Monday, May 15, 2006

Sleepless in Seattle... and San Marcos...

While this does sound like the title of a girl's blog, in my defense I've never watched the movie ... well at least the whole thing. It's true. That's Holly and I at the original Starbucks in Seattle. Coffee was more of a requirement than a luxury last week for us as we spent most of the week, well, sleepless.

Once or twice a year I get wind of a conference that I'd actually like to go to. Most of the ones have to do with topical church things that I frankly could care less about. The Reform and Resurge conference hosted by Mars Hill Church was appealing to me. The pastor is Mark Driscoll, and he's a controversial, outspoken leader who recklessly and faithfully pursues the fullness of God. While I don't agree with everthing he says, I have been very sharpened and influenced by his work and research. What set this conference apart is that it focused on theology more than ideology. In other words not the how to, but more of the why to. And pardon the Sunday School answer, but it was a lot about Jesus.

I told my staff about the conference in December or January and told them I thought we should go, but that I couldn't garuntee that the church would be able to pay their way. Quickly we decided that we would trust God to provide for us to go which included paying our own way if we had to. We also decided to invite our wives along. The most unappreciated role in the world is that of a pastoral staff's wife. Every day our wives willingly sacrifice us to the common good of the church and everyone else. Every day our wives suffer more activity from the devil himself than anyone else. Every day our wives hurt when we hurt and are mother and nurturer to not only our kids, but to the church. Every day, our wives are the strength behind our ministry. They are rarely thanked even though they are more than major players in all of the ministries we are involved in. Because they end up being so involved, it was great for them to be involved in the training that we received. Because we received a generous donation from one of our partner's employers, we were able to pick up the tab for the entire team to go to Seattle.

We spent 16 hour days listening, learning, crying, laughing, worshiping, praying, thinking, planning, processing, and meeting together. It was intense. It was more Jesus than I ever expected, and my life will never be the same. We did work in some sites, but more than that God actually awoken parts of me in the midst of my sleeplessness.

I feel my sleeplessness in Seattle is actually giving way to sleeplessness in San Marcos. God used a week in the most beautiful city I've ever seen to refresh and refocus my heart. He reminded me of why we came to San Marcos. We came to reach a lost college campus, to redeem the city, the make an impact, to make a difference, to be a church that would be missed if the doors closed. That's why we came. I have to confess in my own life that what has actually gottten sleepy is my personal vision and pursuit of those goals. Meeting new people, building new relationships, prayerwalking, and serving my community has given way to maintaining a church, leading a staff, having a bunch of meetings, and surviving the weekly worship grind. That simply will not due any longer. It's time to do what we came here to do, by the grace of God.

If you're a River Stoner reading this, I pray that God would grant you your own personal sleeplessness for San Marcos. I pray that we would start dreaming dreams, having visions, and being the Resurgence that God has called us to be in our community.

Now, that's just a glimpse of what happened, and to be frank. I'm tired and going to bed.

Blessings to you. God Bless.


Blogger Holly said...

Aren't we cute :)

5:49 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

I wish we were back there right now. I could really use some coffee today!!!! Love you :)

12:12 PM  

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