My Genesis Moment
I met with a church planter yesterday for lunch and he asked me, “How did all this start? Where did The Point begin?” He was basically asking me what that Genesis moment was – that starting point! So here it is.
In August of 2005 I decided to attend Bill Hybels’ Leadership Summit via satellite. Honestly, I went reluctantly, thinking, “I can’t believe I am going to watch a video for the next several days – boring!” Remember my confession – I am ADDHD (Attention Deficit Disorder in High Def). God had other plans for my heart. Bill spoke one of the most life-changing leadership messages that I have ever heard. He challenged us to discover the thing in our life that “wrecks” us. The thing that causes us to say with Popeye, “I had all I can stand. I can’t stands no more.” There was a problem – I could not think of something that just “wrecked” my heart. I searched and searched. I thought and thought! I prayed and prayed. Nothing!
A few weeks later I was sitting in a church service. The music was stirring. The message was motivating. Everything seemed ok until, the altar call. Then it happened! The service became an exercise only for the believer. Some started praying extremely loud. Others started speaking in “tongues.” Still others started to pace all over the auditorium. If that wasn’t enough, people starting being “slain in the Spirit.” My hands became clammy. My heart sank!
I had feelings I did not have for more than 15 years. It was the same feelings that kept me from inviting my friends to church as a teenager. I was embarrassed. Not because of my faith, but simply because our guests had no idea what was happening around them. My eyes caught the eyes of several visitors and I froze. You could see the questions racing through their minds. Some started poking fun as to what was going on. Others sat down in disbelief. But we were “having church” (Can you sense the sarcasm?).
I sat in the front row and began to cry. Tears began to stream down my cheeks as I watched 20 or more first time guests walk out of church unchanged! It was as if we failed in our mission of communicating God’s love to those who did not know him. I began to get upset that we missed an opportunity. Tears still flowing!
Why did I have these feelings now? What caused the tears to flow down my cheek? I have sat in hundreds and hundreds of similar services. Then it hit me! I finally discovered what really “wrecks” me. Rediscovered my spiritual itch. It had been lost for some time, but finally it was back.
It was that Sunday in 2005 that I made the decision to never become a professional pastor who was paid to preach. I didn’t know where this fresh commitment would take me.
That was the Genesis moment that propelled me to plant a church!