Last week I was in Nashville for a special event for me: Kairos at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood (Nashville), undoubtedly one of my favorite places to speak — and more than that, one of the fine ministries to 20/30somethings in the USA. I’m a huge fan of Mike Glenn, and this time I got to meet a number of the ministry team and staff.
Mike Glenn has empowered young adults into ministry, and wrote about it in his book In Real Time, and he has also written up the grace-shaped gospel so prevalent at Brentwood Baptist in his book The Gospel of Yes. In my years of speaking and chatting with pastors, Mike is the one person I most need a note pad around… he’s a quote a minute. I wrote down and told him they’d show up in a book without attribution! (Just kidding.)
At the Kairos evening event I presented the challenge of the entrance sayings of Jesus (Matthew 5:20; 7:21; 18:3, 8-9; 19:17, 23; 23:13). In these sayings we hear Jesus saying he wants the “more” that is to make kingdom people. Instead of softening them or overwhelming them with a theology that ends up diminishing their potent summons, we are to hear Jesus saying to us — Come to me, give yourself to me, follow me. There’s a relentlessness to these sayings.
The next morning and lunch were with the staff — some discussions about ministry, chapel service and then a luncheon in which we looked at how kingdom and church relate to one another in the vision of the New Testament, all in an effort to show the priceless importance of the local church in kingdom work today. The questions were good and the time gave me the opportunity to clarify some of the things I’ve been working on of late.
Again, I’m grateful for the honor of being invited to speak to this wonderful ministry that is expanding in all directions and in multiple ways … and it was good to meet or see folks, and I’ll risk forgetting some names, including Roger Severino (an old TEDS student), Aaron Bryant (Kairos), Michael Boggs (excellent worship leader), and Derek Webster — who transported me around and who speaks German and has all kinds of ideas about ministry in Europe and the postmodern context. And special thanks to Diane Mayfield, who runs the office up there with a firm twinkle in her eye!