Archive for August 1, 2007

Come And See!

August 1, 2007

Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf!” Psalm 66:5
Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.” John 4:29a

I have a confession to make. This past Sunday my mind wondered during worship. Was it b/c I was bored in church? No, not even close. The worship team at Northstar did their part. They set the stage, so to speak. I wasn’t doing my part. My attention was not on the One who saves, on the One who is worthy of all my devotion. But don’t go scolding me quite yet. Here’s where my mind was:

I couldn’t help but look around and observe…and think…and observe people engaged in saying THANKS to their creator…and TAKE all of me…and EXCLAIMING that there is no other God…and saying, well, saying whatever they were saying. So much was going through my head Sunday morning. The dominating thought was this: I think I understand (though maybe only slightly) why “this type” of church is doing well…or why other churchplants succeed. Nothing profound here, but I think it involves what the 2 versus above say: Come and See. Like the psalmist said or the Samaritan woman said. I think in most “successful” churches (yeah, I know, I’m really opening all sorts of other debates) you have tons of people who have experienced Christ and have a “come and see” attitude.

I like this point (of course I would, it’s mine) b/c it flies in the face of critics and opponents of the “modern church movement”. Those that would say most churchplants are too “soft” or people are just coming b/c it’s “cool” worship, etc. Instead of trying to debate (I’ve read enough blogs to avoid that) these critics with the same internet rhetoric, let me just speak from my experience.

For the past year and 1/2 to 2 yrs, Dana and I helped Oak Leaf Church kick off in Cartersville. We had an absolute blast. Made incredible relationships. Shared Christ a ton. “Planted” something great in the community. Poured into kids. Now, with our involvement in KIDs Beach Clubs, we recently transitioned over to Northstar Church in Kennesaw. And that’s where I was Sunday when this simple, yet I think profound, thought kept bugging me.

I think the excitement of what most people experience at places like Oak Leaf and Northstar should not be easily discredited or overanalyzed (bashed) in some seminary class. From my experience, I see tons of people full of compassion, full of a newfound hope, relieved to be out of their past (some, a past of never knowing God, some a past of stifling religious tradition), inviting their friends and neighbors and co-workers and family to COME AND SEE what’s going on…to come and encounter this Jesus that has flipped them upside down…to come and meet this group of crazies that reached out to them.

What a great picture it was to take a few seconds and just look around Sunday. To see the diversity. To watch people worship. And the families. Tons of them. I thought about the many stories I’ve heard of young people accepting Christ and then bringing their family to church with them. Seeing the college kids (hey, I can say kids now, I’m stinkin’ 30! Argh…) and the youth reminded me of my days at AUburn and how it fits with this point.

I can remember my freshman year and getting involved in the campus ministry. I can remember God RADICALLY changing my life. God using ordinary students who discipled me. And an ordinary small campus ministry that was accomplishing extraordinary things. And after observing how these students worshipped, and led their lives, and chose to live differently….you get the point….all I could think of is “Dude, so-and-so and my parents and so-and-so HAVE TO SEE THIS! They have to experience what I have experienced! I feel for them, they missed this tonight. Whatever it takes, I gotta get them here!”

It was similar to the almighty Auburn football experience (you knew I’d work this in). Once I became a student and tailgated, and sat in the student section, and watched the eagle fly pre-game, and rolled Toomer’s Corner, I honestly felt sorry for every college student in the world NOT attending Auburn. I knew they were missing out. NOBODY could be having as much fun as I was having. It got in your blood. All I wanted to do is tell everybody about it and invite them to join the party. To indoctrinate them. (ha)

So bringing all these ramblings to a close, here’s a challenge. If you’re in ministry or volunteering at church or just attending church, what are you doing to help spread this “come and see” spirit? If you’re immediate thought went to style of music, marketing, how you dress, type of podium, screens instead of hymnals, etc, then I think you missed the point. To ask it in an old fashioned way: What are you doing to spread revival? What are we doing to make sure every follower of Christ is devoted to “giving their faith away”? This goes so far beyond your “style”…it goes to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it? Transformed lives inviting others to COME and SEE.