A YOUNG REBEL JESUS, PART TWO
The following is part two of a message given at Wildwind Community Church on January 29th, 2012.
Our new family and my relationship with Christ were beginning to blossom. I had a desire to continue figuring out where this rebel Jesus was going to lead us next. I remember being struck by reading the story of Jesus sharing a meal with his friends, but it wasn’t so much them sharing a meal together that struck me, but what happened afterwards.
John 13:4-5 (NIV)
4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
To me, this is such a beautiful picture of who Jesus is. The king of the universe who was given all authority in heaven and earth humbled himself, not only to live among us everyday people, but to serve us. The way he lived his life was in tune with the words that he spoke. The conversations he had with people lead them to reflection and invited them to participate in living the kind of life that he lived.
John 13:12-17 (NIV)
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.
13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.
14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
This picture of Jesus as a servant became the picture I wanted to model my own life after. So Lisa and I began getting involved in ministries that were meaningful to us. My first ministry was putting away the folding chairs in the gym at Brendle Elementary in Grand Blanc where Wildwind was meeting at the time. Then, I started occasionally filling in on bass when Aaron wasn’t around.
Lisa and I got involved in Young Life, a ministry that is focused on building relationships with teenagers and sharing the message of Jesus with them. The first time I met Lisa’s family, I was in high school. Lisa invited me to a Young Life meeting at their house. At the time I still didn’t get the whole Jesus thing but I loved being around such nice people. We have always seen Young Life as an important part of our journey so we became leaders at their Grand Blanc club as our first ministry together.
On one occasion, I got to take a group of students to a camp in the mountains of Virginia and found myself keeping up with the superstar high school football players all week even though I was super out of shape at the time. I walked away from that trip with the sense that I was supposed to spend the rest of my life sharing God’s love with people.
Before long, I had left my band and quit my job and was headed back to school full-time to pursue my calling to ministry. Dave gave me the opportunity to take over the teen ministry at Wildwind, where I got to volunteer as the Student Ministry Coordinator for 3 years before coming on staff in 2009.
Early on, I remember Dave sharing his dream that Wildwind would be a church that planted other churches and it instantly resonated with me. So I had some bits and pieces of a dream to plant my own church floating around but I didn’t think it made a lot of sense for me to jump into so early, never having been a part of a church before, let alone work in one. My time at Wildwind has been beautiful. Working alongside Dave and the various folks who have served on the Leadership Team over the years, leading the youth ministry and small groups, coordinating service events, and getting to know so many awesome people, has been one of the best experiences of my life.
But all along, I had this sense that being at Wildwind wasn’t the end of the line for me. The dream of starting a church was continuing to grow. I kept thinking about this idea that early on, I felt like Wildwind was created specifically for me. What I mean is that Wildwind began at a specific time, in a specific place, with a specific group of people that connected with me at the right time in my life. If it wasn’t for Dave and Christy and that team of 30 people who stepped out to follow where God was leading, I would be a very different person than I am today. I’m sure that’s probably true for a lot of you guys, too.
The more I have gotten to think about that idea, that Wildwind was created just for me, just for us, I couldn’t help but think about those people in my life, in my neighborhood, that don’t have “their” church yet, and I wondered if maybe, just maybe, they don’t have their church yet, because it doesn’t yet exist.
So here we are, preparing to create a new expression of church that is seeking to connect with people who might not have a sense that God is already working in their lives.
Looking back, I can see how my life has been splattered by encounters with God through art, music, coffee, relationships, and service. All of these encounters were not always as clear as the fluorescent pink and orange of “A Young Rebel Jesus” but they were all significant steps in my journey towards God. All of these themes are shaping where we are headed with our church plant.
READ PART THREE HERE!