Yes, it has been a number of days since I wrote a blog. I felt the overwhelming need to just be quiet for a while. Why, you ask? It all started toward the end of my 1st week at the grill.
One of the things you have heard me teach from the stage at New Community is that when we are believers...our Identity is in Christ...not what we do, not our career, not what we produce. That we truly live and thrive, when our Identity is in Christ...when we are secure in that ID and when we live in it. This is something that i have learned and understood through the process of planting New Community and through discipleship counseling with Healing Grace Ministries.
By Thursday or Friday of week one at the Grill, the Holy Spirit asked me a question...no i didn't hear an audible voice...just a deep pressing deep within. The question went something like this, "Chris, is your Identity in me, Jesus; or do you find your identity in leading New Community?" POW, right there in the middle my shift, this question rocked my world.
Why would this question come to me then, and why not while i was sitting drinking some coffee while reading the bible or something?
Just before this hit me, I found myself yearning for something. I found myself anxious about something. It was on the heels of these thoughts and feelings when the Holy Spirit pressed in on me.
Jeff, the owner/operator of the Collegiate Grill, has been gracious enough to just introduce me to his regular customers as his friend...not his pastor...just his friend. However, by the end of the first week, the thing that was overwhelming my thoughts and emotions, what consumed all of me was the desire to tell people WHO I WAS. I didn't want to tell them i was a regular guy that was married to Dawn and we had 4 kids with one on the way...NO...what was shouting inside of me...what i wanted to tell everyone was that I was a PASTOR, that i led the second largest church in Jackson County, that i had entire staff...that i was somebody important and someone of worth and that i was only here for a month...then i would be back to what "I DO".
It was right on the heels of this...when God in His graciousness checked me in my spirit. I realized after several days of processing this emotion, that this idea of my identity being in Christ was head knowledge that I knew well...but not HEART knowledge. This truth that the Scriptures reveal about our Identity in Christ had made it to my head...it just hadn't settled in to my heart.
Praise God that this came in this moment. Thank God that He loves me enough to Shepherd me as a loving Father. Glory to God that He is allowing me to see this now, not 10 years from now.
This is why I have been quiet. This is why i haven't written anything. I have needed this truth to take root into the deepest part of me.
I love each of you dearly. I am so thankful that New Community is in a position that I could take this time away. I am convinced that our best days are ahead, and that over the next few years we are all going to look back and stand in AWE of what God has done through the ministry of New Community Church.
My name is Chris. I am a follower of Jesus. I love Dawn and we have four amazing children and one on the way (April 16 cant get here fast enough). I help lead the coolest church in the world...what a sweet life God has granted me.
Grace and Peace my friends.