collecting stories

I am collecting stories of people living sent. Please submit yours in the comment section below by leaving a reply. I am finishing up the book for final draft, and I want to include stories from other contexts besides our own. So, if you don’t mind me mentioning you and your story, please share it. 

I can’t wait to hear it!

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3 responses to “collecting stories

  1. Jason, I want to first thank you for the inspirational message of living sent. Like you, I have struggled in the past with what it means to be a Christian and what it means to truely Live with Christ. Years ago I committed my life to full-time ministry and even worked in vocational “ministy” for some years. It was to my disappointment that ministry in the local church seemed nothing more than serving the personal desires of those who felt that they owned you. Though I tried to love these church members unconditionally, the toll was disasterious on my famliy. Ultimately I emptied myself serving ungrateful people and I struggled to find room in my life to love my family. Sadly I did this in the name of the Lord, and I really believed that I was living the life of ministry in the local church. Things at church were great, but my home life was a wreck. Ultimately I resorted back to doing things that I had previously professed to never do again (drinking alcohol). I needed something to fill that gap in my life, and with the stress of ministry and a failing family life, drinking became my escape. I was not proud of it at all, but found myself desiring to drink more and more. Eventually I backed myself into a corner and thank God someone felt the need to mention this drinking problem. Now looking back, drinking wasn’t the problem, it was a symptom of a bigger problem. The true problem was that church had become more important than my family. Serving the congregation was my idol, and my wife and kids took a back seat, along with my personal spiritual development. I walked away from church ministry in an effort to restore my relationship with my wife (which has worked wonders) and now I am struggling to find the answer to Gods calling on my life. I love church and I love the church that I’m a member of, but part of me can’t help but think that we are really nothing more than, as you said, a filling station. It seems that most congregations, which I have either served or have been a member of, are only there for the comers. They have great facilities and programs, but only for those who come and join. The pastor stresses being present for everything, and sadly enough has the nerve to question ones spirituality because they don’t want to be at church 3-5 times a week. Life for a family of six is very hectic and church is a priority, but the demands on a family to constantly be present for “church” is beginning to take its toll. I feel that “Live Sent” is the biblical approach to Christianity. The issue with me is that churches in my area of the world, have no concept of this idea. They view ministry as providing a service for those who come, but there’s a waiting list, members first, then (if there’s time) we’ll get to “the others.” A classic example of this mentality is: A few monthes ago I was asked by a ministry partner of mine to come and be his guest speaker at a Disciple Now Weekend. I went and we had a great Friday service, however, I couldn’t help but feel that there was something amiss about this church. The next morning as I was driving to the church, running late as always, and as I was pulling into the church parking lot I noticed that right next to the church parking lot there were approximately 50-75 Latinos playing soccer.I thought to myself it would be great if they would come to the service, but it was a passing thought and besides I had to get inside because I was about to speak to this youth group about being bold and confident in their witnessing. All during the worship set the Holy Spirit was slamming me about the soccer players who were literally 50 yards away and I kept fighting the desire to ask them to join us. Finally as I was getting up about to begin my sermon, which I had been preparing for weeks, I couldn’t do it! I couldn’t speak! I broke down and repented to the congregation that I had been disobedient, and that before I could begin I HAD to go outside and ask them to join us. I got some very strange looks, and even a negative comment about “them Mexicans” but I still invited the congregation to come with me, which they did. My worship leader was smiling at me, unplugging his guitar and we walked out with a group of students over to the soccer field and I called everyone over to our location. My intention was to invite them to join us, but the Holy Spirit took control and instead of going inside, we had church outside in the soccer field. The result was 25-30 Latino’s giving their lives to Jesus Christ on that field (half of them). The sad part of this story is this, they (the Latinos) asked me why the church has never come out before? They have been playing soccer in that field every Saturday and Sunday for two years and no one has ever invited them to come or has come over and talked to them. Even worse, the property belongs to the church and they had asked permission from the church to use it. They were told that it was fine to play, but try not to interrupt any church functions. If I ever serve in church ministry again it will not be force feeding a bunch of selfish church goers who’s only desire is to see how much life they can squeeze out of their pastor or to hold their religious meetings in the security of their fancy buildings. It will be a congregation that leaves the comfort of the pews and does church, not observes it. Good luck Jason and i’ll be looking foward to reading other stories about those who Live Sent.

  2. We had grand plans when we decided to build a house a few years ago. We wanted a beautiful yard with a fence along with the house. Budgets invaded, and we ended up moving into a new house in the middle of a mud pit in November. Spring came, and along with it, a yard full of weeds. Clint has cerebral palsy and is unable to use his right arm the way he would like. I was very pregnant, and we were trying to use a weed eater to get some of the yard looking decent. While we were struggling, our Sunday School teacher came by to visit. We hadn’t known Charlie Little for very long, and we looked forward to getting to know him. We invited him to come inside with us, but he declined and said he needed to take care of something. We decided to go inside and cool off. A few minutes later, there was a man on a lawnmower cutting our yard. We thought it was our builder, who had promised to come level the yard so that we could plant grass. When we looked closer, it was Charlie! He never said a word about coming back to cut our yard. He not only cut the yard, but brought his own weed-eater and made our yard look presentable. He would not take money or even a cool glass of tea for his hard work. This is typical of Charlie. He is very humble, loving, and giving. He lives Jesus to everyone he sees.
    When I had our daughter, the anesthesiologist punctured my spinal fluid trying to get the epidural just right. I ended up with a spinal headache, which feels like your brain is scraping against concrete whenever you move the least little bit. The only way to not hurt is to lie flat on your back. This headache lasts at least a week. I didn’t know how I was going to care for a newborn, much less feed my family. Charlie came to the rescue again. He contacted all of our Sunday School class members, and they delivered dinner to us each night for over a week. Charlie called each night to make sure we were fed.
    Charlie causes us to want to be more like Jesus. He is so calm and loving, with tender eyes that just tell you that he truly cares about you. He doesn’t want thanks for what he does. He is doing what he feels Jesus would want him to do, and that is satisfaction enough for him.

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