I can’t believe we are already wrapping up January, 2013! Before we know it the incredible days of summer will be upon us. I am beyond excited to be hanging with all of you at BBQ’s, baptizing people in the back of pickups and trying to avoid injury during heated volleyball matches. I miss those days. In fact, I just really miss all of you! I know this sounds a little less manly than most of you think I am (don’t laugh), but I desperately desire to be together soon.
I wanted to share our hopes for PAX during 2013. I know that this is typically the time when we should be holding an annual business meeting. We would go over the budget in detail*, vote on specific decisions, have at least four awkward questions from the “audience”, and then cast a vision of quadrupling in size in the next eleven months. Unfortunately, that isn’t my plan. Sorry.
Here it is, this is what our elders are praying for regarding you, your family, and your MC: Depth.
We aren’t concerned about facilities expansion or increased attendance, we are begging God to help you experience Him in fresh, deep ways. We want you to slow down and invest in the people God has already brought into your sphere of influence. Rather than always having your gaze slightly above the people right in front of you looking for the next project, take time to truly invite people into your life. So, we are committed to doing the same thing with you. We want your MC to truly embrace what it means to do life together. Sacrificially, authentically, and radically.
In John 20, we find the following words from Jesus:
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit…”
As I have been studying Mark for our current teaching series, these words have taken on new meaning. It wasn’t just with the same purpose that Jesus was sending us. I mean, we know that Jesus stepped into our world in order to bring reconciliation, restoration, and hope. We do have that same purpose. However, Jesus calls us to carry out this purpose in the same way that He did. Jesus was a carpenter by day, and God by… well, always. Yet he lived with unbelievable intentionality. He would regularly carve out time to beg the Holy Spirit to allow him to carry out His purpose. He opened up his life completely to his closest friends, as well as the crowds of people that were desperate for Him. He loved with an almost reckless passion.
Imagine if he would have just shown up, said a few profound things, healed a couple peeps from a distance, and then delegated some poor sap to be crucified in our place. Would you and I really choose to believe in him as our savior and dedicate our life to a pursuit of Him and His kingdom? Of course, not!
But that’s not how he did it! He dove deep into the mess of life and, by doing so, gave people an opportunity to experience the richness of His kingdom, both now and to come! We can’t fake it, PAX. If we are serious about loving people, we must choose to partner with the Spirit in a similar fashion as Jesus.
In 2013 our hope is that our missional communities will mature as we join the Holy Spirit deep in the heart of the Missio Dei (Mission of God).
May you, your family, and missional community experience Jesus in a deeper way than ever before over the next several months. May he break your heart more often, leave you in awe regularly, comfort you when life is demanding beyond reason, cause you to create space in your life that you never knew existed for others, and may he redeem people along the way.
… and for those of you who have yet to join us on mission, maybe it is time.
Praying for you all!
*An email was sent to everyone actively participating in an MC. In that email, we included a brief video discussing the finances. If you did not receive that email, but would like to view the video, just leave a comment.