I’ve been on the senior team/staff of 3 church plants over the past 15 years, and it has been one of the most challenging things I can imagine. That all three churches have survived and thrived to this day is one of the stories I cherish most about my life. One important element they all had in common was a common “mother-ship,” Heartland Community Church in Olathe, KS. I have many good friends at Heartland, and feel as though I owe much of what I get to do in ministry to their support of this driven, creative, enthusiastic, and sometimes spastic 26 year old who showed up to try to help plant a church (and to try and become a rock star – see Satellite Soul).
Since then Dan Deeble & their staff have always been really kind to me & supported me even as I’m trying to think critically and write about all that I’ve learned from planting and leading churches over the past few decades. That HCC leaders stay in friendship with me and allow me the latitude to write those things down without worrying about endangering our friendship is a sure sign of the kingdom.
I was back there this weekend speaking, and it occurred to me that many Paperback Theology readers haven’t ever heard me speak. So here’s a video of the message from last Sunday. It’s based on Nehemiah 8, when Ezra comes to read the law to the people & the story of God turns their weeping into feasting, rejoicing, and even caring for the poor (sending portions if you read it). The Joy of the story of God’s coming for us becomes the strength of their lives.
Anyway, I hope you’ll take a little bit of time and watch this. I had a blast preparing and sharing this message with my Heartland family. Just a quick warning – to those of you who haven’t seen me in awhile, I shaved my head & grew a gotee… fair warning.