Author: Motion Pastor

Shelley's husband. My kids Paw. Lead Pastor of Motion Church.

A Recent Interview

I recently did an interview for a paper with one of the Motion guys, Ryne Powell to be exact, that is a student at Letourneau. He killed it! Here it is:

“As the young boy sat cross-legged only inches from the television screen, his eyes widened to the size of saucers while he watched Spiderman fight crime. Spiderman was his role model; he was strong, he took down bad guys, and he could race through a town swinging from building to building! This young boy wanted to be just like Spiderman because of all his tremendous traits and abilities—Spiderman had it all! However, role models do not always have to be super heroes like Spiderman. They can be anyone: a teacher, a best friend, or someone you just met. A true role model possesses noticeable qualities that others would like to haveRole models tend to inspire those around them to be better people.
          As we get older and our values change, who we view as our role models can also change. The desire to fight crime and soar through the air on spider webs fades once we become wiser and begin to grasp the greater meaning of life. The young boy obsessed with Spiderman was me. Spiderman was my role model. As I have become older and have found value in living a Christian life and serving others, I have been blessed to have a new role model to look up to—a man who possesses qualities and traits that I too wish to possess—a man by the name Chris Reid.
          Though it might sound cliché, I want to be like Chris when I get older. Chris is the type of guy you look at and say, “He’s got it going on!” As the father of two children, a husband, and a proud servant of God, Chris works hard every day to serve those around him—watching Chris go out of his way to serve others is more than inspiring.  Sometimes, people get the idea that Christians do not have very much fun; I believe one of the reasons God placed Chris on the earth is to prove these people wrong. Chris also carries about him a sense of welcoming. Although I have only really known him for a couple months now, I know that I can talk to Chris about any issue that I am struggling with; he is an extraordinary friend. Whether he is with a group of guys eating lunch in the park or, up on the alter preaching on Sunday mornings, Chris makes sure that everyone around him is having a good time.
          Though Chris cherishes his family and friends greatly, his passion is obvious—the Church. Chris is one of the most prominent Christian men I have ever met in my entire life. As a preacher at Motion Church in Longview, Texas, Chris has dedicated his life to bringing light into the eyes of non-believers. Chris struggled with the idea of starting Motion Church, but with the support from his family and his extreme obedience to follow his Lord, Jesus Christ, Chris has successfully led many people to the Lord through his commitment to be a preacher.
Chris once told me that he would like to be remembered as, “the guy who finished what he started.” Chris encouraged me to consider the same goal by sharing with me a very inspiring quote: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Any time I feel as if I cannot finish something I have started because of an obstacle in my path, I just remember this motivating statement. Seeing a man, Chris, love God more than he loves himself has been very inspirational in my life.”
That’s humbling.

Things you need to know about Easter

Here is a semi-comprehensive list of all the things that are going on at Motion for Easter.

1) The Bunny Run 5k and Bunny Dash is Saturday (April 7th) morning at 8am. Registration opens at 7am and the kids Bunny Dash will start approximately 9:30am. It’s gonna be sweet! Over 1,000 candy filled eggs and sweaty runners. What a combo!?

2) Later that same day (April 7th) at 3pm we are dropping eggs from a FREAKIN’ helicopter!!! Operation Egg Drop is gonna be nuts!! It’s in the field behind Motion. If you take the road that goes beside the old Sitel building it will take you right to the field. 4,000 candy filled eggs!!!

3) And last but certainly not least is the Motion experience on Sunday morning at 11am. We’re putting a lot of energy into making this is over the top celebration. If you think about it, there really isn’t a greater time for the church to celebrate. Had the resurrection of Christ not taken place we would have no hope whatsoever. BUT that’s not the way it went down! Bring your kids, bring your wife!! Invest and invite! It is going to be AMAZING!

I love you guys and can’t wait for Easter!!

March Madness!!

I love March Madness! Picking my bracket laced with upsets, challenging my friends in our own ESPN group and talking smack are all part of the action. Life is as it should be.

Then Norfolk State shows up. For the the 97% of us that got our brackets blown out of sorts by some obscure team, you feel my pain! For the uninitiated I’ll break this down a little bit. The Men’s NCAA basketball tournament is comprised of 64 (or 68 if you want to get technical) teams that play a sudden death style tournament setup based on their seed or rank. 15 seeds aren’t supposed to beat 2 seeds! But that is just what Norfolk State did and nobody saw it coming.

I think life has some Norfolk States in it. Sometimes things happen that we don’t see coming that mess up our “bracket” or plan. We just have to maintain the right perspective.

When we keep our eyes on where we are going instead of the troubles that we are dealing with now, it helps. If we really took the time to analyze our issues with respect to the big picture most of them would be about as trivial as a random bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament. They just aren’t that important.

Also, keeping in mind that we have the Master Bracketologist laying out the plans is a strong cause for comfort. He puts Joe Lunardi to shame! To take that just one step further, the Final Four has already been laid out. We know who wins! And that is something to get excited about! So let the March Madness remind you that even when things don’t go exactly as you planned: “It’s all gonna work out. It always does!”

I’ll share a picture of my bracket so you get a better feel of the pain associated with Norfolk State… The carnage they inflicted on my bracket can be seen on the bottom left of the pic. Image

It’s An Honor

It’s been on my mind frequently lately what a privilege it is to lead Motion and the people that make it what it is.

I have the distinct honor of leading some of the coolest, most creative, Jesus-loving people on the planet. This may sound more like a spill you hear after someone wins an Oscar, but you’ll just have to bare with me.

It’s an honor to have a supportive wife. I never would have made the first step without her full endorsement. And of course she does so much more than just cheer me on. She is one of the most talented (and EXTREMELY attractive) people in the world. The hard work and leadership that she provides for the band and the worship at Motion is second to none.

The lead team that head up all of the different departments are leaders of leaders. They put in countless hours of planning, processing, reviewing and praying for Motion to be all that God intended it to be. They put up with my shortcomings and my sometimes hair-brained ideas. Their strengths make us optimally poised for the future. We don’t compete with each other, we complete each other.

The volunteers are much the same. Go-getters with an eye for excellence. They create ways to multiply the voice of the house. They have bought in heart and soul into what Motion is all about. They go out of their way to invest and invite. They help us create an atmosphere of hospitality that we hope to become famous for one day!

I know I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: I don’t deserve any of the incredible things I have. God’s grace is stunning. The stories are still being written about the lives that have been changed and impacted by Motion Church. It’s an honor to be part of that.

Community

A word that stands out to me in the all of the language that Christians and pastors throw around is the word community. That could partially be because I like the way it rolls off the tongue, but there is certainly a connection with the deeper potential and power of the the word.

One thing that I notice more and more as I get older (maybe it’s always been there I just didn’t notice it as much) is how deficient most people are when it comes to true community. Don’t get me wrong, we have people that we go out to eat with, and guys to watch football with and the ladies have shopping comrades but that doesn’t satisfy the purpose of community. What are your football buddies going to do for you when you are going through a crappy season of your life? Quote statistics or the Cowboys record? That would be more depressing!

We need people that will walk through the fire with us. We need people that will call us on our crap, because you know we’ve got it. We need people to mourn with us when we mourn and rejoice with us when we rejoice. We need people that we can confess our failures to and have them pray for us so that we can be restored. And then we need to turn it around and be the same for them.

Jesus was the greatest example of this. Even the Son of God chose to immerse Himself in community. We weren’t created to do life alone. Isn’t it fascinating that even in the darkest moments of Jesus’ life when His spirit was grieved to the point of desperation that He took 3 guys with Him?

I don’t know exactly what this is going to look like for you, but I do know that it is a necessity to live whole and complete like God intended us to. Put yourself out there. Find a community. Be a community. Cut through the shallow and mundane and get into some real relationships that focus on the real and the raw.

A Legacy and a Proud Face

We have a running joke about the uncontrollable facial reaction of someone who is caught in the emotion of a proud moment. We simply call it their “Proud Face”.

I have to be honest and admit that I had my proud face on for an extended period of time this past Sunday.

Here’s why: My Grandpa, who is the epitome of the patriarchal leader of a family, made a surprise visit to Motion. To me he is the greatest guy on the face of the planet. No one has more character, courage or tenacity than he does. I’m convinced that to this day, although he is coming upon his 80th birthday, he would work circles around just about every person I know. He’s always instilled in his family to “do the right things”, and led by example. He still galavants across the country in his RV with the adventurous zeal of a teenager.

Of course, there is the obvious generation gap. Our music is loud, our clothes are different, I have a tattoo (which I noticed he kept glancing at). But what made my proud face even more uncontrollable was that, in spite of the differences, he loved what we were doing. In fact, he seemed to have his proud face on too.

I tell my wife all the time that when I am older I want to look, act and be just like my Grandpa. I guess those aspirations were validated by the support of my “legend”. I suppose the take away is found somewhere in the concept of being supportive, leading by example, and having integrity. But to be honest I’m not very concerned with that right this minute. I’m just hoping not too many people are seeing my proud face as I type this in Starbucks.

Quick Hit: Don’t Follow Your Heart

One phrase that dominates talk shows and self help books is “follow your heart”.

As followers of Jesus we need to think about that before we act. Jeremiah 17:9 says, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Well that changes things a little bit, unless of course you want to go down a deceitful, wicked path. I’m assuming that’s not our goal.

I think we would be better served to start with this well-known verse as a foundation. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”

The way this breaks down for us is really simple. It’s not our heart that we need to trust. If we are honest with ourselves we would be willing to admit that our heart’s tendency is to stray. Like the old song… “though my heart is prone to wander”. What we need to trust, actually Who in this case, is the Lord that has our heart. Trust Him, not your heart. Believe that He will lead you the way that you should go.

We’ll wrap this up with a great quote that has been resonating in my melon lately:

“God takes full responsibility of the life that is fully devoted to Him.” 

Quick Hit: “Doing the Right Thing”

I have a new approach to blogging that I want to incorporate once in a while. “Quick Hits” are going to be short, concise thoughts that will hopefully get you thinking, but not take up too much of your time.

Today’s Quick Hit is about “Doing The Right Thing”. 

Sometimes when you do the right things, people will try and take advantage of you. The best thing I could think to tell you about this is don’t fret. If you are doing what you feel led by God to do, then trust that He will work it out. I’m quite sure no one understands this as well as He does. Let’s recap: He came to Earth to serve and save, but instead was despised and rejected. What was His closing statement? “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Didn’t say it was easy, but it is “The Right Thing.”  And that is a Quick Hit!

Go Big or Go Home!

“Go big or go home!”

This is usually a phrase associated with sports, but I think there is an underlying principle that can transcend into other aspects of our lives.

I become more and more bothered by people with little or no ambition, especially within the context of Christianity. This could be a personality thing, but I am becoming convinced the dissatisfaction is more spiritual in nature. If we believe what we say we believe, then the Creator of every single thing that is lives inside of us. Here’s a refresher course:

John 1:3- All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Romans 11:36- For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.

Colossians 1:27- God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

And if the Creator of everything that exists lives inside of us, then it would seem to me that there should be greatness and ambition in there too. I believe that we are all created with a very specific calling and gift set. The talents that we have are no accident. Our passion should be to leverage all that God has given us to maximize our influence for His kingdom. This is done most efficaciously by being who He made us and doing all that He has put in our hearts. After all, He is the one that “gives us the desires of our heart.”

A couple of closing thoughts on this: 1) Do work that matters. 2)  Do it well. It makes it so much easier to have the drive and passion about your vocation if you can find the purpose and value in it. Then, as I unwittingly tell my children, you can kick butt and take names!

50 “Hellos!” vs. 1 “How Are You?”

When I was in student ministry I learned something about myself. Wednesday nights were crazy, fun, and insanely energetic. I felt a little bit like a rock star to be honest with you. We talked a lot about building relationships with teenagers, and ,in my opinion, did a pretty good job of it. However, looking back I think it could have gone even deeper relationally. What I learned about myself is that it is easier for me to say “Hello!” to 50 people than “How are you doing?” to one person.

It’s kind of like the difference between good and great. Telling people “Hi!” is good. You acknowledge them, show them that you realize they are there, and in most cases really are glad to see them. But to take that to a meaningful conversation by asking, “How are you doing?” begins to journey toward great. I understand that you can get a shallow response to this question, and it’s not the phrase itself that has the power. The point is, instead of running around just acknowledging everybody you take the time to get into one person’s business (in a good way). The relational leverage lies in your proving to them that you really do care. After all, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

This isn’t limited to student ministry. There are people that we run across everyday at work, at lunch, at the gym, at school, etc. that need to know that someone really cares. Our calling is to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves”. Seems like a logical conclusion then to say reach out to your neighbors and ask them, “How are you doing? LET’S DO THIS!!