I’ve always enjoyed Philip Yancey. His book Soul Survivor: How my Faith Survived the Church was unbelievably helpful to me almost 6 years ago when I was in a very dark place in my relationship with God.
His most recent book What Good is God?: In Search of a Faith that Matters was off the charts. I have always resonated with his writing style, his stories and the questions he asks about faith and God. This book set out to answer the question, “What good is God? What does religious faith offer peasants undergoing persecution, or students recovering from a campus massacre, or women who have spent years of virtual slavery in the sex trade? If I can find an answer, or even a clue, to the question of what good is God in situations like these, it will help me with the hard questions of faith that confound all of us at times.”
The book is broken up into 10 parts, with 2 chapters each. Each part is based on a situation or a place he traveled, everything from going to Virginia Tech the week of the campus massacre, going to South Africa, interacting with women rescued from the sex trade. He tells the story, the background, the time of his trip. The other chapter is the talk he gave at a conference, church service or at a dinner.
Often what people are asking when they ask the question this book is based on is, “Why doesn’t God intervene more in life? Why does God allow things to happen that we would stop?” One of the things Yancey shared is that God is everywhere, one of our roles as followers of Jesus is to make him visible in that place. God does intervene in our world, he often chooses to do it through his followers.
This turned out to be a great read, one that goes great with our next series at Revolution Church Hope When Life Hurts the Most. If you are looking for a great book to read that will challenge your thoughts on faith and how God works, this is a book worth picking up.
One of the dangers of preaching is repetition. Repetition in one sense can be good because people need to hear things several times before they understand it or get it, and a church should have a nice flow of guests coming in that need to hear specific things about Jesus and faith.
Repetition can also be dangerous because communicators can get into the habit of saying the same thing over and over, always finding a way to make a passage about their soapbox, or just repeating sermons. I knew of one church planter that repeated his sermons, really repeated them, every 18 months.
One of my jobs at Revolution is setting the preaching calendar, what topics we will study, what books we will preach through, etc. I submit those ideas to the elders to make sure that we are in agreement on what our church needs to hear, get feedback on topics from them, etc.
Here is what makes me excited about the next 18 months at Revolution, we will study a wide variety of topics. Such as: Jesus, the trinity, mission, evangelism, community, marriage, dating, being single, heaven, hell, the afterlife, the wrath of God, predestination, free will, election, suffering, does God cause suffering, hospitality, prayer, money, generosity.
We will touch on books like Malachi, Daniel, Jonah, Ephesians, Proverbs. We will preach through Titus, Jude, and Romans.
Pastors, one of your jobs is to make sure your church is getting a balanced diet of Scripture. Do you have a plan for that? Do you know what topics you will cover over the next 12-18 months? What books you will preach through? How will you make sure you don’t just preach from the New Testament or the gospels?
Maybe you’ve had a moment in your life, a series of moments when it seemed like your world caved in. God seemed distant and not in control of life. It might be a financial issue, health, family situation, divorce. What do you do in those moments? How do you have faith when faith seems impossible? How do you trust in a God who says He is in control, but life seems like that isn’t true? How do you add Scripture up to real life in those moments?
This will happen to you at some point.
As we continue our series The Story of God this week, we are looking at the book of Job.
It promises to be a powerful night.
So, do whatever you have to do to be at Revolution this week (and bring someone with you, you never know how a simple invite can make an eternal difference). An easy way to invite someone is to send them an e-vite.
Remember, we meet at 4:15 & 6pm at 6620 E 22nd St.
See you Saturday.
- Last night at Revolution was one of the most spiritually intense nights I’ve had in terms of preaching in a long time
- I was reminded last night how preaching is spiritual warfare
- We are going through the Old Testament this summer and last night we did the book of Exodus
- I preached on how to find freedom from sin, addiction, pain, abuse, the hurt we carry around
- It was the longest sermon I’ve preached in a long time and afterward saw a number of people on their knees confessing sin, getting prayed for
- It was incredibly powerful
- I love sharing my journey and what the gospel has done to bring me freedom
- For more on that journey, check out this sermon
- If you missed last night, you can listen to it here
- Last night was also crazy because we had our highest attendance ever
- It is crazy to think that 3 years ago there were less than 20 of us with a dream and a lot of prayer and hard work, and now we are a church of almost 300
- It’s humbling to see how God continues to work and how he uses us
- Found out this week that we have more kids signed up for day camp than we had last year
- If you haven’t signed up yet, go here
- This is a great opportunity for us to serve our community and to invite families to be a part of Revolution
- We have almost raised all the money we need for our adoption
- Less than $5,000 to raise
- Go here to find out how you can help and donate
- We are having our next baptism on July 2nd
- That night, we are going to do 1 service at 4:15 with a picnic and baptism afterward
- It is going to be an awesome night, definitely want to invite someone that night as we will be preaching through the book of Hosea and looking at how God relentless pursues us with his grace
- So excited for that night
- If you want to get baptized, email Chuck Tommervik
- Got to have coffee this past week with a guy that became a Christian recently at Revolution
- I love the questions and energy that new Christians have, they’re just huge sponges
- Just got this book to review on my blog and so far, it is awesome
- It is definitely tracking with what we as leaders have been learning over the last year and where Revolution is headed
- Can’t wait for September to get here for us to unveil the next chapters in the life of Revolution and how God is going to use as a movement of churches around the city
- Time to sign off
- Tonight is homemade pizza and family movie night
- If you brought someone with you last night to Revolution, invite them back next week
- A personal invite goes a long way
- And if you thought last night was powerful, next week is going to be awesome
- We’re looking at the life of Joshua and how to have freedom from fear, one of the most paralyzing things in many lives
- You don’t want to miss it!
- I used to do this on Saturday, but now that we have 2 services I find that I am wiped by the time I get home and have very little brain power left
- So, this will usually be done on Sunday’s
- Let me start off by saying, I love 2 services
- The spirit, power, energy and momentum in both services is awesome
- It has been pretty split as far as attendance goes in each service
- Last night was crazy, we had so many first time guests, over 20
- I stood there asking, “Where do all these people come from?”
- Last night was our 2nd highest attendance ever
- It was a tough message last night, preaching on the point of pain and suffering is a hard message to give
- The situations that make us ask that question are real, heart breaking, raw
- I believe Scripture has a ton to say on how we understand those moments and the nature of God if we are willing to listen, often we aren’t
- The things people asked for prayer that they are dealing with are enough to make anyone beg for Jesus to come back and right all the wrongs of the world once and for all
- Maybe that is one of the points, pain and suffering makes us long for Jesus to return
- If you missed last night, I’d encourage you to listen here
- I got to speak at Intervarsity on Thursday night
- Love speaking to college students
- They really believe that what happened in the book of Acts could actually happen again
- While some adults have questions about God changing a city or a campus, students don’t see why it can’t happen
- What was even cooler was seeing a bunch of them at church last night
- Love when the weekend goes as it has
- Friday night, Katie and I went out to celebrate our 9 year anniversary
- It is crazy to think we have together almost a full decade
- We are blessed to be one of those couples that has done the hard work and is happier today and more in love today than when they got married
- On our anniversary, I shared some of the things we’ve learned about marriage over the years, you can read them here if you are curious
- Recently, I’ve been doing a bunch of reading and researching on leadership development, community, discipleship and mission
- There is a lot going on behind the scenes of our church preparing for the future and how we take everything to the next level
- I will be sharing some of these things over the coming months, all I can say is: I and the leaders at Revolution are more excited about what God is doing in and through our church and what he will do in the future than ever before
- It is awesome
- Katie and I are heading up to the crossing tonight for their 2nd to last service
- Really excited for them to join us and be a part of what God is doing in our city and church
- Last night we announced what Easter weekend will look like at Revolution
- Good Friday, we are showing the film from Mars Hill called Who Killed God?
- This is a powerful look at the crucifixion
- On April 23rd, we are kicking off a brand new series called The Story of God
- That night, I’ll be talking about how God made us in his image, what that means, how that shapes our identity and how we look at each other and our world
- We will also be having a baptism that night
- If you are interested in taking that step, simply email Chuck Tommervik
- An easy way to stay up to date on what is happening at Revolution is on our Facebook page, if you haven’t “liked” it, go here and do so
- Next week, I will wrap up our series on James and look at if prayer works, how does it work, how do we handle moments that God says no
- You don’t want to miss it