I used to beat my brother up

Today was one of the coolest moments I’ve ever been a part of at a Church. Because today, I had the privilege of speaking at my brother’s Elder Installation at Genesis an Acts 29 Church Plant in Boston. For a guy who is used to speaking in front of large crowds and generally pretty good at keeping my composure…today with a heart bursting with love for my brother and for the Church I couldn’t keep it together…I lost it. Below are some thoughts from the charge that I gave to my brother, and to the Genesis Community. Granted this was a very personal day for me, so this may be a longer post than normal.

25 years ago this spring I responded to the love and grace that had been offered to me through the Cross. And I’m not sure if you remember the moment, but God used you as the tipping point in my life that night. Growing up in a small, traditional, Southern Baptist Church Plant with an alter call every week that included singing 10 verses of “Just as I am” for 2 years I was determined that “this Sunday” was going to be the Sunday that I “walked that aisle” and surrendered my life to Christ. But…”this Sunday” would always turn into “next Sunday,” until that night. Our Church was holding a “revival service,” which meant that we had a guy with an acoustic guitar come in, I know radical huh? Once again during the alter call I was in tears, convicted of my sin, but frozen and unable to move. Then I looked up and saw you, at the altar, on your knees, surrendering to Christ. In that moment God used you and your obedience to follow Christ to push me over the line of faith.

As my brother you’ve always had great influence in my life. Today I’m excited for you and for the Genesis Community that God has seen fit for you to exercise that influence here. My prayer for you as you lead out in this community called Genesis, is that in you’re obedience to follow Christ, He would use you to nudge people towards looking more like Jesus, faithfulness in their marriages, obedience to God’s Word, and conformity in their heart, mind, and actions to what God says is true about them. That as a good under-shepherd to Christ you would be used to prepare His Bride for that Day. This is a holy moment, a moment when the People of God are recognizing that He has set you apart for this service. So live a life that is worth of this calling (Colossians 1:9-14).

Over the years I’ve seen your love and heart for the Church grow. And that is how I know that you’ve continued in your pursuit of and growth in Christ. Because it’s impossible to walk with Christ and not love what He loves. And He is drop dead crazy about His Church. And through it all, it’s worth it. It’s worth not only teaching the Body and giving them the right information, but spending your life on the part of the Church (1 Thessalonians 2:8). As you share your life, and not only the Gospel with the Church remember that there is one Head of the Church, Christ Himself. Our Savior, and He is doing quite well.

Genesis, as one who serves the Church as an Elder, I would challenge you to follow well. These three men Michael, Paul, and Jeremy carry a unique burden to care for, guard, shepherd & lead you to pursue God’s vision and dream for you as a community and as individuals. They will suffer times of discouragement and doubt. The Evil One will try to destroy their families. There will be moments they will be tempted to lose heart. So follow well. Be of one mind, be unified, take courage as you take ground for the Kingdom in this city. For the Gospel that is made manifest through His Church is truly the hope of the world. Make their role a joy by encouraging them, honoring them, walking in obedience to the Gospel, standing with them, laboring in prayer for them, and holding up their arms as the battle for Boston is waged. In so doing you will breathe life into these men and you will see much fruit (Colossians 3:12-17).

Posted in Family, Leadership

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