Sunday, April 17, 2011

On the Bench

Anyone who has ever played sports know that the place you least want to be is on the bench. You practice every week, honing your skills and technique, hoping for a chance to hit the winning basket or make the touchdown catch as the clock runs down to zero. It makes me think about some of my own endeavors in sports and life. I remember playing soccer forever, and being good at it, it came naturally. I was a striker, and loved being on the offense, being the aggressor. Sometimes I was asked by my coach to play other positions, sometimes we needed help on defense, sometimes goalie, but I always accepted that I went where I was needed.

I bring all of this up just to expose a scary thought that is more real than most are willing to accept. Too many of us that are Christ followers are too willing to "sit on the bench" than to actually get in the game and make a difference. Every week I get to serve other people at church, and many times it ends up blessing me more than them it seems, but I would have never known these things unless I would have gotten off the bench. I was a church consumer: easy, non committal, and unfruitful. I took so much more than I gave, we are called to be givers. Isaiah 6:8 says And then I heard the voice of the Master: "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" I spoke up, "I'll go. Send me!" This isn't the talk of someone riding the bench, coasting through life. This is someone just coasting, Isaiah stood up and volunteered his service, not knowing what we was going to be getting in to, he just know that he was being asked to do something.

I continue to struggle with pushing, continuing to be moving forward and not stagnantly waiting for life to happen to me. I encourage everyone to find ways to get off the bench, don't trade your opportunity to serve others for a seat that gets you nowhere. This week marks my 1 year anniversary of serving, and I can tell you that I have grown more this past year, than the previous 30 riding the bench.

Monday, April 4, 2011


This weekend I witnessed something truly amazing, and to think that just over a year ago I would have never been anywhere close to being able to experience it.  This weekend we were asked at our host team meeting how our life has changed in the past year, and I started rattling off several things.  But to give you perspective on the catalyst of this change, I need to lay the foundation first.

In early 2010 Megan and I were going to's NW OKC campus.  For those of you who don't know about LC, it is one church with many locations.  I didn't know it yet but I was what I like to call a "church consumer", that is someone who takes and never gives back.  The fill a chair, sing some songs, maybe even put a $20 in the plate, but never commit enough to put themselves at risk.  That was me to a T.  I loved the preaching, our worship pastor had just joined, he was the lead singer for a major christian band, and Megan and I tithed some, but not methodically and definitely weren't giving anything more.  Then announcement came out that created the spark, LC was opening a new campus and needed a "core group".  I thought core group meant that they needed chairs filled, so I reluctantly caved to my wife pleading me to go there.  Remember, I loved our worship pastor, and could think of a million reasons why we didn't need to go, but I took the step.

Fast forward a few months to the core meeting and I found myself surrounded by fire, for Jesus.  I knew that "these" people could help this campus get off to a running start, and I would be a +1 on the attendance sheet.  It was then that I discovered that I wasn't getting off so easily, they needed volunteers so I took the lowest commitment level possible, Questions and Answers.  I am great at answering questions, so I knew that I was the one for the role. 

Two more weeks pass, and its Easter Sunday.  I have to tell you that I grew up in the church, and I know many CEO's, that is Christmas and Easter Only attenders so I was expecting a big crowd, but nothing that we witnessed.  We came driving up onto what looked like an impromptu Woodstock festival.  People were crossing Route 66 to get to church, this was insane!  I showed up to my post just as the first service was letting out, to answer questions, and was told that they needed me to get people out of the parking lot so we could make room.  I didn't want to go out into the insanity that was our parking lot, but I filled the need.  After a healthy dose of controlled chaos, I came back in with all the answers, ready for any question that could come my way.  Then to my surprise, was told that I was promoted to "What's Next".  To a guy that was there to answer questions, this was one of the scariest things I had ever heard.  Whats Next is the role that prays with new believers, helps to shape their direction, this was more than I had ever done, EVER...... I took the step.  How could I not, we are called to disciple, and there were 2500 people here in a standing room only crowd, many who came to know Jesus for the first time in their life, they needed compassion, they needed to know that we were there to help them on their journey.

I prayed with 13 people that day, crying more than most of them, I am sure that they thought I was out of my mind, little did they know, I was overcome.  I had for the first time, decided to let go of my insecurities, and follow.  You don't have to know where you are going to end up, all you have to do is follow, take a step and own that step.  I am so excited to see how this Easter will be different, but 1 thing is for sure, I know that if I am called to take a step, I have to take it because who knows where that one step will land you one day.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Build up and send out

So one of the mottos of the church that I am a part of is to build up and to send out.  For those who don't know, Lifechurch is pretty progressive.  Infact some people might think that we are too progressive.  But we are committed to do anything short of Sin to bring people to know Jesus.  Our pastor, Craig Groeschel, resonates a great ideology that states, to reach those people that nobody is reaching, you have to do things that nobody is doing.  So what some people say is too much I say it isn't enough.

That being said, sometimes I run across people that attend LC and try to compare it to other churches, with the opposite things to say, "they aren't doing enough or they are too internalized".  One such conversation started today, I was talking with one of the people that I serve with and he was sharing his experience at "traditional" church.  He spent a long time there, and thought that they weren't doing enough to reach out to others.  Trying to stem the conversation into the positive, I quickly reminded him that his church was sending people out, because it was his growth at that church that led him to LC.  It built him up enough to send him to where he was needed. 

Just remember, when you feel like you are unhappy with your situation, circumstance, or surroundings, pray that God opens your eyes to the possibility that you didn't just end up where you are by accident, he is just preparing you for the next step so be prepared.