I’ve been contemplating for a while what I would write about for my first new blog post. At the end of 2010, I felt the Lord wanted me to start blogging consistently. My goal in this season is 2-3 times per week. I have recently finished the rough draft of my first book as well. It’s titled, The Transition – Successfully Moving from High School to College and Beyond. Writing seems to fit what the Lord is currently doing in my life. The book is in the process of being read and edited by friends who will critique it for content, theology, and relevancy to the target audience. I will keep you posted on my progress!
For my first post, I have decided to talk about the intent of this blog. You may think Walking with God, is not a very original name. At the same time, it represents what has been the theme of my life since Jesus found me in 1996. I came to Him alone, broken, and helpless, and although things didn’t change overnight, I knew my relationship with Jesus was real. From the very beginning, He gave me a desire for intimacy with Him that has marked my life. Fifteen years later, I can honestly say my relationship is just as real and fulfilling as the day we met. I have never regretted for one moment the decision to follow Him. Has it been easy? Not even close. Following Jesus will lead you to all sorts of places; some very difficult.
Without too much rambling I will get to the point. I like to be a person of few words unless I have something to say; otherwise my mouth can get me into trouble! This blog is intended for three groups of people in no specific order:
- Church Planters – On some levels I’m not sure I have any business blogging about church planting just yet. On the other hand, if any of what I say about it can help someone, then I think it’s worth it. I tend to be pretty hard on myself at times about my planting ability. Thankfully, it isn’t solely dependent on my ability. Planting has raised questions and insecurities in me that I didn’t even know were there. I have undergone severe testing and wanted to quit many times. I have compared myself to others and questioned my calling. Yet through it all, I have stood firm and I intend to continue to do so. Perseverance is key in church planting. I can honestly say that marriage and church planting have been the most difficult and fulfilling things I have ever done. That’s not to say I am not pleased with the progress of Journey Church. In fact, I am extremely pleased. In my opinion, I get to pastor some of the most amazing people on earth. Harvard and MIT students who are quite literally geniuses, young adults whose passion and devotion to Jesus brings joy to my heart, sixty-something couples who Have been walking with Jesus as long as I’ve been alive, and others who have experiences of walking with God that make mine look like a children’s story book. All that to say Jesus is so worth it, the people I have the privilege of laying down my life for are worth it, and the calling is worth it. As difficult as it’s been, it has brought strength, stability, and blessing to my life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
- Church Leaders – On some levels, I feel qualified to speak into the lives of leaders. I have been a leader in some capacity in the body of Christ since 1999 and have fulfilled many different roles within the body of Christ, including – youth leader, youth pastor, college and young adult pastor, worship leader, teacher, director of a network of campus ministries, and now a church planter and lead pastor. I don’t say all that to convince you I am qualified, but I have learned a few things along the way that may be helpful. I think my greatest contribution to any leader is to teach what I have walked out, day in and day out in my life – how to have a passionate, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe and continue to believe that KNOWING God, walking with God, and relating to God is infinitely more important than DOING for God. Fruitful service comes out of relationship with Jesus and being connected to the Vine. He is the prize. He is the most important thing. He is the goal.
- Followers of Jesus – Last but not least this blog is for followers of Jesus OR those who are interested in knowing more about following Jesus – either at Journey Church or beyond. Many of the same things that apply to leaders will apply to you. With all my heart I want to see people grow and prosper “Like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” (Psalm 1:3) I want to be like Elijah and release a generation of Elisha’s who will go on to do greater things than me. That is my hearts cry.
Finally, I hope to blog on all sorts of issues that in some way or another fall under one of those three categories. My prayer is that this blog will challenge you, encourage you, and cause you to go deeper in your relationship with Jesus, no matter what stage you are in. I hope to make your heart burn even brighter for Him. Like John the Baptist, I want to be a burning and shining lamp illuminating the way to Jesus (John 5:35).