Last Friday and Saturday were busy days for me, my wife, and 3 appreciated and very helpful volunteers. We, along with over 12 other churches, had our annual Disciple Now weekend. Just like last year, Stuart Hall came in and delivered some incredibly relevant, humorous, and challenging talks.
The first night Stuart took a page out of “John Piper’s playbook (of course Johnny Pittsburgh as we call him ‘stole’ most of his stuff from Jonathon Edwards)” on having a deep passion for God. We have settled for less than God offers as we are far too easily satisfied (C.S. Lewis, and Jeremiah 2 if you want to get technical). Even our obedience has become duty instead of delight, and very often pastors can lead to that problem. So that hit me in the gut. But in the words of Mellencamp, it “hurt so good.” I needed it.
He concluded the final two sessions addressing the males and females, respectively, respectfully, but truthfully. Really truthfully. Guys were reminded that our specific struggle related to validating ourselves through what we do: am I good enough, do I have what it takes? Clips from movies like 300 and Saving Private Ryan helped illustrate his point. If illustrations are priceless, movie clips are one step better than that.
The ladies were hit the hardest for sure. He challenged them with the fact that women want to hear someone tell them they are beautiful, loved, cherished. And of course he showed clips from the Titanic, The Notebook, and The Wedding Singer.
Ultimately only through Christ are these deep longings met. Yet he reserved the sharpest criticism to young ladies who often ignore the fact they have been bought at a price, and have cheapened themselves in settling for less. Anyone who will look at them (he hit the heart issue behind the way girls often dress) or tell them they look ‘hot’ or will make out with them is who they will settle for. And this is so often the case, isn’t it? How many women settle for losers/deadbeats simply because they fail to grasp that Christ has already displayed their worth before the world?
This post was getting really long, so I’ll continue some more thoughts on it later. However, because of my leaders that I trusted, I was able to miss the talk directed at the guys. Instead I accompanied Amy at the Baby class and saw some disgusting slide shows and I learned how to put a diaper on a baby doll. My first. Seriously.
The church needs leaders who will step up and do the work of ministry. And my leaders did just that: leading group studies, loving on the youth, and having deep conversations with them. It was beautiful to see God’s church at work and how expendable I am! The more expendable I am the better.