The past few days, since arriving in Vermont, I’ve really been thinking and praying about the ADVENTURE that God has called me (us) to live. I’ve been asking God' "how can we have discipline, planning, and order without getting all business-like or turning my adventure into a job?" This morning, I felt like God responded with an answer so simple and, yet, so profound...
"Chilly, your family would be chaotic without structure!
Do ADVENTURE family style."
So, like “Family” NOT business, organization or even church. Decisions created out of love not results.
I think this is brilliant (said best with British accent)! Adventurous ministry is done best Family-Style! LOVE and LIFE are the keys. We’re doing life together with crazy, awesome, love!
“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5
Here’s how the family-style adventure could be enjoyed:
Salvation - born, by faith through grace, into the joyous life found in God’s family. Jesus death & life leads us to forgiveness, repentance and new life in God’ family (confirmed by the Holy Spirit). NO coercion, guilt, threat or requirements. It’s not joining a church but becoming part of the family. Note: it’s natural for kids in a healthy family to grow up and desire kids of their own.
Discipleship – deliberate desire to see our spiritual kids grow like Jesus grew: mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. Sure, it involves discipline and structure but, more importantly, it requires those more mature to BE examples. Classroom discipleship is NOT discipleship at all. It must be modeled, lived out and organic. It allows for mistakes. It develops a heart that loves to learn (and never outgrows this).
Worship – singing, dancing, running, shouting, snuggling, laughing… Rather than upfront band performances; infuse the gathering with art, poetry, testimony, video, discussion, music, story-telling and deliberate, focused prayer for needs of family.
Community Outreach – we love our neighbors because we know them! Our community is where we live, play, ride bikes, interact, protect and invest. The city, community, parks & schools provide our outreach opportunities as we look to serve and enjoy neighborhood endeavors.
Atmosphere - And, when we invite them into our ‘house,’ we’re hospitable like we would be in our own homes. Provide food, coffee, conversation, comfortable seating and freedom to leave when they need to get going.
Bible Study – fun, imaginative, focused and alive — infused with memorization, interaction and other creative approaches. Videos, testimonies and drama integrated into these teaching moments for maximize retention and application. Make room & time for practice and skills development.
Serve the Word, family-style, knowing that portions each individual can handle WILL vary. Sometimes people seem to check-out of the discussion because their ‘full’ not bored. Don’t keep force feeding, just smile and offer a mint.
Missions – is relational. We support brothers and sisters (those in relationship with us -- those we already know, believe in and trust) who have journeyed to other lands OR down the street to extend the love of God's family. Perhaps if churches didn’t try to fill their walls with $50-$100 per month commitments but instead ALL covered the expenses of those within their household of faith and close relationships, ALL missions work would flourish. Am I being naive?
Revolution Youth Community wants to restore faith in "FAMILY" (both in the home and the home church)! This will never be accomplished through posers and wannabes -- we need authentic, imperfect, honest, servant-hearted, family-focused, genuine Christians. Not to preach or program but to model, listen and love! This is the team & family I'm seeking to serve with me!
Perhaps my greatest role will be as a dad (representing THE Dad) NOT pastor, preacher, speaker or even leader. Teens will remember our hugs & smiles long after they forget our messages.
Because YOUth Matter,