I’m not sure if it’s that I only watch my tv shows on Hulu and they only rotate 7 advertisements per year (seriously, Hulu!), or what it is, but after watching the Verizon commercial with the crying Mom try to leave her daughter for the 400th time, it is getting rough for me. In fact, I walked out of the room last night watching it with my wife because I couldn’t take the same ad one more time.

And maybe I’m crazy, but this experience did get me thinking.

In our churches, how often do we “over-saturate”?

Do we over-sell every event or activity the church puts on?

Do the words “life-change” flow out of every announcement we give?

Do we over-hype programs rather than invest in individual stories?

Are we saying the same thing over and over?

Are we driving our church members *crazy* because we continue to over-hype and under-deliver on our promises?

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to be that annoying advertisement for a church function. But I do want to build buzz for what God is doing. Because I believe more than ever that He is active in our world.

See my tension?

What do you think?

 

 

Breathe

May 17, 2012 — Leave a comment

Do you ever feel like you need a break? Like you need to breathe?

I do too.

I am currently working my way through a book on Spiritual Disciplines. A challenge pierced through my heart and convicted me:

When people ask, “So how are you?” refrain from a litany about how busy you are. This simply reinforces that a revved-up existence is what matters.

Yikes.

How frequently have I fallen into this trap? To believe that Continue Reading…

I was reading a blog post earlier today that asked young adults “what was it about Jesus specifically that attracted and captured you to the point that you decided to follow Him with your life?”

I was struck by Josh’s answer:
April 26, 2012 at 7:49 am #

From the earthly, practical standpoint: In high school I decided to follow Christ, largely because the youth group and youth leaders at my new church were the most welcoming, friendly, forgiving group I had ever encountered. Their warmth and depth of friendship blew me away, as they took me in as a newcomer and welcomed me. As I saw their pursuit of Jesus and how it transformed their lives, I realized for the first time how important it was to follow Christ rather than simply giving a verbal assent to His existence.

The response reminds me of a student in our youth ministry’s story – of knowing all about God – but not knowing God and having a relationship with Him. To now see this student have grown into one of our primary student leaders – who is thriving in their walk with Christ – is incredible to witness.

So I just wanted to encourage you – that what you do each week, month, and throughout the year – really matters in the Kingdom. And I’m thankful for the gifts and call He has given so many of you, my friends, to minister to young people.

Blessings to you as you serve!

-Jonathan

“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”  1 Corinthians 15:17

Creation could have happened in 6, literal days or over 6 billion years. If science were to prove something either way tomorrow, it would have no affect on my faith.

 

The Flood could’ve covered the whole Earth or it could’ve just covered where Noah and humanity inhabited.

 

I could be really wrong on a variety of my own interpretations of Scripture. I could have some mixed up views of who God really is. In fact, I am sure I don’t know a whole host of things about God.

 

But if Jesus doesn’t rise up from the grave, my faith is worthless. It all hinges on one moment. One piece of history. One moment of redemption – God making it so I could have a real, living relationship with Him – and have a full life here on Earth.

 

But I recently read that nearly 1/3 of Christians don’t believe in a physical resurrection of Jesus. And so I’m wondering – What is the basis of our faith with the resurrection gone?

 

Tim Keller writes, “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said?”

 

Why live a radical life of sacrifice if Jesus wasn’t really the son of God? That wouldn’t make any sense.

 

It’s all or nothing for me when it comes to the Resurrection.

 

Jesus is either a nut job or he is Lord.

 

Without the resurrection, I’d enjoy a couple of quotes on peace and love from Jesus, but I’m not going to follow Him with my life. In fact, for me, I may not even believe in God’s promises. Or His love. Or His care for me. Or that I could be experiencing resurrection from all the death in my own life – or that I could be made whole.

 

I don’t know where I’d be, but I do know that my entire life trajectory has been altered by God’s son.

 

I believe it.

 

And I’m in.

 

I’m all in.

“God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” Acts 2:24

Where are you at?

Paths

January 12, 2012 — Leave a comment

If you look closely – and listen acutely – it’s like you can hear God saying:

Come.

Follow me.

My path is more beautiful than anything you can imagine.


Continue Reading…

So the next time someone is tweeting in church, you are not allowed to judge them. They are simply doing what Scripture has “clearly” told them to do: Tweet. And read on their Kindle Fire.

Who knew? 🙂

(HT @Michael Hyatt & @Scott Williams)

My favorite part of Tim Tebow isn’t that he’s a winner. Although it is impressive that he has started as 4-1 as a starter. I didn’t see that coming.

My favorite part of Tim Tebow is not that he is very unorthodox in the option-style offense he runs. It is not in how he is playing the game right now.

My favorite part of Tim Tebow is not that he wears his faith on his sleeve (or more literally…on his face). Although the way he does it is equally impressive as his track record with winning. He is never obnoxious about his faith expression and you can sense the sincerity in what he believes. He isn’t doing it for a show, but because he honestly and wholeheartedly loves God. And he has backed it up with an unbelievable track record in serving those who need it most.

But what I love most about Tebow is not his ability to win, his ability to play the game different, or even his faith.

What I love most about Tim Tebow is his ability to handle the haters.

The truth is, everyone who succeeds at something in life has haters. Whether it is a business job, an NFL player, or even a pastor – you get haters.

And Tebow’s list of haters is longer than anyone I’ve ever seen. The attacks from both sportscasters and people of different faith backgrounds has been disheartening. And the worst part is that Christians (who have become so cynical and believe that the way they live out their faith is the only way…) have thrown their stones at him as well.

For me, every time that Tebow responds with grace, a smile comes across my face. Every time he chooses not to fire back at a snarky remark about his faith, I grin again. Every time Tim chooses to go prove the haters wrong with his actions rather than retaliate, I’m inspired.

That is why Tim Tebow is #winning. And why for me, it has nothing to do with football.