Read Road Party part I HERE.
Jesus never said, "The kingdom of God is like Chuck Norris, a quick roundhouse to the temple of a broken world."
"The kingdom of God is like Wrestlemania with bulging neck-vein laden threats."
"The kingdom of God is like a Sly movie of fanfare explosions."
God's kingdom is like yeast that a woman works into the dough for dozens of loaves of barley bread - and waits while the dough rises. (Matthew 13:33)
Most of God's reign breaks into the world without headlines: subtly, covertly, humbly.
North Point, Willow Creek, Saddleback, Life Church, New Spring...We all know these churches, churches for which I'm thankful and pastors who have greatly shaped my ministry. I call Andy Stanley my digital mentor. He speaks into my life without knowing I exist, and I'm not going to lie, sometimes I wish I could be the next Andy Stanley. Most pastors I know wish their church were next in the line of superstars (whether we admit it or not).
But for every North Point, 100 churches exist who will never hold a conference, whose pastors the White House will never invite to the National Prayer Breakfast, whose music ranges between fair and "eww," and believe it or not, who might not have a website (gasp). Yet here, in these kingdom harbors, heaven touches earth:
- The gospel is preached.
- The gospel is lived.
- The hungry are fed.
- The wounded are healed.
- The lost are found.
- Grace is extended.
- Communities are improved.
- People are loved.
- Teens are mentored.
- Elderly are nurtured.
- Disciples are made.
- The resurrection is practiced.
- Jesus is Lord.
Grants Church of Christ is one such community: a diverse church, a theologically rich church, a loving church, a progressive church. I first preached at Grants C of C. It raised me as a preacher: offered me grace, gave to me sacrificially, and most importantly loved me. I'm forever indebted to this wonderful community of Christians.
After a 5-year absence, my family returned to visit our dear friends at the Grants C of C this Spring Break. One of my best friends Matt Clark serves alongside the Grants C of C Jesus-followers and is doing a phenomenal job. He is a legit pastor, in the truest sense of the word...not just to the church but to the community.
I'm thankful for Grants C of C and the thousand other Churches leavening all the nooks and crannies of God's creation. The video below highlights a bit of our time in Grants, NM.