If you think about it — would you pray for me sometime in the next 2 weeks? Even if you’re not a praying person.
Here’s why. Tomorrow I get on a plane and I head to Uganda, Africa. I really don’t know why. I felt an urge to go (was God telling me something? I don’t know), and nothing stopped me, so here I am. Tickets in hand, bags packed, shots taken. Ready to go.
I hope that doesn’t sound blasé. Because while I don’t really know what prompted the trip (I decided to go at a Taco Bell — so maybe it was indigestion) — I know what I hope to get out of it.
I’ve hit a growth wall. I can’t keep growing. For a variety of reasons. Struggling with sin for one, of many varieties, but possibly the biggest (as usual) is pride. I won’t speak for anybody but me, but sometimes when I do something well, particularly ministry related, God has to send just a little bit of discouragement to go along with it. Just to remind me it’s not me behind my success.
I’ve been a part of many amazing and awesome things. I’ve seen God do astounding things. And I’ve been a part of it. But I’ve noticed the more stuff I’ve been a part of, the easier and quicker it is to start thinking that I’m necessary. That I’m the reason my 7th grade groups have been going well. That my money is getting stuff done. That my gifts, my abilities, my contacts, my strengths are getting it done.
Maybe it’s just me, but it’s too easy for me to make it about me. (I’m so vain, I think this blog post is all about me)
And what I hope to see — what I’m sure I’ll see — is God moving in really big and mighty ways with amazing, faithful people. I’m sure I’ll see people with greater faith and greater spiritual love and discipline than I’ve ever seen before. I’m sure I’ll see “Church” done in a way I haven’t seen Church done.
The Church — God’s Church — is the most diverse and beautiful thing the world has ever seen. The Church proclaims the glory of God through innumerable ways — through songs, and dance, painters and photographers, lights and sound, videos and homemade bracelets, writings, blog posts and books, through loving parenting and diligent work, through carpentry and rocketry, through the stillness of the forest and the busyness of a crowded city street.
God’s Church is made up of pornographers and drug addicts, saints and singers, the rich and the poor, adulterers and liars, thieves and murderers, children and elderly, backbiters and gossipers, slanderers and philanderers, black, white and yellow — all are precious in His sight.
And through the chaos of it all, God’s purpose remains. He is moving. Everywhere. In every life.
Bigger, more than you can fathom, more than you can even begin to imagine.
I once thought it would be cool to be a missionary. To “bring” the Gospel to places across the world, planting Churches, just like Paul.
But I think, more than bringing the Gospel somewhere else, I am going somewhere else to have the Gospel brought to me. To see the beauty and magnificence of what God was doing long before I got here and will keep doing long after I leave. So that I may fall in love with my first love, all over again. The Gospel is beautiful. The Church is spectacular. God is powerful.
If you would pray for me, I would ask for one thing alone: that you would pray that it’s never about me again.