Amendment…Ouch.

After going back & reading over my last post, “A Bad Thing…?” and having several close friends (including my wife) point out that some things said may have been a bit harsh, out of line, or taken the wrong way I realized the need for action. My pride screamed out, but then I remembered that these people truly care about me, are kingdom minded, and have no hidden agenda…

My first response was to retaliate to their comments or emails defensively…which I did in some cases (sorry=). After some discussion with friends, and wrestling with the Holy Spirit I realized I needed to do something much different.

My second thought was to DELETE the blog post, which would be the easy thing to do. I then realized that I truly wanted my wrestle to be SEEN, or READ by anyone who reads my blog. I wanted it to be evident how easy it is for us (me in this case) to slip into challenging and questioning the motives of others, which can be very dangerous.

I wrote the last post rather quickly, and with little pre-post revisions. I did not run it by anyone first, and had a bit of a bad taste in my mouth based upon the experiences I mentioned in the post itself. (By no means an attempt to justify)

So, I wanted to “go on the record” with an amendment to my last entry. Again, I do not want to remove the post, but paint a full picture. May these two entries be a lesson learned the hard way, with hopes that others can avoid falling into such traps.

In the post I challenged the motives, and reasons behind why many pastors plant churches. What I unintentionally did was generalize, and group all pastors into that category. That is not fair. I made the attack that they only plant churches if it benefits them in some way, etc. I did not realize how harshly this came across, and want to retract that statement. I realize now that it was completely unnecessary at getting across the point I was making in the first place. Silly Aaron.

I am embarrased by the fact that I accidentally allowed myself to make a very general statement that lumped a lot of really great guys into a category that they did not belong. I felt terrible as I realized that our BIGGEST financial supporter could have been lumped into that category based upon my EXTREME, and unnecesary comment. (They would be the FARTHEST thing from my description in the last post)

My wife gently pointed out to me that by making such an accusation I was doing the very thing to these wrongly accused pastors that SOME others have done to us in the past. We, and many other like-minded individiuals have been lumped into the category of “rebellious”, “house-church”, “wound-lickers”, etc. Morgan challenged me with something that many of us in the “simple church” world are constantly wrestling with: “Be careful, lest you become what you hate”. In other words, I was upset that some pastors had delegitimized some of our student church planters, & grouped them in with some angry, upper-middle class, baby-boomer, “house church” people. It led me to retaliate by doing the same thing to them that I was upset at them for doing to me. Silly Aaron.

My whole point in the previous post was that young people who are passionate/apostolic need some good ol’ spiritual fathers to encourage, release, and affirm them. (I could have fit that into a 140 character twitter update!) But NO, I just had to bring out some unneeded, below-the-belt jabs; for these I apologize, especially if you accidentally got generalized.

I would, however, encourage every “church planter” or pastor of a church that plants churches to always check your motives. In our organization we try to check ours on a regular basis. About a year into things we realized that we had fallen back into a numbers trap by trying to start a bunch of churches “in our network” (Duh, so we could take credit for them, and show everyone how much God was using us…) Praise Christ that He revealed that evil in our…MY heart, and led us to make proper changes.

Sometimes the enemy sneaks in to pervert the most good-intentioned things, making them evil at the core, but pretty on the outside.

To sum it all up: OMIT the entire first four paragraphs of the previous post. =)

Thank you all for your grace.

Club Christ Youth Camp

Last week was an amazing experience for all of us. In my previous post I shared that we were going to be in northern California with the Jr./Sr. High School students who are in the Club Christ program. We were in the mountains at beautiful Jenness Park. The kids were certainly out of their element. We were at a Southern Baptist camp with about 500 other students. Every church present was a southern Baptist church consisting of primarily white, suburban kids from the west coast. In the midst of this environment the kids thrived, and everyone LOVED them.

Though they were not used to being outside of the city, they were able to experience the wonder of Christ’s creation. In Vegas the lights blind our eyes from the stars, but not in Jenness Park. The kids had a blast, and we all grew closely in our relationships with one another. The kids bonded at a new level; they connected with their creator, together. We worked through deeply rooted hurts, confessed sin, and learned about the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As leaders, we were able to share with them a Gospel that they were unfamiliar with. Several of them were set free, and discovered that their abilities were given to them by God, and for His glory.

From top left: Jeremie, Myzavion, Evan, Aaron, Ben, Morgan, Jayde, Raymond, Candace, Chanel, Jackie, Michael, John, Ajee.

Jayde

Me and Jackie

Michale: the newest edition to the Club Christ family!

Raymond

Though these kids were completely out of their element they learned how to connect with God in their own special way. They realized that there are many ways to worship God…Yes, they had a bit of trouble sitting through “worship services”, standing up at the “appropriate time”, and raising their hands at the “appropriate time”. They realized that there is much more to worshiping God than songs and body language. We had such a blast with them, and are pumped about starting up this next school year with them. We praise Christ for what He did in the lives of these ten students last week, and wait anxiously to see how the kingdom is grown as a result…