Pastor's Blog

Welcome to my weblog (which most people call a blog). The opinions expressed herein are my own personal thoughts and opinions. Check back often for my musings and updates on our church, our ministry, and my life.

Make sure you check out our ministries and meeting times. Feel free to e-mail me your comments on my entries or use our contact form.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

   One Day Left
As of right now, we literally have one more day remaining in 2010. Throughout my short life, I have often popndered what I might do if I only had one day left. Usually, it was after watching a movie or visiting someone who caused me to think about my own mortality. Would I run around calling, texting, tweeting and visiting everyone who is important to me so that I can tell them how much I love them, or would I trust that I have lived a life of gratitude in such a way that showed them daily just how important they are to me? Would I go to the marketplace and share the gospel with anyone who would listen? Would I run to an elderly center, a homeless shelter, a bus stop and simply listen to the people that no one appears to be hearing?

To tell you the truth, I don't know what I would do if I only had one day left on earth. But I have got to admit, I sure am glad that I am thinking about it now.
posted at 08:50PMcomments

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

   What a week!
O.k., so I promise to blog more consistently.

Planting a church is hard work. Restarting a dead work may be even harder (in some respects). In all actuality, I am so glad that God has placed me where he has. (I thought that I would write that down so that I could go back and visit it when I fell overwhelmed).

This week was amazing. If you did not know, Paul Wynn helped us out significantly with a wonderful dvd on Seventh Church. The crazy thing is
posted at 05:11PMcomments

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

   How relevant is the Christian church in our community?
Condos, cafes, and college students.

Any visit to the center of Baltimore City will reveal change, and a lot of it. Not too long ago, the Charles Village Pub and PJ's were the only places to buy a burger. How I miss "wing night." Eddie's market was the only place to do grocery shopping (if you were walking). Now, Safeway and Giant Food moved into the community. They were rapidly followed by Rocky Run, Ruby Tuesday, Donna's, Java Junction, and other local hangouts. Just recently, Barnes & Noble and Chipotle have become our neighbors.

There are condos, cafes and college students to the north. But wait, there are condos, cafes and college students to the south. Magic Johnson is developing living spaces in the 3200 block of St. Paul Street and the 1900 block of Charles Street. Johns Hopkins University is to the north, but the University of Baltimore, MICA, and Peabody are mere blocks from our front doors to the south. Not to mention Morgan State University to the east and Coppin State University to the west. The times they are a changing.

During seasons of such boom and cultural growth, I pause to ask, "How relevant is the Christian church in our community?"

Honestly, if the night clubs or liquor stores closed tomorrow the community's outcry would be great. However, if the church closed tomorrow, would anybody miss us? What vital service do we provide? What relationships have we cultivated? How are we really perceived in the community?

As a new pastor, I frequently ask my neighbors, "As a pastor of a city wide church that really wants to meet needs and be helpful, what can we do to impact the community?"
To my suprise, most people have become so content with the church being irrelevant (for anyone other than Christians), that most people in our community have even stopped asking what the church could do to become more relevant.
We are just here, like an abandoned building or a crack in the street. Everyone knows its there, but it doesn't serve a useful purpose in the daily lives of those around it. Moreover, no one has the vision or the resources to fix it or make it useful. In fact, when challenged, people rarely see it as a question of "how" (the church can be relevant), but rather "if" (the church can be relevant).

Is it possible for the church to be relevant in the center of a metropolis? Can thinking people connect with Christ? Condos, cafes, college students...Christ?

I tell you, its a fun ride. I am having more fun listening to my community than I ever did making my closing arguments as a civil litigator. I am making friends and connecting with people in all kinds of wonderful ways, and the diversity is mind boggling.

I meet the educated and the uneducated, black and white, old and young, employed and unemployed. But, everyday I meet someone, I am challenged by this truth, "there are people in my neighborhood who have rejected Jesus without ever knowing who he is or how much he loves them." It's true. Over the course of each of their lives, their understanding of Christ has been jaded by bad experiences and misinformation.

I am convinced at the end of the day, that unless Christians live the life Jesus calls us to live, the world will never see or feel the love of Christ. The apostle Paul pleaded with the Christians in his community, "offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1- 3)."

In light of God's truth, I can't help but ponder, perhaps if people knew the truth about Jesus and his grace, the church would be a lot more relevant in our community.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:17).

Pass it on.
posted at 02:39PMcomments