Jun. 25, 2017

What's it going to be?

I’m excited for my church. We are now debt free. In today’s church world, that is amazing. It is amazing when you consider where this church has been. Starting in “old” Pasadena on what was then Tatar Street (Pronounced “tar-ter,” which we never knew why we pronounced it that way since there is only one “R” in Tatar.) relocating to the intersection at Red Bluff and Fairmont.

The church did not relocate and build without controversy. The pastor and staff withstood offensive scrutiny for the decision to build buildings large enough to hold our constantly-growing church family. The church has been accused of being cold, greedy, selfish, and “the whore of Babylon.” These names came from individuals who seldom sat in any of our pews.

When people ask me how I can “possibly attend a church that large and that rich,” I am tempted to respond with, Do you think we are going to turn people away or turn down their offerings?” Instead, I simply encourage them to find the church that helps them accomplish their personal mission for Christ; regardless of size.

So, here we are, we’ve weathered the storm and persecution by the power of the Holy Spirit. The most exciting part is our pastoral staff exercised tremendous faith and great vision in making the move. The controversial decision provided prime property for a Spanish-speaking congregation in the campus left behind. Our pastoral staff is moving us into what comes next.

All the naysayers really have no idea of what we accomplish in the streets of old and new Pasadena. None of them stopped to ask about the mission trips we organized and accomplished. They didn’t understand the homeless shelters, food pantries, and recovery centers that we supported by money and by ministry. They just enjoyed calling us, “the whore of Babylon.”

I’m excited to hear the many ways we are going to increase prayer support, financial support, and hands-on ministry support across our world because of being one of the few mega churches in our area that is debt free. I am excited that we are a church that follows a staff with God’s vision; even when it isn’t popular and not everyone gets big-picture thinking.

Attending a mission-minded church forces me to reflect on my own mission-mindedness. Today during our worship service, I swear I heard an audible voice ask, “So, are you going to be a sit and spin Christian, meaning one who sits in church Sunday after Sunday expecting everyone to come to a building where only paid church staff reach them? OR are you going to be God’s messenger, God’s megaphone, and God’s missionary?

I think you already know the answer to the questions. I kind of have a reputation for being a loud and vocal follower of Christ.