Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cross Centered Lives

I spent some time this morning praying for and thinking about the various ministries that I am involved in. I am so thankful to God not only for the privilege it is to be in ministry full time, but specifically this morning I was so grateful that God has sustained these ministries over the last two years, despite my own short-comings, busyness and a difficult time of transition for the church at large.

One ministry in particular that I am so encouraged in by the fruit we've been seeing recently is the young adult ministry. It is hard to imagine four years ago Chris (my blogging comrade) and I were leading a group of twenty-somethings by getting them together to drink coffee, talk about all the things that we see wrong in the "church today", assume our generation had better ideas... and, well, occasionally open up our bibles.

This past Monday I sat as we closed in prayer, listening to the prayers pouring forth from these young people. They aren't the same people they were four years ago, or two years ago, or even one year ago. They are growing tremendously, both in their desire to know God and their desire to study and learn more about Him.

How did it happen?

Well I assure you it had little to do with me. In fact, all I really had to learn to do was get out of the way... check my own massive ego at the door and just try pointing to the cross.

We took some time to talk about God's Sovereignty (in history, in current circumstances and in salvation), then we took some time to study the gospel specifically. What is the gospel? What is necessary in the sharing of an "unadjusted gospel"? How do we articulate it and how does it make a practical difference in our day to day, post-conversion life?

This past September we went through a book together called "Living the Cross Centered Life" by CJ Mahaney and finally now we are going through the video worldview study: The Truth Project.

Gospel. Gospel. Gospel.

I go through this because it was a healthy reminder to me this morning that often times we, as church leaders, get inflated with our own "great" ideas. A series we think will penetrate hard hearts, an event we think will draw the masses. A way of teaching that will make more people, more comfortable.

The amazingly satisfying revelation in all this is that I don't save anyone. I can't change a person's life. (And quite honestly, the harder I try, the more I usually mess them up.)

What I can do though, is point people to the cross. And it seems the closer people get to the cross the more God can radically redefine their lives.

This past Monday I sat astounded as doctrines of God's Sovereignty over evil and suffering, doctrines of election, the reality of Christ's lordship and a true desire to have our will fall under the will of God laced the closing prayers.

Thank you Lord that you are Sovereign over people's hearts. And I pray that I would never forget.

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