revolution

I like to write things down, it motivates me.  I’ve been using moleskine journals for about 4 years now and I just started my ninth journal.  For me when I write stuff down it becomes a little more real.

So I write a lot of things down, all the time.  I look back I wonder why I wrote some of these things down in the first place.  Some things that are in these journals are meaningless.  But there are some things that I write down that are absolutely priceless.  They are a memorial to a life changing event.  That’s why I love to write stuff down.

We told the story of the church tonight at Ethos.  One of the cool things is that those who are a part of the church get to write the next chapter.  We get to reinvent what church will look like for the next 100 years.  So we had people write their prayers down for the future of the church.   For me it was powerful to watch people write down their prayers, what they hope to see for the future church.

I wrote down a lot of things, but the thing that really stuck out to me was, the word revolution.  It’s what the church originally was, but it isn’t really what it is now.  So that’s what I’d like to see.

What do you want to see?

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change the world

On August 5, 2008 I was at surf camp.  I woke up earlier than all of the other students and I noticed a missed call on my phone.   There was no message just a missed call from my dad.  My grandpa had been in the hospital for a number of weeks.   I have a great relationship with my dad, but we are guys and therefore we don’t call just to shoot the breeze.  I knew something was up.  As I type the emotions are coming back.  He said, your grandfather went to be with the Lord early this morning.

I remember not crying or getting too emotional.  I had over 40 other students to worry about, I had just kicked a kid out of camp, the parents were mad at me…I had a lot on my plate.

Every time I saw my grandfather, from when I was a little kid to an adult he used to passionately tell me to change the world.  I used to think, “Okay Grandpa…whatever, I’m five.” I wasn’t super motivated to do anything.  He never said how or when.  He just told me to do it.  That sticks with me.

Sometimes I think that my job is to read, write and talk, how can I change the world?  I was reading the Bible this morning and I couldn’t get past two words that were in Matthew 28.  It’s a spot called, “The Great Commission.” The two words that Jesus says are, “all authority.”

All of it.

He says that it has been given to him and that he is using it to send us…

All authority stared a little group of people worshiping God…All authority gave permission for those people to communicate God’s story.

All authority for those people to start movements.

All authority for those people to become you and I.

All authority to change the world.

So if a person who contained all authority above heaven and earth told you to change the world, what would you do?

Maybe it’s time to take this a little more seriously…

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re-purposed

I had a cool experience today.  I went to a warehouse where a bunch of workers repurpose electronic equipment and anything else they get their hands on.  They fix it then they sell it.  And they do pretty well financially.  So I started thinking about what it means to re-purpose something.

Re-purposing something means to take something and change its reason for being.   Think about what your purpose is.  What if someone walked up to you and told you that you needed to be re-purposed…That you were not living life according to your purpose.

Every now and then I need this.  I need to look at life and ask if I am really living up to my God ordained purpose.  If I’m not then life needs to change.

What in your life needs to be re-purposed?

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mind the gap

***Note to my reading friends…This will be my only post in this area.  Please feel free to duke it out in the comments***

The problem of immigration control has been a hot button issue lately.  My Life Group ended up having a great conversation about it last night.  In other words I had a bit of a rant about it.  This is a rare post in that I rarely reveal how I feel about hot button political issues.  I expect that many will disagree and some will agree but here is how I propose America and Americans handled this issue.

First, lets be honest about the problem.  This is about a 90% US/Mexico relations issue.  We don’t see Russians trying to rebuild the land bridge to Alaska or Canadians trying to come and steel our hockey secrets.

Instead of sending National Guard troops to the boarder, maybe we should send diplomats who are willing to re-write some provisions in NAFTA.  One of the promises of NAFTA is that it would better the economy and raises the GDP of all countries involved.  However, there have been a few very clear benefactors of NAFTA.  The USA and Canada.  Mexico has lost.   Mexico has essentially become the cheap labor reserve for the United States. Your new Jetta, that Blackberry, your t-shirt were all produced in things called Free Trade Zones in Mexico and South America.  These are places where these products can be made outside the law of the particular country that they are in.  Which means: low pay, harsh conditions and long hours.

I have heard many people say that the real issue here is employers hiring undocumented workers.  I don’t know, why aren’t we asking, “why are these people willing to risk everything to cross our boarder?”  Employers that break the law should get prosecuted.  But this is not the end all to illegal immigration.

Let’s put this in a little bit different terms.  If you were rich and taken care of, bills are paid, no debt, college is paid for the kids and weddings are taken care of, you would be set right?  But what if you had a brother who lost his job, his house got foreclosed on and your brother turned to crime to feed his family, would it be in your benefit or detriment to help your brother out? I think very obviously it would benefit you to help your brother out.  If you help your brother then the family doesn’t learn that crime is a way to provide for your family.  The family sees that someone cares for them and is grateful.  Your relations become better, and you give your brother a better opportunity to get a job.

It seems like if this scenario was played out in an actual family there would be some dysfunction if the wealthier did not help out the one in need.

My point is that there is a mutual benefit to countries who enter agreements that are close to equal economic partners.

I’m not going to argue the pros and cons of NAFTA but it does seem like with the current illegal immigration issues that America is facing, something has failed.

We need to help close the financial gap between the US and Mexico.  The European Union does this whenever a new country is brought into the EU.  There is a theory that it is to the mutual benefit of both parties that there is not a huge financial gap between the countries.  I agree.

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the wrong goal

Building community seems to always be a goal of the church.  However that is not the right goal of the church, it is a byproduct.  I confess that the community-building goal has been my goal for the church for the past couple of years. I am man enough to admit that I was wrong.  Building community is great but as I said before it should be the natural overflow of a healthy relationship with Christ.

I have been highly influenced by a sermon given by Dr. JoAnne Lyon at an ordination service over a year ago.  The message was on a passage of John 6.  The passage is where Jesus is talking to his followers and he said that when he is lifted up then all men would be drawn near to him.  My goal to build community overshadowed the goal to lift Jesus up so that all people would be drawn near.  Wow…what happened there?

www.drawnbyerik.blogspot.com

So here is my plea to other church leadership.  I have never built a movement of thousands.  From scratch I’ve built a service of around 50, and I wouldn’t stress the word “I” there because of an amazing team.  But my plea is to not build community as your number one goal.  You should be able to look at your ministry strategy and say, an indication that church is going well is that we have naturally built some Christ centered community.  I would suggest that your number one goal is to lift Christ up.

Take a minute and evaluate your ministry goal, life goals, family goals, etc.  What do they include?  Are you operating under the wrong goal?

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