A Welcome Challenge

Erik Cooper —  April 27, 2009 — Leave a comment

Nathan and I just got back to the hotel after the opening night of the ARC All Access Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.  It was a great evening of worship, challenge, and reconnecting with new friends and church planters from all over the country.

I love the spirit of ARC pastors. My heart is naturally drawn to them.  There’s a sense of reckless abandon in the ARC, of freedom to follow God-given passions without boundaries or barriers.  That’s so refreshing in a culture where most churches are more concerned with looking backward than into the future.  I really feel at home here surrounded by like-minded people.

But back home I’ve also found myself interacting with pastors and spiritual leaders who question the validity of my innate expression and vision for church.  There are days when my mind swirls with the all the different voices and opinions, and in earlier days it would have overwhelmed me.  Today, I’m honestly learning to welcome it.

One of two things always happens when I open myself to challenge:  my mind is exposed to something I just wasn’t thinking before, or I deepen my beliefs and solidify my “why.”  Either way I win.

I think a lot of good-hearted, God-fearing people run from challenge.  They only hang out with people who think like them, talk like them, act like them, and encourage their preconceived notions.  But if our perspectives can’t survive exposure to opposing viewpoints, how authentic are they in the first place?

In the midst of all the voices, ask yourself one vital question:  “what is God really saying?”

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