Monday, February 7, 2011

Exploring, listening, praying

I think life is an adventure (not like the old army commercials)'s much more spiritual than that. Like Abraham leaving his country without a distinct or exact destination; I believe we are on a journey with God. We don't have many details, but we have his Spirit as our tour guide and His Son who paved the way. So we live. So we minister. So we move by faith.

This last weekend, I journeyed with the elders of our church to Phoenix Arizona. We were on an adventure to see what some other churches are doing, how God is working there and what He might be saying for "here in Normal". It lasted only 60 hours but it was quite an adventure. We visited one church that has an average weekend attendance of 17,000 and another that is pushing 9,000. And we prayed for God to answer this simple question: "Are you done with what you are doing at Eastview, or do you want us to do more?" And the follow up question: "Will you show us what you want us to see and let us hear what you want us to hear?"

And so we journeyed through five church campuses (three we didn't have an appointment and one I fearlessly led us into the auditorium which set off some sort of security alarm - and still no one came - at least in the the 30 seconds or so it took us to get into the car and leave :-). We watched how other Christians used music in their worship, how they preached, how they parked cars, how they led, and what kind of facilities they built for ministry. We also asked questions from their leaders...and we listened. And we prayed, and we listened and we explored.

God spoke to us in many ways and we are going to continue to pray. There are some things these other great churches do that we can never do (plant palm trees would be one of them!). There are some things they do that we do and so we are encouraged that we are heading in the right direction. There are some things that we saw and heard that expanded our vision..we saw a big God picture that perhaps we hadn't seen before. I love that!

I'm a dreamer. Not like a day dreamer, but a dreamer about what God can do with a fearless church of Christ followers like we are becoming at Eastview. I think that God can do what we dream as long as our dream is born in His vision for His church. and it begins with keep praying. God is big and we get to be a small part of his bigness, which brings great value to our lives.

Missed you guys yesterday at church. J.K. had a great sermon in my place, the special was awesome, the Monday night theme by the orchestra was great, and the I serve video was moving. Can't wait to worship with most of you next week. For the people from 12 nations throughout the world...I don't know why you read my blog each week, but I'm glad you do and someday I'll worship with you too - before the throne - can't wait for that either, but in the meantime - I'll be exploring, listening and praying on this journey with God.


Anonymous said...

God blesses many through you! I am so thankful for you and for Eastview. Thank you! :-)

Anonymous said...

I hope you visited Calvary Community in awesome church with a teaching pastor hard to match!

Mike Baker said...

anonymous..didn't make it to Calvary Community...maybe next time. We visited Christ's Church of the Valley and Central Christian Church of the East Valley.