Emergent Brethren » 2012 » June

Archive for June, 2012

Community, Worship

Peace

The other week I was attending the Church of the Brethren Church Planting conference at Bethany Seminary in Richmond, IN. I got the pleasure of hanging out with some friends who I don’t get to see very often. One of these friends lives and ministers in Seattle, WA. Turns out he was doing a workshop the same time that I was doing mine, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to be at his. But he gave me the handout, which was a tour of the churches and ministries happening in Seattle.

One of the ministry he highlighted was Church of the Beloved and he mentioned that they had some free music on their site, so I went and downloaded the music. (You can do that here…http://belovedschurch.org/hope

One song is called Peace and as I listened to it, I realized just how much our world, our families, our denominations, and our churches need this type of peace. Read the lyrics and pray that PEACE may start with you (through your relationship with Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit)

Broken conversations, broken people, we’re broken Lord.
Terrified illusions, seeking comfort, we’re seeking more.
We need each other more than we need to agree.
Father, Son, Spirit bless us with your love,
with your grace and peace.

Peace.
Let there be peace.
Let there be peace.
Let there be peace.

Let us see and not destroy. Let us listen. Let us listen.
Let us suspend judgement for the sake of love, for the sake of love.
We need each other more than we need to agree.
Father, Son, Spirit bless us with your love,
with your grace and peace.

Love.
Let there be love. (among us)
Let there be love. (among us)
Let there be love.

Church Planting, Community, Ministry Formation

Guest Blog Post

The other week I was asked to be a guest blogger for my friend Lisa Colon Delay, who I went to Kutztown University with. I thought I would repost what I wrote for her blog on my blog. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Identity

For the last two and half years I’ve been planting Veritas, a missional community in Lancaster, PA. There are various challenges in this.

There’s the challenge of developing a Core Group for Veritas. There’s the struggle of seeking to do church in a whole new way in an area that has a fairly traditional view of what church is. There’s the challenge of balancing 4 part time jobs between my wife and me, a free lance job, two kids and keeping up with everything that comes with running a household. But the biggest challenge that I have been faced with revolves around the issue of identity.

All too often, whether in planting a new faith community, or just in life, we define ourselves by what we do. And we define our self worth from what we do, and whether we are “successful” or not. Maybe men do this more.

If I’m honest with myself, my self worth all too often is tied into how I perceive things are going. If we have a good Sunday, as far as numbers (even though we seek to define success by other metrics) I feel good about myself. If we have a bad Sunday, as far as numbers go, I feel horrible about myself and want to throw in the towel and give up. The biggest challenge I believe, at least for me, in this planting journey has been to remember this phrase, “It’s not what I do, it is about whose I am.”

Scripture says this about me, “he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1:5), and “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”(Romans 8:15). Too often I say to myself (or Satan says) the very opposite of these words. I forget that I am a child of the King and that I am loved, not for anything that I can do, have done, or will do. I am loved period.

One thing that stuck from my years at seminary that has helped me confront this problem of identity is this simple statement, “There is nothing you can do to make God love you any less. There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more.” My identity is not in being a church planter, a father, a husband, or anything else that I try to define my worth in. My struggle is to remember that, and place my identity in the fact that I am a child of the Heavenly Father.