Megachurch for real

I have a friend who describes himself as a mystic. This means he feels deeply and connects with God most deeply through what happens to him in prayer. He has what seems to be a very calibrated sensor for where and when God is moving.

Well, he found God at one of the last places I expected him to.

He found it at a huge megachurch. Yep, smoke machines, lasers, and all. He has felt and found God moving in big ways in that place!

I went. . . and I can vouch for it.  I met passionate people all over that place who have deeply met and been transformed and saved by God! Who knew?! At a seeker-friendly, relevant-reaching, culture-pleasing megachurch, lives are being restored!

So what I learned is that just because a church is flashy on the surface doesn’t mean that God is not deeply there and moving.

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Here are some stories:

Some of the people at this church are even involved with a collective called “Love Is A Verb,” which has picked 6 social justice organizations for which they mobilize their people and provide resources. I went to a “Love Is A Verb” meeting with my friend and about 40 people had come together for this weekly meeting because it’s plugging them in to help. One of the organizations they pour into is a sex trafficking ministry and we talked about the problems they are trying to solve. They brought to light the fact that the root of the problem is ultimately us, men. We create the demand. So, in the heart of solving the matter, four or five men in the room stood up and told of their struggle and rescue from pornography and stuff. They confessed it in front of the group, which included like 25 women! These people are brave, transparent, and it appears they trust Jesus with their reputation, and their rescue.

Then they opened up the discussion to the rest of us.

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One guy told a story that shows how we can do our part by speaking up. He was eating with some of the guys at his work, and they were talking about the strip clubs and the girls they had hit that weekend. But he spoke up at the table and told them a different type of story.

He told them he was introduced to pornography (which started his struggle with it) when he went to his friend’s house and his dad had just been showing his son how to look up pornography. Well, over the next few years that man’s wife got a face lift, a boob job, another face lift, and then the man left her for a 23 year old. Our friend’s point to the people at his table was that sex-as-a-commodity can destroy lives. This changed the conversation at his table. Some thought about it and agreed with him. One got up and left. Some of the men at that table later asked if they could meet with him because they could see that he was right and they wanted to know more.

These folks believe, they are brave, it changed their lives, and it is changing those around them.

Well, “Love Is A Verb” organized a dinner for the women sex workers in Atlanta a few weeks ago. They served them like princesses, invited them to be their friends and asked what they need. One of the common requests was, we want someone to invite us to church. And one of the girls in our group told stories of the women she is talking to who she met at the dinner. She is being their friend, trying to help rescue them from drugs, loneliness, strip clubs, even OCD. It is a big struggle, but they are engaging.

Well, I actually found out a way that you and I can help too, if you’re curious! This ministry, “Love Is A Verb” is selling t-shirts so they can recoup the costs they spent on the dinner for the women. I know it’s easy to roll our eyes when $$ is mentioned. I do too. But, it doesn’t change the fact that they are doing good and we can help. I don’t want to let this give what they are doing any less clout. They are being creative to make a change in this world and mobilizing what us americans have, money, to make change in this world. And I want to do my part by letting you know! I guess eventually, we have to choose whether or not we’ll step in, and how we’ll do it. So here’s the link to help in this way!  So if you’d like to support it, and have an awesome t-shirt you can wear that will spread the word even more check this out!!

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Thanks for listening, my friends! May we be brave, and let ourselves be changed!

Raw Spoon, 6-23-15

 

2 Responses to Megachurch for real

  1. Anon says:

    There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to how good a church is. A few hundred years ago, people within Christendom would get frustrated at their church because of what they saw as a deviation of faith. What did they do? At that time they couldn’t just change churches because unlike the south and Starbucks, there isn’t one on each corner. What they did do was form a new denomination. Sadly, the cycle would continue. People within those denominations would feel discouraged, disenfranchised, wronged, cheated and start a new group or movement. Born were the Methodists and Baptists… Some did good and some changed the world. (For example, America was formed by the Puritans who believed that the Church of England was insufficiently reformed).

    If I were to squint my eyes and look at our church movement ‘history’ or trends over the last few yeas, I would see people a few years ago looking down at the classical shirt and tie baptists. They brought rock music into the church with preppy clothes and a much more contemporary mega style. Today, it’s probably taken another turn with small is good (not that the mega-church and the tie/suite church has died). Out with the Polos and in with the tattoos! Trust me, a day is coming when it will no longer be cool to show tats from the front. Something else will replace it from a coolness perspective.

    Great empires are rarely destroyed from the outside. They implode from the inside. Look at Rome. Look at how a nation treats and values its young children, how it treats the old, the poor, the family unit. Look at how a church treats it’s people. If we look at ourselves, our church body, it’s not very nice. Last night, I was traveling for work. I was watching a televangelist say that if you do not donate $300 you will miss out on God’s blessings.

    It’s sad to see people rush into a building, hear someone talk and then rush out with no fellowship, making space for the next service. It’s sad to see an hour where races are split in two. Sad to see churches split by age, race and so on… Sad to see the lack of time churches have for people. God have mercy on us all!

    James 2:3 …if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”

    Matthew 5:22 commands us not to call our brothers “fools”

    Jesus attended the same synagog as the pharisees. But he never rejected them. He continued to be part of that imperfect body – that doesn’t mean you don’t speak out – he would often teach there. But it also means you don’t run away from churches you don’t like. Imperfect people make churches which means it’s not going to be perfect. It’s going to be full of problems. Churches that profess that Jesus is the Son of God who came to save us all from our lack of perfection (sin) are part of His body.

    • raw spoon says:

      Wow this is a great blog in itself! Thanks for sharing Anon!! Let’s value our churches and understand that although the times will change and trends and tastes will change, we must have patience, grace, understand that we will rarely be wholly satisfied and make sure our goal for being at church is to meet God and love on our brothers and sisters! Does that sound about right, Anon?

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