Tuesday, February 10, 2004

It was about this time, 7 years ago that I began to have my first battles with depression. I was experiencing great outward "success" in ministry but inwardly was dying everyday. I couldn't figure it out. The more things went well on the surface, the more disconnected I felt inside. I had a void within me that ministry couldn't fill and I felt lost. In my heart, I had already resigned from my position at a "growing" church but was not sure what to transition into. Seminary seemed to be the best fit, that way I could leave the ministry and nobody would ask me any questions. I shared these dark thoughts with no one. But I found the whole system of church that I was involved in to be empty and completely disconnected with the Jesus I thought I knew. Nicki and I scraped all the $ we could, maxed out a credit card and I bought a plane ticket to visit Denver Seminary. I would be there for 4 days and my motives were to visit the seminary and not leave the Rocky Mountains until God spoke. I visited the Seminary and quickly decided it was not the right place. So I drove up in the mountains, trekked through the snow, sat in secluded places and listened. For 3 days, I heard nothing. Just my own anxiety and pain to keep me company. I was in my hotel room late at night with an early flight the next morning when I finally gave up and decided that God had abandoned me. I turned on the news and I'll never forget that story. They were showing the images of a school shooting that happened that day in Arkansas killing 4 and wounding many others. This was a year before Columbine in which my hotel room was a mile away from. The horror I felt as I watched those images began to grow a yearning in me that I can't explain. Tears began streaming down my face. Where has the church gone so wrong that such desperation is acted upon? It seemed clear to me that the answer could not be a "small" change but real radical change. I remember screaming out to God in agony (sorry to the neighboring rooms) and then I heard his voice. I screamed, "What do you want me to do?" and he said, "Dream for me, Chris . . . what do you want to do for me?" For the next 4 hours, I wept and wrote, wept and wrote, wept and wrote. Out of that night came a dream statement to build a church that would follow the core values of community, authenticity, passion and mission. I had no idea how, but that night I became a church planter I think. Out of excruciating pain, birthed a dream. And out of a dream, birthed a Kingdom reality. That reality today is Ordinary Community Church. A tribe of Christ followers to whom I belong to and who have been an agent of healing to me more than they will ever know. God is good.

Ok God, what's next?


1 comment:

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