Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

Weekend Reflection

As I reflect on this past weekend, I have some mixed feelings that I need to get onto paper (okay…virtual paper):

  • Gene Appel spoke at our church on Sunday, and his message was incredible. I have heard him speak before while attending small groups conferences at Willow Creek in Illinois, so I knew he would be good. But honestly, I was unprepared for what Gene brought to the table. He spoke about how we should/would want to be remembered after we’re gone. I was challenged by his direction to go after faith, hope, and love (see I Corinthians 13) as the goals for my life. In the hope of leaving a legacy that will long outlive me, I want to strive after faith, hope, and love in my relationships with my God, my family, and those around me.
  • I was blown away once again by the servant volunteers that call our church home. Between making three services happen and making a church picnic happen immediately following the third serve, I was re-impressed by the dedication of some of CCV’s finest.
  • I was disappointed. Why? Well, it seemed like attendance at the service that I went to as well as the picnic were low. I wonder if this is because people knew that our main pastor (Brian Jones) wasn’t speaking. Or if it was because people were away on vacation. Or if people didn’t want to bear the unbelievable 98°F weather. As I think more and more about it, I wonder if there is something different that we should be doing. After all, any regulars who missed this Sunday’s service missed one of the best services in CCV history. And while I haven’t listened to the message on CD yet, there is no way that the CD can do justice to what actually transpired during the service on Sunday morning. I’m not about pushing people towards Christ out of pure emotion; however, every once in a while we all need to experience the mountain top experiences that can happen on a retreat, on a service project, or even in a Sunday morning worship service.
  • I feel somewhat like a hypocrite for stating the above disappointment, because my family will be elsewhere the next two Sundays. Are we setting a bad example?
  • I resonate with the words I read today on Bob Lewis’ blog about needing to take people to a point where they can handle the meat and not just the milk. How does this all work? Our church does such an awesome job getting people in the doors and reaching out to the community. Our goal is to make people fully devoted followers of Christ, but I feel like we’re still figuring out how that looks. How do we turn people from casual attenders to people who are on fire for Christ?
  • I know this starts with people like me. Not only do we need to be setting a good example, but we need to be passionate about the lives we live in Christ. After all…”therefore if you are in Christ, you are a new creation. The old is gone. The new is here.” Do we really live like this? We need to be passionate about seeing people’s lives changed permanently and profoundly for Christ. “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection…”
  • People matter to God. People also matter to people. When people fail to show up for community, they are missing out. They are also leaving the rest of the community hanging out to dry. I don’t want to leave people hanging out to dry. I want to be a part of a community that does life together in a way that dramatically changes the world.
  • It seems like rambling, but it feels good to express it. Does any of this make sense?

Just some of my thoughts…

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June 10, 2008 - Posted by | thoughts

1 Comment »

  1. Apparently, I’m not the only one who wrestled over this past Sunday…

    See http://www.brianjones.com/2008/06/open-letter-to-those-who-attend-ccv.html

    and

    http://davidswatersedge.blogspot.com/2008/06/when-cats-away.html

    Comment by Jon Stolpe | June 12, 2008 | Reply


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