I was flipping through the channels last night as I do for some reason just about every night when a I stopped on a channel that had Jentzen Franklin, a pastor from Gainesville, GA, who I respect greatly hosting their evening television show. The guests he had on last night were three people that are from three different styles of ministry, and they too are people I respect greatly; Pastor Ed Young, Jr, Tim Storey (don’t laugh at me!), and Tommy Tenney. These four (counting the host) are people who “make my baby jump” (as some people would say – meaning what they preach and the anointing they carry link with what I preach and the anointing I carry).
The program began with Ed Young talking about practical ministry, getting out of the box and being creative. He said something that many skirt around and try not to say to keep from offending someone who needs to grow up… He said “if it’s alive, it oughta be growing”. He brought out how the church in Acts 2 grew by 3000 on its first day! He nor I was saying that every church will grow by those numbers daily, but he was saying (and I agree with him) in essence that if your church isn’t growing, it’s not creating a change around it.
How many churches do we see in every town that fit that bill? They get selfish and refuse to change anything inside of themselves, thus only reaching those who are inside their 4 walls. It makes my eyes bleed when I walk into a church that won’t do something simple like adding a new style of music to their worship service, or modify their decor to look more relevant for the simple reason that it blesses themselves. Forget about the argument of traditional vs contemporary. I’m sick of hearing about it. Let’s get into a mindset of blessing God. Let’s create an atmosphere where the man on the street can come in, experience the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit, receive Christ, and connect with their creator.
This is why I thank God for what is happening in our youth services at my church. Many may say it shouldn’t be done like we’re doing it. My argument is this: Ping-pong, skateboard ramps, video game machines and pizza are all nice things to have and do; but they can never compete with what the world is offering. We must offer something that the world doesn’t compare to – the Presence of the Almighty. It’s working. Young people are excited about bringing their friends to Vertical Reality now, and lives are being changed!
I’ll quickly touch on what Tim Storey discussed last night…
Tim Storey spoke about what God has him doing lately, and I’m amazed. It’s awesome. His website is http://www.storeystyle.com . He’s considered the comeback coach to the stars by sharing Jesus with them. I’ve heard testimonies that are amazing about how God is using him.
Tim shared for a few minutes and it can be wrapped up like this:
You’ll have setbacks…
Take a stepback…
God is setting you up for a comeback…
Just don’t go back (where you were)
Think about that one. If you’ve had a setback, take a step back, God is getting you ready for a comeback, but don’t go back where you came from. Your being poised for something new and something greater than you’ve ever done before.
I know in my own life, I suffered a setback not too long ago. I was in a place of burn-out, I left a position of ministry that I loved deeply, and moved my family to Arkansas. For over 2 years after that, I was in a setback mentality. I didn’t want anything to do with ministry (even though I helped out where I was needed), I didn’t have much of a walk with God, and I was a grouch to my family. During that time, I was forced to take a step back and look at my life. I was forced to see the true provision of God over my life, and I was put into a position where I needed to lean on Him more than ever before. God is now getting me ready for a comeback. He’s given me a passion for worship like never before; He’s cleaning things out of my heart that have been buried for years, and as a result, He’s revealing gifts inside of me. Here’s what I will not go back to: a disobedient, medeocre attitude towards my relationship with God (and my family), and half-hearted worship and ministry.
The best is yet to come. The patterns you see in scripture show us that things get better. If the former rain was adequate – we wouldn’t need a latter rain. I belive that we should never settle for what God did before. We should also never settle for what we did for Him. He always takes us to new levels. It’s said perfectly in the verses of a song that I’ve been singing lately:
I wanna praise a little longer than before
I wanna lift my hands higher than before
I wanna shout a little louder than before…
I wanna worship deeper than before
I wanna love You more and more
I wanna dance more freely than before