Getting in Line

What do we do when we are facing leaders we don’t want to follow issuing orders we don’t want to keep? The response by most people throughout history has been either passive acceptance or else violent rebellion. As followers of Jesus, though, there is another option. As we continue our series, Being Good Kingdom Citizens, this week, thinking together about how we need to respond to the current political climate as followers of Jesus, we are going to join the apostle Paul as he lays out what this third way is. Thanks for being a part of the conversation.

Getting in Line

Have you ever been faced with a rule you didn’t want to follow? I suspect so. I remember when I was a sophomore in high school, and we took the standardized science tests for the state at the end of the year. I remember thinking the whole test was a joke in terms of covering ideas and topics we hadn’t touched on at all in the previous nine months, but the question that took the cake for me was this: Draw a picture of the universe and mark the approximate location of the earth. By this time, I was beyond frustrated with the content. We had never even come close to talking about the shape of the universe. I was a science geek and didn’t know the shape of the universe. Modern astrophysicists only have guesses about it (incredibly educated guess, yes, but guesses all the same). The rule was, though, that you had to answer all the questions. So, I sat there and for five continuous minutes put dots all over the page with my pencil, added a random X, and then moved on to the next question. I’ll confess that it was not one of my finer moments in academia.

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Which Side Are You On?

How should followers of Jesus think about politics and the election? This week we kicked off a brand-new teaching series in which we are going to talk about that very thing. From now to the Sunday before the election, we are going to dig into the Scriptures to understand better just what it means to be not just good citizens, but good kingdom citizens. Let’s start by understanding what that even means.

Which Side Are You On?

In the year 2,000, just before I graduated from high school, a new show premiered on CBS that has since become a cultural phenomenon. It doesn’t still carry quite the weight that it used to, but with season 41 waiting for COVID restrictions to finish filming and hit the airwaves, I think it’s safe to say that it’s still holding its own. The show really marked the beginning of a new era of television whose critics tend to be just as passionate as its fans. The genre is reality TV and the show is Survivor. Any Survivor fans in the room?

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Knocking Down Walls

We’ve finally reached the end of this journey. We’ve seen the church rise up, thrive through adversity, stand firm in the face of some pretty intense internal challenges, and finally hit its stride here in the most exciting story of all with a church business meeting. Wait…a church business meeting? How could that be exciting? Because this one would set the tone for how the church working well would approach ministry for the rest of its history. You’ve never seen such an exciting business meeting before. Read on to find out what happened and what it means for us.

Knocking Down Walls

Have you ever seen the gameshow Wipeout? It is a favorite in our household. If you’ve never seen it, the basic premise is that a group of pretty average folks are invited to take part in an insane series of obstacle courses. Each course is designed for the contestants to fail and in increasingly embarrassing ways. The bigger the wipeouts, the better the laughs. 

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The Nature of Our Work

One more week and we are finally through our series, Telling Our Story. I hope this has been as encouraging and productive a journey for you as it has been for me. Today, having spent lots of time talking about the how and the why of the things the first church did, we shift gears and talk about the what. What was is they were doing that enabled them to be so successful? Read on to find out.

The Nature of Our Work

What does it look like when you’ve done a job well? That depends on the job, of course. A school project done really well looks like a paper with a big A on top. If you’re selling insurance, it looks like helping someone understand the worth of investing in a personal safety net should the tightrope that is life get plucked, sending you falling to the ground. If you’re a firefighter, it looks like a rescue made with as little collateral damage as possible. For a NASCAR team, it looks like a trip down victory lane. If you’re building something you ordered from Amazon, it looks like not having any extra pieces beyond the ones that are supposed to be there. The list here is as varied as the jobs we could imagine. Let me give you one more, though, what does it look like when we’ve done church well?

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For Everybody

This week as we continue in our series, Telling Our Story, we come upon one of the most powerful stories of the journey. Who exactly is the Gospel for? In the first church, early on in their story, in spite of what Jesus had told them, they thought the Gospel was just for them and the people who were like them. What we see today, though, was the time when God intervened to help them understand that it was entirely bigger than that. Let’s talk about just how big.

For Everybody

Have you ever run into someone you didn’t expect in a place you wouldn’t have imagined? When I was 12, my parents planned a surprise party for me. The plan was for my dad to take me out to run an errand, but “forget” his wallet at home. While we were gone, a whole bunch of my buddies invaded the house. When we got back to get the wallet, I ran inside as fast as I could because I was 12 and that’s what 12-year-old boys do. Right as I got to the room where the wallet was supposedly sitting, they all jumped out at me. I’m pretty sure I defied some laws of physics as I changed directions in mid-air and crumpled to the ground in a little ball figuring that I was toast. One of my buddies had even thrown on a Wolf-Man mask for good measure. I’m just grateful I didn’t have to suffer the embarrassment of making a mess of myself from the shock. It wound up being a great evening, but I just about didn’t survive the shock of seeing all those guys in that place at that time.

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