Friday, November 28, 2014

We Are Visitors (series)

When we first moved to southwestern Germany in 2007 we felt as if our season as associate pastors had come to an end.  We began to coach and mentor pastors and church leadership teams across Western Europe.  We also had to find a church for our family to attend.  It was our first time in over 20 years that we were visiting churches (over 20 of them) in order to choose one as our spiritual home.  We were looking at churches from a consumer's point of view - as outsiders rather than insiders.  This was truly an eye-opening experience!

While visiting these churches we noticed some areas (that were unfortunately fairly consistent in the churches we visited) that could definitely deter a visitor from returning.  This following blog series shares some of our thoughts about this.

We Are Visitors - part 1
We Are Visitors - part 2

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Don't make your calling mine

Don't make your calling mine.  What I mean by that is, don't expect me to do what God told you to do, live like God told you to live or sacrifice what God told you to sacrifice.  God created us with unique passions and talents, and we’ve gone through unique experiences.  Why, then, should I expect you to have the same passion and calling from God that I do?  It's not fair for me to expect you to have the same relationship with God and calling from God (pastoral/missions/church planting) that I do.

God told us to sell everything and move to Germany. It's arrogant for me to expect you to do the same thing in order to please God – as if I'm sacrificing more than you are for the will of God.

A perfect example of this was Keith Green.  He was an amazing minister, and was greatly used by God to stir a nation that was falling asleep.  Robin and I can still quote the words to almost all of his songs.  I believe he was used by God as a “prophetic voice.”  But like many with this “prophetic voice,” he expected everyone else to have the same heart and calling that he had.  He expected everyone to go to the mission field.

I don’t think this was right.  It happened to be right for our family, but it’s not the right place for everyone.  1 Cor. 12:12-27 makes that very clear.  Each of us has a specific calling.  It may be similar to someone else’s, but it won’t be the same.  We need to remember this and encourage everyone to find and fill his or her place.