Monday, October 29, 2007

Wow this weekend

This weekend I was privileged enough to go to Virginia for homecoming at the awesome college that I recently graduated from. I had a plan of going to the football game and some other homecoming festivities, but as I've realized, my plans change a lot. I got there and spent some time with a lot of students. These were students I'd worked with in Va before moving to NC. So I spent the weekend with students, and friends. It was extremely awesome! It did make me realize a few things.

It made me realize that first that God loves me. I realized this because with all the crap that's been going on, to have lots of people come and want to love on was incredible. Around NC i have my family. Other than that, not a lot of people just want to be around us. This is definitely different in Va. The begging people for us to come back lets us know that we're loved unconditionally.

Next it made me realize that God's given me exactly what I need. For years now my wife and I have been working with students. This weekend has made me realize that God's given me what I need to reach students. I didn't do anything but be myself and share what Christ did with the students in Va. It's funny how being real can effect so many people. All the latest things I read that people have realized that works is things we've been doing for years. Being's an opening for God's words to pour out.

Lastly, I have recently been told that a few of the things that I wanted to do weren't needed in youth ministry. A lot of them were said to be wrong because they liked unity of the family and basically their own preferences. This weekend taught me they are wrong. I've seen my ideas in practice and a wonderful student that I got to spend the weekend with validated my ideas. We weren't talking about some of these things. She brought some of these things up in light of the reasons i was fired from my last church. She told me how these things work, and it's what people her age need. She completely validated my ideas and assumptions on the ministry. I thank God for her and His words to me through her.

This weekend was awesome. This was the weekend we were to take the last church's youth ministry up for Scaremare. It could have changed their lives. We were going to take them to the church we also served at before them. They could have seen some of my ideas in practice and a little of my vision. This didn't happen. It's sad when a simple preference of a pastor becomes a crusade to get his way. I pray that God reaches his heart.

If you were involved in this weekend and you read this, then I thank you for being God's love to me and Shannon. This weekend was great and just want I needed from God. Thank You!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Why do churches do revivals?

Why do churches do revivals? This is a question that came to mind today when a preacher mentioned it at a church I was visiting today. He said that the Lord's supper is a good introduction to a revival. I was kinda confused by this statement. He said some other stuff that was confusing too, but I'll get to those later in another blog.

Ok back to the revival thing. I've grew up in church since I was very young. I've been in many different kind of churches, but most of them have a revival in common. A revival for those that don't know is this. There is a few days (up to a week) where a service is done everyday. Usually a pastor from somewhere else comes in, preaches a whole series, and there is more time given for each day (usually no limit). A revival is used to create a fire under people's butts. That is it's intention, to put people on fire for God. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't

So the question is "why do churches do revivals?" Honestly I have no idea why churches do this. It's been my experience that mostly older people go to these and most people don't make it every night of this extended event. I once had a professor named Dr. Ergun Caner. He knows more about church history than I could ever learn. Once he talked to our class about revivals. He said that "no substantial revival has ever occurred that was not started amongst the students of that area." Holy Crap!! That means that revivals that change lives and history start with the passionate students. So why do churches use programs like a revival that targets the older people? Do they really think that if they schedule in a revival that God will jump on board and say yeah I'll show up on that day or during that week because you say so? That's stupid!

Churches use revivals to try and create passion amongst people who don't have it. As my wonderful wife put it, "they try to create that mountain top Camp experience, because they won't go to camp." Wouldn't it just be easier to go to camp? Sounds to easy. Makes you wonder why the pastor doesn't try to create or at least want to create this type of experience all year long!

Ok so what's the point? Well in a purpose driven society, what's the purpose of the revival? I believe that everything we do in ministry should have a point and should meet our goals in one form or another. This doesn't really fit in. If we use the idea behind the simple church we'd have to cut this out. If we use the purpose driven idea we'd cut this out. So why is it that so many churches refuse to cut this out. Is it because it works? Is it because they know a revival will do what they haven't been able to do during the year? No! They do this because they always have. That disgusts me.

Ok, so I probably won't make churches even think about dropping this most scared cow. So my next question is...why do we target the older people? Most pastors have been to seminary right? This means they've taken church history and have learned about all the great revivals. Surely they've learned they've all started with the students who have the passion and the guts to do it. Then why do they overlook this? Why do they just patronize students instead of using them? Do a revival that reaches out to this group. Get a service where the students come, bring people, and are real. Authenticity is key with students and there's a lot of churches out there that are more fake than most of the girls that Hugh Hefner hang out with.

Also, this shouldn't be a once a year thing. This should be a weekly thing. Sure it's going to take a lot more work. It's going to take a person who cares more about God than making people happy. It's going to take a daily revival in the people's lives to whom are going to create an environment that creates a revival in everyone else at least once a week.

Revival in most churches today isn't needed. It's directed at the wrong audience and used for the wrong reasons. Why can't people just rely on God and become real enough to be a revival daily? It's almost like a contest to whom can can get best speaker. Do they really think God's loving this tradition? The question is, how long will he allow this slap in the face from fake people?

Praise God for real people who want to have a daily revival with God at the center. It'll start with students. It always has started with students. Some pastor's have forgotten. God hasn't ever forgotten. Praise my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! God Rocks -- Jtw

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

When did God become an Excuse?

So, When did God become an excuse for doing what you want? Anyone who's worked in ministry or pays attention to news about people and religion know what I mean by this statement. It seems a lot in the past few years that people in religious leadership like to use God as an excuse to do whatever they want. They say things like "We're going to do this b/c we prayed about it," or something like " This s what God wants." These statements have been used to rationalize some of the most horrible things in history. I saw a news article recently talking about a so called "pastor" who thought it was ok for a father to marry his adolescent daughter because it was part of their religion. Holy Crap, what's up with that? How can God be used to say this is ok? Because God's become the excuse. Recently I was fired from a Job where I was excelling at that job. I was fired b/c they "prayed" about it first.

How can we stop this flagrant misuse of a Holy God? It's called accountability. This kind of thing occurs in places where we give one person way to much authority. When did God ever put a single person up on a pedestal? He didn't! The only person He ever gave major authority was Himself in human form, known as Jesus Christ. If the leadership was accountable to people who walk with God daily, then less little problems like this will arise. Where people stop, think, and talk, ideas outside that of God's word start to become evident.

PLEASE for the love of God, stop using God as an excuse. Why do we feel the need to say that God has said something that you know He didn't? I think it's because no one can argue. The people that say these things know that God isn't going to just come down and confront you in public over the stupid thing you just said that He said. It's only an amount of time before you'll have to answer for what you've said. In this life or the next you'll answer for it.

Start actually praying, looking for God's leading, and do that. Regardless of what God's leading is, do that! You've got to be ready to do thing you don't want to if you're going to do God's will. It's not always the easy thing, but it's always the right thing. The right thing also isn't always what we want. Remember that the next time you're going to want to do something just because it's convenient or want to get rid of someone because you're jealous. Remember that it may not be what God wants just because you want it.

What God wants is perfect. Why do we think that just because we want it that God will in turn want it as well? How selfish our sin must be.

Now we must wait for change...God Rocks!! Jtw