Meditations (Web)Church

A year (and a bit) in the life of NewSpring's first Web pastor

Don’t get sucked into the vortex of ideas

with 4 comments

The Church is hopping with ideas and energy right now and all of us should be in awe.

If you can’t feel the birthing pangs of a new era of church history, give it some time. You will.
I don’t want to sound like Elijah and the rain. But there it is.

And all of us involved in ministry — A-List, B-List and I don’t care if I’m on a list — are wondering whether and what we’re contributing.

Are we being obedient in encouraging and strengthening the right people?

Are we doing it enough? Consistently? Biblically?

Are we being bold enough in exploring our own calls to ministry so that we might find the people and the resources God has purposed for us?

Oh, yeah … and the big question: Is all of this God?

Or is all of this just another ego trap that God is sifting us with?

Yes. Shudder. It is possible. Feel the weight of that.

So maybe it’s not so unusual that so many folks are engaging in some existential questioning.

There’s so much energy, and so many ideas flowing right now — in ministry, in the marketplace, in our new online-offline worlds of activity and influence — that it feels to me very much like the game of whirlpool that kids play in swimming pools.

You want to be part of the torrent and stay in it and contribute to it, to feel the energy, to recognize the awesome power of what your small amount of effort can accomplish. You don’t want to feel left out.

But one wrong step and you get sucked into the vortex.

All that activity creates motion, excitement. But if it’s going around in circles, it’s not really accomplishing anything. If a lot of folks are going to get exhausted or drown, It’s way worse than that.

Our spiritual rivers of life are meant to flow from the mountains of Jesus grace back to the ocean of God’s mighty and awesome love. And they’re meant to feed and connect the millions of other rivers, streams, and creeks that are growing or dying daily.

How do I keep my head straight? By focusing on exploring all the geography around me for channels of spiritual life and connecting or reconnecting them to the flow from the source.

I can’t focus on the feeling of the tide, the wave, the swell, the tow. I have to focus on building real relationships that honor Christ, and making real disciples who want to see God at work in the world.

What will make me feel safer about talking the big game of techno-evangelism? Showing how technology can help create, enhance and empower those relationship channels of God’s grace.

And I will feel safer riding the current of energy and ideas — and perhaps contributing some of my own — when I’m diverting some of that power into places it isn’t going to go by itself.

How about you?


Written by NickCharalambous

March 4, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Posted in ruminations

4 Responses

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  1. Probably not the answer to the question…

    but… I’m reminded of something said at a leadership conference… You’re ministry should never be where your identity is… you need to be able to move on at a minutes notice if God says so.

    Nathan Edwards

    March 4, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    • Nathan: I think about that a lot! Maybe it’s because I’m so new to it, or maybe it’s because I never thought of myself becoming a pastor until it happened.


      March 4, 2009 at 12:46 pm

  2. Man, you nailed it! All I know is that being online is sucking huge amounts of time out of my life… time I used to spend with Jesus. Thank God there was no internet when I got saved! I would have been exposed to so many ideas I would probably have ended up a confused, faithless, mess. As it was, I just had my bible and plenty of time to think and read. I also had plenty of time to walk and talk to God. I seriously believe God is telling me to just “come away” from all this mess, as Keith Green sang about… and be with Him. All this connectivity may be robbing us of the greatest connection of all.

    Mike Helms

    April 7, 2009 at 11:34 am

    • So I’m not alone! I think you’re right on … I am sensing more that God is calling me to make some serious decisions about how to make sure the Internet is serving me rather than mastering me. I think it’s going to have to start with limits on time spent, but also involve some tough questions about return on that investment too … The tricky thing is that you’ve got to spend time to learn how to use the web and social media before you can really use it … and staying ahead of that learning curve is what’s creating that tension in the concern about investing time and merely wasting it.


      April 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

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