Sunday, November 2, 2008

Spiritual Entrepreneurs

Since I was a the ripe old age of 6 days old, I've gone to church. Every week, two or three times a week, I was there. I've known thousands of church people, perhaps even more. Sadly though, I found that it was rarity to find someone who was proactive in their Christian walk. To minister on their own, without the direct blessing of the church, was almost a taboo.

Its not like that at the Vineyard Westside. I never cease to be amazed and inspired by the followers of Christ that surround me every week. I know one man who, every day, finds at least one homeless person and gives him lunch, every single day without fail. He does this, not because someone told him that he should, but because he feels that that's what God wants him to do to impact Cincinnati. He asked God, "How can I impact this city?" and he was willing. I have friends who gave away pumpkins, gobs and gobs of pumpkins. Who bought all of these pumpkins, where was the budget? The budget was the cash in their pockets. Or there's my nutty friend who bought a limo for the express purpose of taking kids to church. Most of my friends have gone on mission trips. Two even sold most of their worldly possessions and went to Canada for a year. This week another one of my friends is leaving for a year to serve in Nepal. When the churches budget committee said we just don't have the money to do a Halloween outreach our childrens pastor said we'll do it anyways. And the money came, and the volunteers came, and the candy was there. Too often people ask how and why when they should just be saying lead me and I will follow. I'm continually inspired by my friends, my brothers, spiritual entrepreneurs.


Paul said...

I've found we ask how and why when we know the answer already. How? God. Why? God. And normally we even know the what part. What am I to do to serve? We know all these answers. We just need to stop the excuses and self-doubt.

snobound said...

For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. 2 Cor. 8:12

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Tim. 6:18

Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 1 Pet. 5:2-3

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Rom. 12:16

People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell. Prov. 11:26

"When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves— praise the LORD! Judges 5:2

My heart is with Israel's princes, with the willing volunteers among the people. Praise the LORD! Judges 5:9

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. 1 Chron. 29:17

I think it's pretty clear that the Lord has directed us to be willing vessels in our service to him. And I believe our blessings are in direct proportion to our desire to serve. I love working in the Lord's field, and I'm blessed in seeing others join in and receive their blessings. Great post; thanks for sharing.

Michael Joseph Sharp said...

Really good examples of fearlessly listening to God here, Dan. I would agree that there is something special happening on the Westside.

For me personally, I'm not quite sure what that will look like, but I am going to take from what you write here and just ask:

God, how can I impact my community.

Then, just listen.

melanie said...

"To minister on their own, without the direct blessing of the church, was almost a taboo."
No, not 'almost', it was taboo.
I was in on one of these unauthorized meetings one time. It was...gasp...a bible study. We were busted. It was very ugly indeed and left a really nasty taste in my mouth.
Yep, I like where I'm at now. It took a long time to get here and the cost was high, but it's a good place to be.