Today is a processing day.
After spending last week with 40 plus CrossPointers at the C3 conference in Dallas, TX, I have a lot to ponder. I usually love these days.
Coming back from a conference has always meant rest, rejuvenation and a boatload of new ideas.
Not this year.
It felt like every speaker was giving me a booty kickin’.
I left every session feeling like I just got sucker punched by the Holy Spirit. Don’t get me wrong it was awesome; painful, but awesome.
It’s impossible to give you a single quote that encapsulates how I left there feeling, since it came through multiple speakers, on a variety of topics from several different Biblical passages.
By the way, when all kinds of sources keep saying the same thing, just with different words and methods… that is quite often God screaming at you!
So, what was God screaming at me? Well, honestly what He was saying made me feel like a girl.
Esther, to be specific.
This poor little Jewish girl, captive with her people in a distant land, was thrown into a position that was to be envied by all. In the palace, with power and prestige, all while her people were about to become the victims of a national genocide.
It’s at this point in the story we hear this plea.
12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
For such a time as this…
If I know anything, I know this… I am blessed. I have a great family, restored health and a happenin’ ministry.
In the last eight years the church has exploded (in a good way… I’ve been Baptist long enough to know I need to clarify that verb).
From 140 to 2,000 in weekend attendance, from one campus to six in five different cities, a stellar staff that loves Jesus and busts it out on a regular basis, but…
Yep, there is a big but.
The last couple of years our explosion has moved from thunderous roars to, well, poofs.
I am not going to outline a list of a hundred things like building needs, antiquated procedures and financial fears. Believe me, I could do it, but that’s not the point.
Anything I say other than the next line would just be an excuse, and everyone’s high school coach told you why those were stupid.
The problem has been me.
As the leader of our church, no one else can take responsibility and I wouldn’t want to give it away.
I’ve been told that life past 40 makes everyone become more cautious and less risky… I turn 40 on Sunday, hmmm. Maybe I’m getting scared.
Sometimes movements lose momentum when they encounter opposition, especially from within. Maybe I’m getting tired.
Sometimes growth is capped by some kind of lid whether it be leader, space or financially oriented. Maybe I lack wisdom.
Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. Whatever the symptom is, the cause has been identified and what needs to happen will not be ignored.
I have decided to write this blog for two reasons.
First, I need to apologize. To all the hardworking staff and volunteers who have poured countless hours and kilowatts of energy into CrossPoint, I am sorry. Don’t misunderstand, it’s all been good; make that great. Lots of growth, tons of life change and God has been glorified. I just firmly believe the last couple of years have been so cautious and complicated we have lost our sense of adventure and faithful, risk taking (aka, spiritual stupidity… there’s no better way to live). Things have been awesome, but they needed to be God sized; which is so much better than awesome.
Second, I need to warn you, things are gonna change. That same spirit of awkwardly risky, faith steps that lead to our initial explosive growth, that same call for radical followship and sacrificial living, that same sick to your stomach, sweaty necked expectation knowing that “if God doesn’t show up in this we are all gonna die” is going to take over at CrossPoint. We’re going be more faithful than financial. We’re going to be more expectant than educated. We’re going to be far more passionate and not even close to passive. It’s not that those things aren’t important, but our prudence will pale in prioritization compared to our purposeful pursuit of God’s Kingdom (sorry, couldn’t think of a ‘p’ word for kingdom).
You know how I know this is going to happen? Because it’s up to me to lead that way.
- Just imagine the hundreds of people that will experience God in a new way, or even for the first time just because we open up a new facility.
- Just imagine the marriages that will be saved because of new campuses in brand new cities that are established.
- Just imagine the students and children that will be saved decades of misery because amazing volunteers poured their lives into them before they came to that fork in the road.
- Just imagine the deep impact that gatherings of fanatical followers in the CrossPoint Faith Community will make when they take this unashamed, over the top, nothing going to stop us faith to the streets!
God has already showed us that He wants to pour out amazing blessing on us, the last eight years scream that. What could we possibly be afraid of?
Steven Furtick, the pastor of Elevation Church, has asked, “Has anyone laughed at your vision lately? If not, you probably don’t have a vision, just a daydream.”
Laugh all you want. We’re about to see what God can do.
It’s all just a matter of faith! We can reason, meet and pray ourselves into doubt. But, when it all comes down to it if we believe that God is who we believe that God is, He is still the God of the impossible! Our only real task, our only real risk, is to trust him to be the God that we know Him to be. We can walk, no we can run, into some pretty dangerous territory knowing that God has the ability to get things done.
I don’t need responses to this article saying we love you Andy, or you’re too hard on yourself. I know my church well enough to know you’re just that nice.
I don’t need to be coddled.
I do need you on the journey with me. We’re gonna take some risks, blaze some trails and do some seemingly dumb stuff, but in the end I truly believe we are going to see God show up.
May Jesus be glorified and nothing else.
For such a time as this…