Category Archives: Jesus

Church Planting 101

Don’t I wish! We’ve had our first service and things went well. We learned some things, but that’s the whole point of having a soft launch, but overall things went really well. You could tell I had been listening to a lot of Mark Driscoll, because my first sermon had a little heft to it. You can head to the iTunes Music store and get the podcast at EphesusChurch.tv if you want to give it a listen. This week I’m starting a 3 parter on “Why Jesus?” Not sure how I’ll get Jesus into 3 weeks, but I had to do something foundational with the 3 weeks leading into Easter. I’m sure the topic will be visited again. At some point here I’m going to start laying out a few lessons learned on this journey of church planting. Hopefully some practical tidbits. There are some great books on the subject so I’m not trying to overshadow those, just some thoughts on our own experience. Something else I’ve really felt strongly this week too is the need to begin work already on planting more churches out of Ephesus. We’ve got one week under our belt what better time to start thinking about planting?

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Rational Thought

Today I was reading John chapter 6. Currently, I’m digging through the book of John one chapter at a time just discovering the nuances of John’s descriptions of the life of Jesus. John really digs into the divinity of Jesus, and in this reveals challenging stories and words from Jesus. It’s quite interesting to see many walk AWAY from Jesus, even those that are called “disciples” by John. There is no shortage of miracles, and explanations of those miracles being used not as ends to themselves, but as indicators of Jesus’ divinity, which is really important to the end of the story….Even in the midst of watching these miracles performed Jesus’ words turned people away. Beginning in v. 51 Jesus begins to talk about how we must eat of his flesh and drink of his blood. For folks like me who grew up within the Christian tradition, I think we can have a tendency to gloss over these passages, but if we take them at face value, they’re crazy! Eat flesh & drink blood! That’s crazy at best, something much more sinister at worst. At least if taken out of context, and devoid of the rest of the story. The story that ends at the cross and resurrection. In v. 66, John says many of his disciples walked away. Not just the rabble looking for a free handout of bread and fish, his disciples. Granted, these weren’t the 12, but the fact that they’re called disciples means these were, up to that point, true followers that walked away. Where I think the breakdown happened was their attempt to wholly line up rational thinking with what Jesus was saying. Understandably, rational thought helps us survive everyday. When I make the rational decision to wait at a red light so I don’t get mowed down by a dump truck no one argues. But when following a person like Jesus, rationality breaks down. Immediately before this event in John 6, Jesus walked out on the Sea of Galilee and hopped in the boat with these same disciples, and then, they immediately arrived on the other side at their destination. Rational? Right before that, Jesus fed 5000 people with a couple of pieces of bread and some fish that had been hauled up the mountain in some boys satchel, that I have a feeling did not include one of those nice ice packs to keep everything fresh….Rational thought is out the window at that point, what the disciple did have was the reality that was truly staring them right in the face. A man telling them that unless they ate his flesh and drank his blood they would always hunger. Many walked away, but Peter in all of his great humanly wisdom says this, ” Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Those are the most rational words I know…