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On August, 2016

Browsing all posts on August, 2016

Guest Blog :: Courtney Hall Lee

I met Courtney when she reached out through the online platform called, "Meetup" before she and her family recently moved to North Carolina from Connecticut. Here's a snippet of her story and her hopes for the church that currently meets in our living room.


Courtney Hall Lee

I’ve always been a person of faith.  Sure, my faith has been more central to my life at certain moments rather than others.  Over the years I have deepened by knowledge of my faith both intellectually and spiritually. I have a rich prayer life. I have even taken a year of classes at a seminary.

What I have not always been, however, is a church goer.

I’m that person who is constantly “church shopping”.  When it comes to churches, at times I have felt like Goldilocks; some are too large, some are too small.  Some are too boisterous, some are too sullen.  Some are too formal, some aren’t formal enough.  It seems that I have never found the one that is “just right”.

My childhood also plays into my confusion regarding church.  Sometimes it was central to our life and we attended hours-long services dressed in our Sunday best.  At other times we were unchurched and didn’t attend for years.  Like myself, my mother has always been a woman of steadfast faith.  She instilled the importance of Christ in me.  However, we are also alike when it comes to attending church, never quite finding ourselves at home.

I recently learned that one good model for a church is to consider itself an “incarnational community”.  A group of believers who are aware of the presence of Christ in their company, and who let him lead and inspire their worship, study and service to others.  After all of my soul searching and church shopping and denomination researching, I realized that I simply craved relationships with other people who craved a relationship with Christ.  The rest doesn’t really matter much.  The apostles in the earliest churches did not have denominations or programming or sound systems to consider.  They longed to be with other believers to learn their faith, share a holy meal and care for each other.  They met in houses and knew each other by name.

Sounds a lot like Reactivate Church.

Reactivate is a small group of believers who are committed to starting something special.  I have come to know people by name and to hear the things they believe and the ways they need prayer.  I am able to greet and pray with a group of Christians who are all truly excited to build an incarnational community.  It is nothing fancy, but it is real, committed and loving.  Everyone is there for Christ, and for one another.

Those apostles in the earliest church put the wheels to something amazing in motion.  The Holy Spirit blazed down upon them and together they activated what we know as the church.  Now in 2016, let’s join each other in Re-activating church.  I’m excited to see what God has in store for us.  I hope that sometime soon you can join us.

Spectator Dreamers

For the last week and a half our television hasn't changed channels. Like so many of you, we have been mesmerized by the Olympic Games in Rio. 

There have undoubtedly been many moments of heartbreak as well as moments of intense joy and victory. We have witnessed tears streaming down the faces both of the victors and of those who with every ounce of energy and God-given talent came up short in their particular event. And even those who finish without ever stepping foot onto the podium and hearing their own national anthem, you have to respect the fact that they dared to try. They dared to dream.

My wife, Camille, can attest to the fact that nothing makes me leak out of the eyes quite like the Olympics. When we’re watching she will look over at me on the couch sniffling and choking back tears. The thing that inspires me the most is the determination and courage, oftentimes from very young athletes, to believe that a particular dream could become a reality.

MANUELL

The question I have been wrestling with is this: Has the church become a community of “spectator dreamers?” Have we let dreams die in our own lives and local congregations? Have we instead tried to live vicariously through the dreams of other people? Do we watch sports so that we can be victorious with our favorite team? Do we read romantic novels so that our mediocre relationships seem less humdrum? Do we raise our children and coerce them to chase the dreams that we let die during our own adolescence?

Henry David Thoreau said that so many of us live lives of “quiet desperation." And similarly, Benjamin Franklin once wrote that, “Many people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five.”

The only antidote I know for a mediocre life is faith.

So be inspired by those who dream, but don't fail to dream yourself. Look at where God is moving and pray about how you might join in God's dreams. Write down the things you hope to see realized. Tell a trusted friend. And today, put one foot in front of the other in following those dreams.

"Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see." - Hebrews 11:1

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