Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday's Weekly Rap Up - October 18, 2013 - "The Greatest Story Ever Told" by Shai Linne

We are all a part of someone's story. In one form or another you and I have influenced someone's life, for larger or smaller. But we normally don't remember this on a daily basis. As a Christian, I forget that I play a role in the biblical narrative and the spread gospel.

The story of the bible is pretty long, but Shai Linne does a great job of condensing it into a brief four minutes in "The Greatest Story Ever Told". It's one of my favorite songs from Shai Linne, and a great reminder of the plans that the Lord has put in place, and has been faithful to fulfill.

Last week, Sojourn Heights celebrated the establishment of Sojourn Montrose, commissioning Marshall Dallas as pastor. Before Marshall was sent out, he spoke on the reality of planting a church, and hoped that we would gain a greater appreciation of the greater story that we find ourselves in. It's true that it is difficult to be a part of a church body, and then seemingly overnight be divided from those who you have walked alongside. Friendships drift and the dynamics of relationships change.

Sojourn is committed to making disciples, multiplying neighborhood parishes, and planting churches. In order for these things to happen, we, the Church, must go; go to those that do not know the Lord and have not heard of Him. It's uncomfortable to leave. But that discomfort is actually out of line with the call of Christians to go forth and make disciples that Jesus gives us in the Great Commission. We are not the first to experience this discomfort, as Paul, responsible for a great deal of the growth of the Church, splits with Barnabus, when both had once served as missionaries together. These splits have nothing to do with arguments, but are a result of judgments made in light of the continued spread of the gospel.

We forget that we are a part of this story, a commission of Christ to make disciples and contribute to the greatest story ever told. This story of God's glory encompasses every other earthly story. Again, this is a reality that I lose sight of on most days, and would like to remember much more often. When we see our lives an mundane, as opposed to an extreme gift, there is no concern to make much of our lives. Paul reminds us in 1 Peter 2:9-10 that we, as Christians, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation set to proclaim God's excellencies!

Back in February, Matt Chandler came to Houston to speak at a church-planting benefit dinner, where he laid out the path that was taken from the original churches formed after the resurrection, to those churches that were later planted in the United States, then in Texas, and eventually how his church, The Village Church, came to fruition. Marshall, in the same light, laid out the path that resulted in the planting of Sojourn Montrose. Each person that contributed to Marshall's growth in Christ, and the growth of those that will call Sojourn Montrose their church body, is part of a greater story. Sojourn Montrose was planted for God's glory, not the glory of a pastor or a group of people.

It's easy to forget that there's a larger story at play in my life. I can be thankful for those that laid the foundation for both University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan and South Church in Lansing, Michigan, who were faithful in ministering to students, who then in turn shared their lives with me and led me to a greater knowledge of our Lord. I can then be thankful for the sovereignty of the Lord leading me to Marshall University, where I befriended Luke Strimer, Todd McClure, JR Harris, Gerhard Esterhuizen, and Joe Stanton and his family, and settling into River Cities Community Church, and being sharpened by fellowship through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, where I met Tyler Warner. Tyler came to know Christ, has learned deeply of His grace, and now ministers to student athletes at the University of Kentucky, and other Kentucky colleges. Now, for each athlete that comes to know Christ through Tyler's ministry, or is encouraged by Tyler and his leadership, I can say I am a part of their story.

The story of being led to Houston through Virginia is a great story as well, but even greater is the collection of these that leads to bringing glory to the Lord. Our relationships may seem unimportant and insignificant at the time, or we may think that our achievements and accomplishments as a church are the best things to ever happen. Either way, they simply lead to someone else being a part of, and bringing light to, the "Greatest Story Ever Told".