This is a guest post by Matthew Deprez. Matthew is a father, husband, author, and pastor at Frontline Community Church. He also wrote the book rediscovering Jesus: the art of taking christianity seriously. You can follow him on Twitter, friend request him on Facebook, or reach him at his website. If you want to guest post on my blog, check out my contact page.
I’ve been a pastor for almost 6 years and I love what I do. Since I’ve become a Christian 10 years ago I’ve spent most of my time reading theology, hundreds of books, having countless conversations with un-churched and de-churched people, and everything in between. But nothing, and I literally mean nothing has been more compelling to me than what I experienced two years ago.
Two years ago, I was exposed to the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) at Fuller Theological Seminary. FYI is committed to “leveraging research into resources that elevate leaders, kids, and families.”
Are you preaching or selling. Very interesting thought with lots of discussion around it. I felt that God placed this thought on my heart to challenge those who are preaching the good news of Jesus, or at least should be preaching.
Photo Courtesy of: Frantic Assembly
Lately, I have been asking the question, “Are you preaching or selling?”. Right away people will say, “Preaching”. I usually respond with, “How can you be sure of this? Are you 100% positive this is not your agenda or the leadership of the Church or something else? And are you 100% sure that because of the financial responsibilities that the church carries that you are not selling? And last, have you ever even experienced a conversion yourself?”
Let’s just say my week started out real bad. Doors were being closed, I was getting angry emails, and I felt frustrated, lost, and angry. Things that I had poured so much time and energy in, weren’t turing out as planned. At first I brushed it off, later it hit me and I broke down.
Why God? What are you doing? These became my questions throughout the week. Even though I was angry, I could also sense him doing something in me. As I prayed and fasted this week, I could see something even more beautiful playing out. I had no idea what it was, I could just feel it.
Are you ever just blown away with the power of the crowd and how connected we are today? About five years ago I signed up for a Google alert, called crowd sourcing.
Crowd sourcing is the idea that when you outsource tasks or things, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a “crowd”), through an open shout out, you begin to make much larger things happen. This is an uncontrolled idea verses a typical controlled idea and usually happens through new forms of communication such as social media.
I’m always amazed with little kids and the things we can learn from them. When we think about learning we usually don’t think about little kids. Instead we think about professors, teachers, or older more successful individuals. Why do we think this way? Is it because we know that they have gained the knowledge and experience that we seek to learn? Probably. However, what might they be missing? Is it presence? Maybe unconditional love?
Photo Courtesy: http://search.creativecommons.org/