Are you IN the way?

galaxyAnna and I went to a new church today.   We’d visited there once before when we first moved to Bend, but hadn’t returned since.   No reason really, just at that time we knew it wasn’t where we needed to be.  It was a great service and as expected, the teaching was really good.   Antioch Church in Bend.

Pastor Ken shared a story about taking a group of 11-12 year old troubled youth from LA to the mountains for a retreat back when he was in college.    Late one night, he “snuck out” with the kids and they all took their bed rolls out to a hillside and watched the twinkling of the stars well into the night.  For every single kid, it was the first time that they had been able to see the stars.   They were astonished.  The light pollution in LA had been so severe and none of them had ever been above it so they’d never seens stars.  Can you imagine that?   They had no idea the glory of looking into a clear night sky and seeing million of God’s most wonderful creations twinkling down at them.

He was driving towards how religion can many times be the same as light pollution.  It can be a distraction and get between people and God making it actually harder for them to see and find Him, or what He is bringing.  Religion should rather encourage, get behind people, come alongside and encourage, empower and assist them toward God.

I immediately wondered if I do that as a coach.  I believe that coaching, discipling, mentoring takes an enormous amount of humility and submitting to the Holy Spirit as well as a sound foundation of biblical truth.   But it’s still very easy to find ourselves swayed by the current thought or philosophy of the day.  Not all of it is bad of course and there’s nothing wrong with bringing good wisdom and teaching into the life of leaders BUT I (we) need to guard against getting between people and God and rather, stay behind or alongside of them encouraging, cheering them on and assisting them to be and do – who and what  GOD desires.

What do you think?


2 Responses to “Are you IN the way?”

  1. 1 Walt March 2, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Great thoughts! I think man’s tendency is to create “pollution that hides the stars,” at least it seems so easy to do. We should all aim to bring people closer to God w/o getting in the way while doing so.

  2. 2 Andrew Burnett November 9, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Hey Jason,
    Great stuff. It was funny.. I got glasses a couple of years ago (now 35)… as things like road-signs, people’s faces & football jersey numbers were getting harder to read, until close. The most amazing thing after I got glasses, was to look up at the stars. The gradual detoriation of looking at the sky, meant I simply didn’t realise… and when I looked up at the stars, with clear vision.. I was just gob-smacked .. at the beauty of the stars. (I was) just like a kid again.

    You make a valid point. I am convinced, that me… and the church.. can unfortunately, tend to get in the way .. of people seeing the real living God. To meet the creator.. I have even asked God to move me out the way, if I am stopping Him from being revealed. I notice that Jesus saved his stunning attacks for the Pharisees.. the religious of the day. My personal opinion, that this was because they impeded people from coming to God. And Jesus tore that down. As I processed this, I asked the question, who is the modern day pharisees? Increasingly, I felt it was ‘me’ … and many of us in ‘the church.’ I increasingly now look.. to extend God’s grace & peace .. instead of ‘the law’, judgement.. and seperating people from myself & God. The challenge .. to be a magnifying glass, of the majestic creator 😉

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