligently and tirelessly as God blows this place up.
Are you prepared for all that God is going to do through you this year?