I'm continuing my synopsis of the workshops and sessions that I attended at this past weekend's Ignite conference in Indy.
Main Session 3 - Mark Bowen, "Lifelong Joy in Ministry"
-Mark is basically hilarious. I don't think he tries to be, but he is so scatterbrained and distracted sometimes and then with the combination of his memorable laugh, it's just too much sometimes.
-Mark's talk was one of the most powerful that I had experienced in a good while. God grabbed me tightly and didn't let go.
-His opening thesis: "Joy in ministry (not as a career, but just as a called Christian) is found in laying down our rights, dreams and lives as an act of worship to God - no strings attached."
-Laying down your rights/No strings attached - very counter-American Christian
-What was the most important command? Jesus said to love God with all your being and to love your neighbor - so all our moves should be an act of worship to God
-Mark then walked through Philippians 2, and Paul's take on Jesus as the suffering servant
-This was the second Ignite where I had heard this passage taught and both times it was really powerful/challenging
-Jesus laid down his rights - think about it!
-"Being bitter is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die." Someone
-We have to lay down our dreams - not forsake dreaming altogether, but offer up our dreams to God and not hold tightly
-Do you think that Paul (sent to Gentiles, not Jews), Abraham (had son at 100 yrs), Joseph (sold to slavery), Daniel (castrated) had their "dreams" fulfilled?
-"God always fulfills his Scripture; he seldom fulfills our script." You can take that to the bank
-There is no such thing as me-centered Christianity - Joel Osteen has got it wrong
-We need to be praying, "What is the most right thing I can do in my current circumstance as an act of worship to God?" "How can I suffer for you?"
-He went on to tell about how recently his mother has gotten Alzheimers and he went over to clean her house and when he got there, she asked "Who are you?", and then when he told her "I'm your son, Mark", she replied "You're fat" and went on to repeat that all day. Mark made a conscious decision to lay down his rights and love his mom as an act of worship.
-Phil 2:17 - a drink offering was considered the least of all offerings, it was poured out on the ground and that is what Paul considered himself. A drink offering was considered waste. The casual observer would consider our lives a waste if we are being poured out for Christ. This was a powerful thought for me. We will not necessarily see visible effects or benefits in our ministry - are we a waste?
-We ended with a video clip of Jim Elliot and his four friends - 5 drink offerings - "what a waste"
Main Session 4 - Jim Pace, "You Completely Suck and Why That is Fine"
-Jim is a pastor at VTech and he loves the shock value and isn't afraid to say "you suck" or "that sucks" about 500 times from up front - he got the point across
-The local church is a body full of imperfect, messed up people
-There is something in each of us that cries out to be more than we are
-Matt 16:18 - the gates of Hell will not overcome "it" - Christ through the local church - even though "we suck"
-Together we are more than we can be alone
-Reading of John 6 - feeding of 5000
-2 miracles recorded in all 4 gospel accounts - the resurrection and the feeding of the 5000, there is something that each man wanted to get across - "we are not enough, Christ is enough"
-We needed to know that what we think isn't enough isenough
-The Romans used to say that they - the powerful, wealthy, intelligent - were the "light of the world." In Matt 5, Jesus told his uneducated, marginalized followers that they were the light of the world.
-In Christ's enoughness, we do not suck
...final Ignite recap, maybe tomorrow