John 4:19-26

"Sir," the woman said, "you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?"

Jesus replied, "Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on the tis mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming-indeed it's here now- when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth."

The woman said, "I know the Messiah is coming-the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

Then Jesus told her, "I AM the Messiah!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What If Facebook was a church?

So, I'm constantly bombarded with technology in my job. As most of you all know, I'm the creative arts director/worship leader for our church, The Journey. And because we are constantly trying to find new and innovative ways to present the Gospel of Jesus, we are always trying to keep what we do culturally relevant. Now don't here me say that we are only about presenting a show. Cause we're not. If we didn't have stage lights, projectors, live bands, creative short films, or any other piece of technology... the Gospel of Jesus would still be preached, and we would still (as one of my best friends and our lead pastor, Erik Reed, says...) still charge the gates of Hell with a water pistol!

But why should we? Why should we be stuck in our ways and not be cognizant of the technology available to us (the church). Jesus said to be in the world... not of it. So what does that mean? Does that mean that since we are the church, we should remove ourselves from society? Absolutely not. Think about this.... if God is good, and He created all things for good, Genesis 1, then it stands to reason that the entire world, and everything in it, was created and meant for good. Or.... God is a big fat LIAR! And I don't think anyone is going to go there.

So, because of our sinful nature, we then corrupt that, which was meant for good, and deem it unusable by the church, because it's "Of this world". That's gotta be the biggest bunch of bull crap I've ever heard! Are you serious? Matthew 15:9 says this: "They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men." We make up these rules that say, we cannot use this or that for the church because its "of" the world. That is a rule and a tradition that we should evaluate by a closely. And traditions aren't always a bad thing. Even the apostle Paul points this out in his letter to the church in Thessolonica. But when they become the difference between the lost hearing the Gospel, and not hearing the Gospel, they cannot be allowed.

So, back to the original question and the title of this post. What if Facebook were a church? I would say to some extent, it is a church of sorts. It is a large community of people interacting, sharing life, standing up for causes, and connecting to new and unknown people. Sounds like a church, doesn't it? Except for one thing. There is no actual human interaction. (oh, and the point is not to propagate the message of Jesus) And the problem is... people are more concerned about updating their facebook status, than they are about their neighbor, or their father, or their friends, or their children spending an eternity in Hell, separated from the love and grace of the God of the universe, who loves them and created them. But yet, those of you who call yourselves Christ followers, and have facebook accounts, have one of the greatest social networking tools that the world has ever given us. The question then becomes, what will you do with what you've been given? Will you use it to REALLY connect with people, and find out how you can physically minister to them? Will you invite your network to come to church with you sunday? Will you use that, which is "of " the world, to help spread the only message of TRUE hope that can change a person's eternity? Or will you just see how many people you can be "friends" with, or how many followers you can get on twitter?

Tough questions. I hope they truly weigh on you.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Busy week

Hello everyone. Happy Tuesday.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had a great one. My mom came in from Pittsburgh to visit her new granddaughter. Of course, she loved her!! Tiffany and Hadyn are doing great. Thank you all for your gifts, visits, and of course, all the food!! Cason had a big time trick-or-treating this year. He's almost 4, so putting on his costume and running around the neighborhood getting free candy was like the pinnacle of his life so far! And we had an amazing week at The Journey. If you've missed it, you can go watch the video here, as well as any of our other sermon series.

So, in my last post, I told you all some things that I learned during my short sabbatical from leading worship, as some of our other worship leaders had the chance to step up and lead. I'll say it again... I'm very proud of them and I'm looking forward to putting them into a rotation to be able to do that regularly. This week... lot's of meetings. I'll be meeting with a literary agency to discuss them representing me as an author! I'm one step closer to getting the book published. Please keep praying for me. I'm also going to be meeting with several of my leaders on the worship team to just creatively plan out the rest of the year, throughout the week. And then, because God is sovereign and just plain ol' awesome!!!!!, I'm going to be meeting with several new musicians that have been coming to the church for awhile. They are eager to get plugged in, and I'm eager to get them involved.

Which leads me to the meat of this post: If you don't already read his blog, please click here and go visit Pastor Erik's blog from Monday. At the Journey, we have always been of the mindset that we pray to see a Jesus movement in our time. And more specifically, one that starts in our area and permeates the rest of the world. This is not something that is a fly-by-night fantasy. This is something that could be a reality. Are you sick and tired of turning on the news and hearing about how bad the world is? Are you tired of hearing people argue over who should run health care? Are you tired of just going to church and consuming, or not even going to church, but longing to be a part of something that could ACTUALLY change the face of humanity? Do you struggle to find out where you belong and what life is about? Well then you want what we want. We want the God of the universe to be known. We want the name of Jesus to be the name that people run to when they hurt, when they feel alone, when they celebrate, when they search for their meaning. You want to change the world? You want to fix poverty and health care? You want to see people's lives radically changed? You want to find meaning? Then come be a part of something that actually has the power to do these things: The local church. It is the only institution in the whole world that brings the only true message of hope to a hurting and broken world. You don't have to be a member of the Journey, just be a member of a good church. One that preaches the gospel of Jesus. One that speaks of repentance and redemption and grace. One that teaches the word of God, His scriptures. Do that, and give your life to Him.... and watch what happens!

Love you all,