The last several months, I have felt a tremendous sense of urgency in everything I do and in the preparations for the next step the Lord is taking the ministry He has given us. There's been a growing feeling that we need to make the transition to the next step God has for us to be ready for something. I don't know what that something is, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we need to be ready for it.
For a long time now, I have been convinced that a major crisis is headed for this country. It's more than just following events here and on the world stage. Even if I were completely unaware of all that has transpired in the last few years, I don't think that this feeling would pass. It comes upon me the strongest when I am in times of extended prayer not when I've been reading the news. I don't know what the crisis is going to be only that it will put people on the doorstep of the Church of Jesus Christ like never before. I do not believe that the results of the recent election will have any bearing on the coming crisis. It will affect the response from the government but not the clamor for hope and the need to preach the Gospel to all who come seeking and even those who do not.
When the crisis hits, hope will be the commodity most needed. Yes, food, clothing, and shelter will be needed by many, but all will be looking for hope. This is a word that has lost much of its impact in the last several years being bandied about by politicians seeking power and by those who can only offer the false hope of a life without Christ. All of these things fail in the face of great trials and crisis.
There is no doubt that things are being shaken up all across the nation. We are a people divided and lacking in faith in real Biblical truth. God has been all but removed from not only our public lives but private as well. We are soft and unable to see beyond our own comfort. Even in this difficult economy, we are still able to live in comfort with little need for anything beyond ourselves. That's just the church. The rest of the country is in worse shape.
That's a generalization but still hits close to the mark. Despite all the problems, I still trust that there is a faithful core to the Body of Christ. Even if many of us are either caught up in rules or in easy believe-ism, there are enough of the faithful to stand in the gap if we are ready. We must be ready.
For our part, my lovely bride and I are preparing for the next steps God has for us. Jesus' Outsider will continue be broadcast and possibly expand to five days a week like its predecessors. The Lord continues to allow me to find and expand an audience and as long as He's in it, I will continue. It is a real privilege to speak to so many all around the world and I have been humbled by the growth of the audience.
Next, we are praying along with others about relaunching the internet radio station we attempted a couple of years back. There is still a need for an alternative Christian station playing hard rock, metal, and punk. One of the places I have seen a great amount of faith and dedication to the Lord is in the greater Christian rock community. I also know that music is one of our most powerful and effective tools for reaching beyond our walls into the greater world. It isn't final yet, but it is a matter for prayer.
Finally, planting a new congregation has been on our hearts for a long time. Plans have been drawn up more than once for us to start and each time the Lord has told us to wait. In retrospect, we know why He told us to wait after the plans were prepared. From each trial run, we learned more and added to the vision. If the truth be told, we need to grow more before we could be in a position to lead.
The vision has grown and evolved with each close approach and has been refined into the skeleton of what it can be. The people the Lord is gathering around us will help put flesh on those bones and He will breathe life into it.
What is certain is that it will be a place where anyone can come and find Jesus. The mold for traditional churches will remain on the shelf to be used where more appropriate. We feel called to reach out to blue collar people, bikers, rockers, metal heads and others that might not be comfortable in a more conventional church setting. In other words, regular people. We will also reach out to young people who feel disenfranchised and disillusioned by the mainstream church. The atmosphere will be warm, relaxed, and open but without compromise on the truth of the Word. We will strive to love all while still holding to the fullness of the Gospel message.
As I have opportunity, I will be posting more about the vision and our progress. As I said before, there is a real sense of urgency to the work before us. We are working to be ready. May we all be ready.