Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Preparing to Launch

There has been a great deal said about males who are between 20 and 40 years old and are still playing video games in their parents basement, refusing to grow up. Paul has reminded us that when we become men we are to put away childish things. Now, that is not to say we can never play a video game, or throw the ball, but it is making sure we understand that we are to focus on things that matter. We are to take responsibility. My boys and I talk a great deal about what biblical manhood looks like...there are times I give them a living illustration of what manhood is and there are times I give them a living illustration of what it means to avoid biblical manhood. At TBC we have spent a great deal of time discussing what biblical manhood is supposed to be, what the expectations of God are for us and how that plays out in our work, home and personal life. I thank God for each man who has gone through our Men’s Fraternity classes and it is always a joy to see how God has used that teaching to sanctify all of us. When men fail to launch out into their biblical roles, it leaves homes in shambles and society in a mess. Sadly, the same can be said about our churches. God has given us a calling to “GO” make disciples. Most of our work, especially in the Bible belt, consists of getting people to come to us rather than us going to them. At Trinity we are at the cross-roads of making a decision to launch into an area that is very different not only for us as a church body, but for most churches that we are familiar with. While we have a nice amount of money in the bank, we had to make a decision of whether we wanted to spend it on a nice building a new area (which we pondered), to get a place temporarily and then decide what area of town we wanted to move into (which we actually voted on), or to move to an area in our community that has fewer churches, in a community but not in a major intersection. At this time we are still waiting to see what God does, but it looks like we are going to go into a neighborhood filled with people - the high majority (over 85%) of which is unchurched. As I have been praying about this, I have come to the conclusion that the only thing more tragic than a young man who will never launch out and be what God has called him to be, is a church that fails to launch. A church that is safe, a church that lives its life with people that never stretch them to be more open, accepting, generous, dedicated...a church that spends all of its time with people who look, talk and act just like they do. A church that resembles The Stepford Wives more than it resembles a missionary launching pad. I am excited about what God has in store for TBC and I am excited that we are faced with doing something that actually will cost us something…something more valuable than money, even more valuable than will cost me my comfort.  In truth I think I speak for the majority of us, we are comfort creatures. So, I am asking our TBC family and those who follow this blog to please pray for wisdom and God’s grace in the venture. This Sunday night I will begin a new series that I hope will prepare us to “Go” to “Launch,” into our community penetrating it with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We will examine the things that keep us as believers from doing this, and what will allow our hearts to burn with the Gospel message and bring it to the world around us. I have never been more excited to be Pastor of anywhere, and I stand with expectation to see what God has in store for His Body at TBC. See you Sunday!