By Matt Dawson
What if…we had never changed?
In June of 2011, (many of you were not here, some of you were) as a church we were 4 months behind on our mortgage for this building… we really were not sure what the future of this physical space held for us (we had only been in it for 2 years). We were already a few months into carrying over credit card balances because we couldn’t pay it off every month and had put a SPENDING FREEZE on our ministry budgets.
People were leaving the church because the planting pastor had just left and was transitioning to Ethiopia on mission. We didn’t have a lead pastor, just an INTERIM pastor who had ZERO YEARS experience leading a church as a senior pastor and whose formal education was in Mortuary Science (AKA-the study and care of dead people). We had also just freed up our worship pastor and youth pastor to leave and go attempt a non-profit partnership together.
We didn’t know what God was up to, and we didn’t have a CLEAR or PRECISE MAP telling us what or how to change!
So what did we do?
We asked… What If?
What if God had something really, really BIG in store for us?
What if we believed He wanted to use US to make it happen at Journey?
So, what happened? I’ll share more with you this weekend about some of the amazing things God has done in 2015, how He’s answered specific prayers, and how we are starting to see Him do more than we could even ask or imagine. It’s going to be an amazing Sunday celebrating together!
The big “C” Church had a “What If?” moment in Acts 15. We will spend some time this weekend considering how powerful (both positive and negative) this simple question can be when it comes to our future possibilities.
What if the Church had never changed?
Join us Sunday as we celebrate what God has done at Journey and in the Church at large in the last 2000 years and what this means for the FUTURE Church!
By Matt Dawson
I’m on a mission. It’s deeply personal to me. It’s one of the things I feel God calling me to engage in more and more as I’ve served in the church.
I’m on a mission to help people know – It’s OKAY to ask Questions!
Yesterday, I shared in our Context series that the Wisdom/Poetry books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecc, and Song of Solomon) help display the LOVE OF GOD and the INTIMACY AVAILABLE TO US.
The primary example I used was Job’s encounter with God in Job 38-42. This is a hard encounter to read if we don’t understand the beauty of the closeness Job experiences when God reveals Himself to him. It seems harsh, but it was just a reminder to Job WHO HE WAS and WHO GOD IS.
THIS CLOSE ENCOUNTER with GOD… started with questions.
Job was asking WHY? He was doubting the reasoning that his wife and friends were bringing to him as to ‘why’ God was allowing the hardship in his life. His trust remained in God, but he DID QUESTION why God was doing it – what he gained from it – what were the reasons – did he deserve it?
Please understand: THESE QUESTIONS ARE COMPLETELY NATURAL. We are NOT God – we don’t understand it all. We cannot comprehend all that God is doing and because of this – we have NO CHOICE but to form questions in our minds. God understands this – He made us. He knows what’s in our minds even before we have the chance to voice it. (Psalm 139:3-4)
I have spent many years counseling and coaching Christians on their spiritual journey and I am convinced that somewhere along the way in the last 30 years of Christendom – SOMEONE convinced us that WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO QUESTION GOD!??!? I don’t know where this came from, but NOTHING could be further from the truth.
Now . . . we are not to TEST God. We are not to DEMEAN God with our attitudes. We are not to approach Him with disrespect or arrogance. (Job 40:2) BUT WE CAN ASK OUR QUESTIONS! God expects us to – HE KNOWS we don’t have the answers and HE WANTS US TO SEEK THEM FROM HIM.
I believe many wayward followers were derailed in their faith when someone tried to convince them that God was not interested in their questions. That He didn’t care – or that He would be MAD if you questioned Him about anything. I’ve even had people tell me they don’t really think they can be a Christian because of the questions they have. This does not align with what we read in scripture.
Many saints of old grew in their faith because of their questions to God. The disciples were FILLED with questions – and Jesus was always patient to help them, teach them, work with them to help them understand. His CLOSEST followers (the inner 3) had questions even after His resurrection!
Please, bring your questions to God. DON’T STOP following Him because you don’t understand something or question something. He wants to talk. He wants to hear from you. He wants to help you along the way. He wants to DRAW YOU CLOSE through your questions.
Just think about it: The questions that you have and are not asking God – could be the very doorway to the breakthrough in your faith that you’ve been longing for!