Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

Roughly three years ago God started assembling the cast for the greatest journey of my life time. He began bringing specific young men and women together to become the foundational pieces of a remarkable church that would desire and pursue Transformation in North Seattle by offering people an Epic Life in Christ Jesus. This team was part of a college leadership team along with a couple of others. They have had no formal ministry training. They all moved away from their families and friends to work together to start Epic Life Church.

Three days ago I got to witness this same team in a remarkable meeting as once again changes were happening.  I was privileged to sit around a room with this team and watch them speak about God’s vision for their ministries. They shared victories and problems, dreams and visions with many emotionally laden words. Each person spoke eloquently about their ministry with a beautiful understanding of the Epic Life vision and mission. It was awe-inspiring to listen to, even though I already knew what they were about to say.

They were speaking this night because of a new team that we have created called the Development Team. This new team will be a group who help the ministry leaders succeed, by encouraging ministry growth and supporting deliberate balance between the ministries of Epic Life. Its a wonderful idea and will be a fantastic team that will help Epic Life build a firm foundation. The beautiful thing is that this team is made up of Seattleites and myself. In other words, God has raised up men and women from Seattle to lead.

As I sat in this meeting listening and watching these leaders from Minnesota speak and encourage each other and interact with this new team, I sat in awe.  They were so mature and gracious and wise as they encouraged the Development Team about what they were doing and how good it was going to be. There was NO defensiveness or pride or protecting of territory. None.

I have been in few meetings where this happens. But at every Epic Life meeting this is the norm. Our meeting are all but boring meetings, they are always Epic! God has truly developed an amazing team and is now adding to it.  This speaks so strongly of the massive ministry God is establishing here in North Seattle.

Way to go; David, Jeff, Kari, Shelli, Averi, Casey, and Sam!

For lunch break today I took the boys down to the dock in Gig Harbor where our friend Mark Colley and his boys were “fishing” for rock crabs. Using a large fishing rod with heavy line and a book-like cage on the end with a chicken leg for bate, Mark would toss the cage out into the harbor let it sink in the drink and then wait for a hungry crab to wonder past and snatch some “chicken of the sea.” When the trap is pulled in, it closes like a book, bringing the unwary pincher baring creature to the surface. Six and a half inches is big enough for the pot of boiling water and the dinner table.

While we were there one of Mark’s sons, Teagan, pulled in a rat fish, probably the ugliest fish I have ever seen. Also a boy about eleven years old pulled in a dogfish, a two and half foot shark. Both of these fish are linked here – Ratfish and dogfish. We watched several sail boats come in and out of the harbor and talked with many people from all over the country.

While we were there I got a call from our church planting network with an invitation to speak at a church plant in Des Moines, WA this Sunday. Their pastor is in the National Guard and got called out this Sunday, so I decided to help them out. It will be nice since I haven’t been able to speak for several months and it would be great to encourage another church that just started up a few months ago. Please pray that God will use me to speak truth and encouragement.

I want to thank all of you who read these posts. It really encourages me that you have an interest in what God is doing through us in Seattle. I know there are several of you who read this because you believe in what we are doing and are looking for ways to pray and encourage. I also know that there are several of you who read this even though you disagree with what we are doing and might possibly be looking for an “I told you so” moment. What ever the reason you are tuning my prayer is that you are able to unequivocally see what God is doing and be completely confident that God has called us here.

Thanks for those of you who post comments, I can’t tell you how encouraged Kristine and I feel when you have thoughts that continue a topic. We are so blessed to be surrounded by all of you, our family.

Often I have felt that God has been fishing for us and like the crab that we were catching today had to be thrown back if they were too small; he has been waiting for us to be “six and a half inches,” because then we would be ready for the “boiling pot.”

Keep growing.