Therefore what type of people should we be now? This morning we addressed this question from 2 Peter 3:10-18
Peter answers with 3 characteristics:
1. People who are set apart (holy) vv. 10-14
2. People who are on Jesus’ mission vs. 15
3. People who are growing in the gospel vv. 16-18
These past 9 months have been a blast…we have met some amazing people and have seen the Lord do great things. It’s also been a very difficult 9 months. I’ve learned many lessons that I couldn’t have learned in any other way, other than what has transpired during this season. These lessons, although brutal to experience, have served as character building tools that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
The #1 truth I’ve learned through these difficulties; is that my identity must be found in Jesus, not in anything I do for Him, including pastoring. Without realizing it my identity had become about what I did for Jesus instead of who I am in Jesus. Pastoring has been my life long ambition, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since the day I began to follow Jesus as a 15 year old freshman in High School. I achieved that dream, and for the last 7 years before moving to Colorado I was given the opportunity to not only pastor but to get paid for it. Then we moved to Fort Collins and not only have I had to get a very entry level job, but I’ve had face the reality that most people here do not view me as their pastor. I’m just a dude who works as a telemarketer and is “trying” to start a church.
Although pastoring is an amazing privilege and a gift from God; it will let you down. The people you pastor will let you down, the leaders you serve with will let you down, the whole pastor gig will let you down, and if you aren’t finding your identity in Jesus and the gospel you will be left with a whole lot of discouragement against…Christians, the Church, and your calling.
The way to fight against this disappointment is by finding your worth in Jesus. This not only applies to pastors, who are having an identity crisis, but to everyone of us who struggles with finding our value in something other than Jesus and the gospel. Those of us who have propped up functional saviors in our life only to find ourselves exerting all kinds of energy fooling ourselves into believing that they are giving us what we can only find in Christ.
You will face an identity crisis today, something or someone will attempt to convince you that Jesus isn’t enough and that you must add to what He’s already done for you by pretending to be something you’re not or putting on a performance to impress others and ultimately God.
Don’t fall for this trap. It will eat you alive, kill your relationships, and cause your fellowship with Jesus to be broken.
May you find your identity in Jesus and Him alone.
It’s been a while since we’ve blogged about anything that is going on here at Missio Dei so I thought I would send along an update.
Since February much has changed at Missio Dei, and yet through it all the Lord has been extremely faithful and gracious to us. Just this last Sunday we officially launched our Sunday am services at the TR Paul Academy of Arts and Knowledge.
We believe this will allow us to more effectively reach young families and those with young children as evening services can be very difficult during those years. Currently we are seeing many young people coming to our gatherings and they are very excited about the vision and philosophy of ministry at Missio Dei. Kyle Donahoe, a young musician who grew up in Fort Collins, has taken on the role of worship leader for Missio Dei and he is doing a fabulous job. We are so thankful for Kyle and his fiance’ Ashley, and all that they bring to Missio Dei.
One of the core values of Missio Dei is impacting our city (especially the lost and unchurched) with the gospel. And it is our desire to do that by building meaningful relationships with unconverted people in our sphere of influence. It has been my great privilege to see this happening throughout the Missio Dei community. Many of our people are having tremendous impact upon the lives of people who do not attend our church through things like dinners, poker nights, disc golf, and discussions over a beer. Although this may not bolster the number of people on Sundays at our gatherings, it is bringing the gospel into the lives of people who would not have otherwise darkened the door of the church. That being said, we are also seeing some folks who do not currently believe attending Missio Dei, and they are very much enjoying an atmosphere that allows them to belong to us, without believing like us.
Our monthly Theology Pub event has also been a great success. In the last several months we have seen as many as 60 people show up to Mulligan’s Pub for a discussion on things like, “Can a Christian Smoke Pot?” or “Is Jesus a Pacifist”. These discussions have allowed us to rub shoulders with many people in our city and bring the gospel to bear upon many cultural issues that are on the lips of the people in our context.
For those that have been supporting and praying for Missio Dei, I (Ryan) want to thank you sincerely for your support of the kingdom.
We are very excited for all that Jesus has in store for Missio Dei and trust that this summer and the rest of 2010 will bring much fruit for the glory of God.