Monday, February 06, 2006

A few days at home.

It's strange, I'm living in the house I grew up in all my life, yet I still consider Duluth my home. I have no real attachment to the house in Duluth that I stayed in for almost 3 years, it's a piece of junk. But driving the streets downtown, visiting with friends, and especially going to Hillside Community Church gave me huge feeling of home-ness. Belonging perhaps? Not quite... because I know I "belong" here in the BLA (Brainerd Lakes Area) for now.

Wednesday I left for Duluth, and spent the afternoon with Pastor Nick, the Associate/Youth Pastor at Hillside. He's been a close friend of mine, and we always get a bit crazy when we're around eachother. We had a "fun night" at the Living Room youth group that night, with all kinds of crazy messy games involving raw eggs, nylons, and swim noodles. They have been losing kids for a while now, and had been averaging around 15 kids for the past month, but for some reason around 40-50 kids showed up for this fun night. It was a blast, and I got to hang out with some of the kids that I had previously connected with there -- James, Steven, Thomas, Lauren, etc., Great Times.

Thursday & Friday I spent reconnecting with my Duluth homies -- again, just like old times. It was cool hanging out and catching up on eachothers lives... it seemed as if I hadn't left at all.

Friday Night through Sunday morning was the retreat from the Trailblazers (single young adult) group from Brainerd. Ken Abramson spoke on ending well in a life of ministry. It is a topic that I have been dwelling on for a while now, and had even talked with my friend Dan about it just the day before. I have seen many amazing people in ministry burn out or get caught up in some scandal and have seen how much impact that can have on them and others. This is something the devil delights in, and something I want to avoid more than anything. I'm not sure exactly how to combat this, I know that accountability and prayer are a big part of it though.

It's a tough thing, because you can try so hard to avoid difficulties that you never do anything, or you can throw yourself into ministry and get chewed up. I want to have a lifetime passion for God and to follow his leading in ministry, not being afraid to step out as needed, without being blind to the dangers and difficulties ahead. I want to be prepared to face these things and to learn to depend on God for it all. I want to have a strategic life, with a building purpose. Much of this is still unclear to me, and I need to continue to trust in God to lead me.

Anyways, Ken didn't really address this issue as much as I had hoped, and instead focused on three important qualities of good leaders. A leader must be Faithful, Available, and Teachable. I believe these three qualities are a part of my life, and continuing to develop in strength.

Sunday, after checking out of the hotel, Ali, Dea & I went to sunday service at Hillside. It was amazing! Worship was so genuine and passionate -- I could literally feel the love flowing from the congregation! [the music wasn't bad either] And the message! Pastor Ryan always brings a passion, but this message was also very well developed and inspiring. He spoke on Christ's compassion (Matthew 14:14), and how we are called to the same compassion. Then he went on to how we rob God of tithes and offerings (Malachi), and how this connects to a heart of compassion. Then we spent a few minutes as a congregation praying for the Duluth community, including the other churches of Duluth. It was amazing, and I can't even put it into words. In a few days you should be able to hear the message online at http://www.hillsidealive.com/ex_messages.htm

I realize this is getting really long, but this weekend fueled my desire to see God move in Brainerd in a way similar to Duluth, and even more-so. I am continuing to pray for spiritual and physical leaders to rise up in Brainerd that will transform the Church body. It still scares me, because this is a cause that my father spent 13 years on and was left unsuccessful and burnt out -- and what makes me think I can do anything different? Lies. It is not my mission, it is God's. He is and has been calling the BLA to repent and follow him in truth, and a time is coming when this will happen. It seems to impossible, but it is that which God desires.

Much of this blog is inspired from a phone call from Sarah, which I appreciated very much. I will be in prayer for her as she faces much larger challenges in Philadelphia.

2 comments:

seeyaleah said...

Hey, maybe this is a chance for you to live your life the way God has for you and it could spark something within your dad and who knows, maybe you could be the "Gagne Duo" and take BLA by storm!!! :o) Im praying for you bud.

Lexi said...

Andrew, It was fun hanging out with you and PN. So much fun!

Thanks for breakfast too! We'll have to hang out again when we're both in Duluth.

Laters!
Lexi Christine

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Kansas City, Missouri, United States
I'm a full-time lover of Jesus. I work, learn, and pray at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. I live simple, and seek God with all my heart.

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