This past Sunday was our farewell service at the church we had been serving at as NextGen pastors for the previous 2.5 years. For weeks leading up to our departure, we had been dealing with the barrage of emotions that comes with a transition such as this – excitement about the future & sadness about leaving those you love! As I reflected on our ministry journey, I was reminded of the 4 mile posts we’ve passed on the wild ride that is following Christ!
#1 You Travel to Incredible Places
- Simon-Peter was a smelly fisherman who spent most of his time doing the same thing over & over on the same little lake! But after he said yes to following Jesus, we see Peter traveling the countryside to incredible places! History tells us that before Peter died, he travelled the entire known world as far north as Britain sharing the Good News!
- I grew up as a country boy in a tiny town tucked under the Cascade mountains in the Northwest. Most of my peers have never left that area, but following Christ has taken me on a wild ride to minister in incredible places like Nashville, Sacramento & soon in – Alaska!!
#2 You Meet Amazing People
- Once an un-educated fisherman on the bottom of the socio-economic totem pole, we see Peter meeting amazing people as he follows Jesus like Cornelius – a very powerful & influential leader in the Roman military, & leading he & his entire family to Christ!
- We’ve met some of the worlds most amazing people & friends as we’ve followed Christ! Artists like Andrea Thomas, who tours with Carrie Underwood & is shining the light of Jesus in the main-stream music scene! Mentors like Dean Degaura who is a pastor at Jesus Culture & part of bringing a world-wide awakening! Entrepreneurs like Ben Pospisil who is using his business Zouster.com to fund Kingdom causes! Leaders like Andrew Mason who is equipping & resourcing the church to grow in community through Smallgroupchurches.com
#3 You Face Crazy Challenges
- Peter faced some crazy challenges as he followed Christ like: walking on water, being locked up in dungeons & getting back up on his feet to follow Jesus after he had denied him 3 times!
- Banning Liebscher says “It takes a massive amount of courage to follow Jesus because He is constantly calling you to go off of the map!” We have found this to be so true as we have faced many crazy challenges like leaving family, financial stability & safety to follow Christ into the unknown!
#4 You Discover Rich Rewards
- How rewarding do you think it was for Peter to preach the gospel & see three thousands people saved in one setting (Acts 2) or be used by Jesus to heal a crippled man who had never walked in his entire life (Acts 3)?!
- In following Christ we have discovered the richest of rewards! Rewards like one of our former students now serving Christ as a missionary in Seoul, Korea! Rewards like seeing lost teenagers encounter the love of Jesus & get set free from life controlling addictions! Rewards like seeing our students & leaders grow in Christ & use their gifts & talents to serve him!
Q How does going on a great adventure change your perspective of what it means to follow Christ?