Our culture usually assigns value to professions based on the status the job comes with, the average pay, or the amount of education that is needed to attain it. My belief is that many Christians assign a higher value to ministry or non-profit work by using a similar mindset. The thinking is “my organization has a higher purpose and therefore my work has more meaning.” But this is not God’s view of work. We see from the example of Adam in the Garden of Eden that his job description, given by God, included manual work (gardening) and creative mental work (naming the animals). We also see that in Jesus’ example. He worked as a carpenter (manual) and also as a teacher (mental). You could say that Jesus had a secular job before he had an “official” ministry job, though in reality he had been ministering to people since his childhood. Work is a major part of God’s plan for man. However, the dignity and value of the job is not determined by the type of work being done, but rather on the attitude and heart of the one doing the work. Read more →
Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit moving you to do something? Maybe it is a faint whisper or an audible voice. Maybe you hear it all the time or maybe you long for it and wonder why you can’t. Whatever experience is yours, we’ve all been there. I used to hear the voice a lot in college. I fought it a good bit. Well, most of the time. I tended to fight it when I had more at stake. If I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to buy a lottery ticket, you had better believe I’m going to! But the resistance came with the more difficult situations that involved risk and rejection.
One summer, I was in Mozambique on a mission trip, and I had this feeling that I should walk down the road late at night. I was petrified. We were in a rough part of town, and the roads were notorious for being extremely dangerous. I fought hard with rationalization.
“Is this really the Holy Spirit?”
“ I could die! What’s going to happen?”
“It’s hard to see at night, I’ll do it during the day and the Lord can use me more…”
I came to the realization that it was easy to obey the Holy Spirit when it was convenient. Read more →
I typically read the first paragraphs of most Christian non-fiction with qualms I am only now admitting I have. “I’m a little fragile,” I say to the book, “Can I trust you not to mislead or condemn or discourage me?” (This is more than a little ironic when you consider that I write Christian non-fiction for a living.) It’s not that I’m unteachable. I daily open the Word and welcome its nigh-unto-impossible instructions, but the writer of biblical words is a trustworthy God who is full of mercy and grace. Human writers are just so… so human. Read more →
We go to work. We go to class. We go to the movies (if we can still afford to). We’re always going somewhere it seems. If we’re not, then the assumption is that we’re lazy. Motion equals purpose in most of our minds. Or, in the Christian context, it means we’re on mission. Jesus told us to “go and make disciples” and Francis Chan warns us not to “make excuses.” Everything seems to fall on us going.
But what about waiting? When’s the last time you were encouraged or had that often prayed for, yet (just as often) rarely attainable peace in waiting? Most encouragement to wait usually surrounds talks about purity and singleness. Beyond that, who really waits anymore? You have a dream; make it a reality! You want to try something new; do it today! Tomorrow isn’t promised; so, get going!
This Sunday at Blueprint, I’ll be preaching Acts chatper 1, and we’ll spend the next 7 months (at least) walking through all 28 chapters of the book.
At this juncture in the life of Blueprint, it’s critical that we take the necessary time to walk through a book like Acts. To date, we’ve been in the city almost four years now and have experienced some “success” as a church. Although our building is small, each week it’s packed to capacity three times over. People come to worship, are encouraged, and then leave each week.
And that’s where there’s room for improvement. Read more →
Yesterday, we had an issue on Lampkin street (it’s a street right behind Blueprint Church that has become the unofficial parking lot of those “in the know”). On Sunday, during one of our services, one of our neighbors came out and was irate because someone from Blueprint, allegedly, blocked them in their driveway by the way their car was parked. I’ve included an excerpt from the angry neighbor below, it reads as follows:
Folks and hopefully Blueprint Church,
- I would like to put this on the record if it exists. This is probably the 4th time in a year that we have encountered a situation like you see in the attached picture. Did anyone know that it is church policy that members not use the parking lot at the church? I am not sure this is good policy. It seems that we see the same folks showing great disrespect to immediate neighbors. My neighbor in the Lampkin apartments had to work this morning. I would hate to see an instance where there was an emergency. We have made this issue aware to the church before, and was told that “they cannot control their members”. This has now become unacceptable. I have found members of the church parked in my neighbors driveway. I asked them if they thought that was ok? They just shrugged. Now, I do not know the answer, but I think it is somewhere between respect and common sense.
Ouch! Read more →
It’s been amazing to see the faithfulness of God over the past 3 and a half years that Blueprint Church has been in existence in the city of Atlanta. From 30 people meeting in a living room in the summer of 2009, to watching the seats fill up at 2 services every Sunday, hearing the countless stories of how God is unleashing people to do ministry where life exists in our neighborhoods, our city, our country and even our world (through members that live in the city as well as those that have been sent overseas as missionaries) we are humbled by the amazing work God has done in and through us as a church. We are just as thankful for YOU—the amazing family that God has created at Blueprint Church. Read more →