Monday, September 04, 2006

Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici

Or in translation "By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe.". I quote this not as one who can claim it victoriously, but as one who struggles to make it reality. Do not hear me say that I am in anyway despondent. For the opposite is true. Never in my life have I felt so much joy and warmth. Never have I felt so close to God. Never have I felt more in the will of God. I, however, keep looking ahead. Down the trail of my life. The fog has cleared, and for one reason or another, it is more frightening now. I now have a vision. I long to see the church restored.
Restored to what? You may ask this for you see the steeples in the skies and the conferences in the cities. The eighth wonder of the modern world, the modern church. However, we need to stop looking at what the church has and start looking at what it lacks. This realization has drawn me to a local church plant. Using a more organic method than most churches today. On my revelation and my new venture, I will speak more later.This past week I have faced some resistance.
I announced last week that I would no longer be attending Calvary Church, thus following my new call from God. From the lay people I have received nothing but encouragement and excitement. From the clergy, however, I have been shunned. The children's pastor, whom I worked under in a volunteer position, even let me know that he thought I was a quitter. I'm not quitting, I'm just starting.
I am finding less and less fulfillment in my job everyday. I have a problem with being paid by a church. Especially one that will pay me a decent salary to clean their bathrooms, dump their trash, and build their extensions. Yet when a person with a need comes the best the church will do is turn them toward the food pantry or even toward another church.
I was talking to a good pastor friend of mine who told me a story. A few weeks ago he was driving into the church parking lot. When he noticed a man waving his arms angrily, signaling him to slow down. My friend was not going over 10 MPH so he pulled up to the man and rolled down his window. The man told him he was crazy for driving so fast in a parking lot with so many women and children present. It was a hazard. This however was not the real issue. After talking to the man, my friend deduced the man was angry because he and his girlfriend had slept in the church parking lot the night before. When the church opened they went to the office and asked for some monetary help. The church turned them down but told him that he could go to the church across the street, they after all had a benevolence fund. So for the life of me I can't imagine why this man would be mad! As he passed the wedding chapel (because you can't have weddings without a particular kind of chapel), the atrium expansion with the cafe', and the $25,000 waterfall. We can't just be handing money out to people when they need it! We have bills to pay, pastors to keep, and rewards to reap!

I will admit, I am quitting that mentality. and I'm starting a new one.



Blogger Jessica R. Goodwin said...

"It's made out of the blood of discipleship, mentoring, service, community, benevolence, mercy, compassion, truth and love. Painting with anything else is crafting a fraud easily exposed.

Exposed by a single mother asking for help but getting referred to a government agency because mercy is sung about but not lived out. Exposed by a preschooler playing with a hired teacher because membership doesn't require service. Exposed by a twenty-something emaciated by "faith for dummies" every Sunday morning, starved for deeper understanding of scripture and life and answers to tough questions." -Shaun Groves

3:21 PM  
Blogger Slatts said...

Nice post! I hope that your new experiment in church planting is fruitful. One question I have is what makes it fundamentally different than other church paradigms?

Also, there was a time when I dropped out of college to begin a band because it was what I considered to be "God's will" for me. I am always weary of saying that phrase anymore and use it only when situations are inflicted upon me from without. Otherwise, how do you really know you aren't substituting your own will as God's (like I sincerely did)?

Hope all is going well and hope you post more soon!

9:04 AM  
Blogger Jessica R. Goodwin said...

I wonder if the REAL Luther would have written on his blog more often than Neo-Luther.....

2:50 PM  
Blogger Terry M. Goodwin said...

Slatts - The fundamental difference is the Supremacy of the Great Commission. Strip away the traditions of man and return to the primary teaching of Christ. Then God's will flows quite clearly from the result of that.

Anthony - I am excited for you that God has fired your passions. I see in you the potential for being used by God as an agent of great reformation in the church today. Keep your eyes on the Great Commission and remember that all ministry is personal. The world is truly changed one soul at a time.

I do agree with Jessica that the real Luther would have written more.

4:18 AM  

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