Thursday, August 15, 2002

What to Expect

God has called some of my friends and me to start simple churches in Las Vegas and beyond. We have been trying to do this in some form or another for a few years now. The last two days have been some of the hardest along the journey. This is a sincere and humble warning to those who may choose to follow the same path...

Attn: Future Simple Church Planters--Count the Cost:

Expect pain.

Expect to be misunderstood.

Expect to be persecuted and expect it to come first from those who follow Jesus.

Expect to be maligned, attacked and ridiculed from all sides.

Expect to grow tired and weary.

Expect to want to give up.

Expect to lose many old friends. Expect to lose all of your friends where the "church" is the central reason for your friendship. Only your deep and Christ-centered friendships will endure.

Expect to be labeled. (a freak, a hippie, a cult leader, a quitter, a fraud, an idealist, a purist, a heretic, a divider, a communist, a jerk, an egomaniac, a devil worshiper) Yes, I've been called them all to my face.

Expect to weep...deeper and stronger than you ever have.

Expect to doubt your calling, your convictions, your path, your faith, and your life.

Expect to be lonely.

Expect to be seen as utterly unsuccessful.

Expect to die...nothing will be left of you. You will cease to exist. The last things in you to die will be your desire to be great for God and your desire to be happy. And then, you will finally...

Live. Expect life. Expect meaning. Expect to finally understand the prophets and apostles. Expect to know Jesus and his life...for that is all that you will have...and that is all that you need.

Jesus, deliver me from my pain and my agenda. Give me faith to love you more. May I share in your death, rejection, pain, and shame.

May I share in your resurrection.

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

"I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever follows me, though he will die, will live again."

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