Dear New Life Family,
I hope you had a good Easter! It was fun being with everyone on Friday and Sunday, but other than that we had a quiet weekend at our house. In fact, the week or two leading up to Easter was quiet for me. I didn’t have some of the typical meetings and gatherings since we take a break between semesters. I spent a day away at a spiritual retreat, spent a day troubleshooting our internet at church (thank you Russ Center!) and spent extra time preparing for Good Friday and Easter messages. So it was a quiet few weeks and it felt like I wasn’t very productive.
But that’s OK. I was reflecting on Easter and was looking at this from the perspective of the disciples. In some ways their time was spent waiting—waiting to see what would happen to Jesus (there were rumors of his arrest), then waiting to see if they would be arrested (after Judas betrayed Jesus) and then waiting after he died. They really weren’t doing a whole lot. God was the one doing all the work. The disciples were on the sidelines.
As I think about my own life and our life as a church, sometimes I feel we get this backwards. Often time we feel like we are the ones doing all the work and that God is on the sidelines. We may feel like he’s not present, doesn’t care, or we don’t give him a chance to work. But looking back we see that is because we are too busy for God, trying to be productive ourselves.
Beginning on Easter Sunday and for 50 days leading up to Pentecost the Houston Church Planters Network is providing daily blogs by various leaders in our city. The purpose is to lay a ground work of prayer and cultivate in each of us a heart for God. I was struck by a few lines in yesterday’s devotional: “The secret to moving people is not to wrangle with them about God, but to first converse alone with God about them… To move Houston, our nation, a family, or a soul, we first and foremost must move God in prayer. In turn, God moves the heart of people.”
I don’t know about you, but for me, I want my heart to beat after God. So often I feel so weak and so un-productive. I feel like the disciples, just waiting. But when I realize that God has already done all the heavy lifting—at Easter and continuing today through his Holy Spirit—I feel great peace. I am content to seek God, do my part and trust that God is at work doing great things.
I invite you to join me in seeking God. Join with me in asking God to do a new thing in your life and our life as a church. In May I will be preaching a short message series leading up to Pentecost called “Ignite.” We will be looking at different ways God uses to ignite the faith of his people. We will also be taking a Reveal Survey to help us see where we are as a church so we can be more effective to help people grow spiritually. More on this in the coming weeks.