Our team of 8 got back from Orange 08 (www.theorangeconference.com) last night. What a great week to get away and be with people passionate about the church and the next generation. How we invest in preschoolers, kids, and teens will shape how the next generation leads the church of Jesus Christ. (not your church or mine or your denomination of mine just the church we all belong too, it was founded by Jesus and it will never end) There is great hope that we can make a difference in the lives of kids and families and we get to be a part of the next chapter of what God wants to do here in the United States. I sensed the entire conference that God is doing a new things in the hearts of His followers who are called to invest in children and teens. Just such a blessing to be a part of that move of God. I can not wait to see what God does here in Clarksville over the next year in the church and in the families that live here.
Yesterday we had a few surprises. Andy Stanley was a surprise visit, Eddie Kirkland ( a friend the I met at Bigstuf and who has done some ministry with Freddy T) got to lead us in worship during the morning sessions, and Louie Giglio spoke in the last session. Tried to recap some ideas that flowed from the first day so here goes…
Andy Stanley…came and basically did a Q and A with Reggie and helped us think through family ministry in the local church, spiritual growth, and gave some insight into where he sees in church culture right now. Great reminder from Andy to be careful of serving others without the name and message of Jesus on our lips as we go. We serve not in our name but in the name of Jesus. As we serve we lead others to the only hope we have JESUS. Great insight…Also great insight into what spiritual growth looks like but you will have to get the session.
Louie…wow really asked everyone to examine of hearts and motivation for how we do church. In our attempt to be relevant do we miss the fact that Jesus transcends all of our feeble attempts. Our goal is to be like Jesus, think like Jesus, live like Jesus, lead others to Jesus, love others like Jesus. The truth is that we are not called to copy culture or manipulate culture we are called to CREATE culture that allows Jesus to be the center of all we do in HIS CHURCH. This thing we call church is His anyway not ours. The message from Louie was innovate, create, dream, move forward BUT NEVER WORSHIP RELEVANCE. The end goal is to spread the fame of Jesus Christ not our cool environment.
Right now as I finish this, I am so thrilled Jesus captured my heart. This is all for Him…my life, my time, my family, my dreams all for Him. In that place i find life, His life.