Last week we saw MANY people take the plunge, following the command of Christ, and getting baptized! It is always invigorating to watch this picture unfold as a forgiven sinner declares that they have been buried with Christ and raised to walk in newness of life.
Additionally, we saw many respond to the gospel this weekend in response to the teaching from John 11. This powerful text contains the statement, “I am the resurrection and the life” that Jesus made standing near the grave of Lazarus. Now I’ll grant you, saying something like that is easy, but in the following moments Jesus told Lazarus to get up…and He did. I think that should earn Him our undivided attention!
One detail I love in the story is that Jesus raised the dead, but He had the people roll away the stone. He could have done it Himself–without even trying! But He chose to involve others. The picture that emerges is that while salvation is a work that only God can do, He longs for us to participate, “rolling away the stones” so to speak, as we intentionally bring dead people before the Word of Christ. If we as a church truly embrace that, this wednesday night, at the Skull Church event for April, there is no telling what God might do!
Also, this week I had the opportunity and the pleasure to travel to Chicago to attend an event put on by my good friend Pastor James MacDonald. It was called The Elephant Room, and it was fantastic. You can read a blog he wrote describing what went down, HERE and he will be posting the whole 7 hour event in increments on his site in the weeks to come so look for it. Let me say having been there, it was seriously rad. The only way I can really describe it is that it was like you were getting to hear the sort of conversations that go on backstage at a conference, off the microphone. Only these raw, un-groomed conversations were the conference.
The trip was also refreshing personally. It is always a great blessing to spend time with men of God. James MacDonald, Greg Laurie and Mark Driscoll are guys that I look up to and have learned much from. Greg is a father in the faith, and James and Mark have both spoken into my life and taught me much. It was also a blast hanging out with Jonathan Laurie and Landon MacDonald–PK’s that love Jesus and rock hard. Another one of the highlights of the trip for me was meeting Pastor Steven Furtick for the first time. He is someone whose ministry, passion and vision I appreciate very much and it was great to get to tell him how God has used him in my life.