Leadership

Baptism at Motion

At Motion, there are a few things that we go over the top to celebrate.

  • Christmas is the origin of our understanding that “God is with is”, as embodied in the expression Immanuel. We definitely celebrate Christmas.
  • Easter and the resurrection of Jesus incite celebration because it is the source of our hope.
  • Another of the tenants of the Christian faith that we love to celebrate is Baptism.

Just to clarify, we don’t believe that baptism is an act of salvation. We simply believe that it is something that Jesus did and emphasized for us to do. That makes it important to us.

However, this is not an obligatory religious ceremony. It is the celebration of an individual that has been changed, literally shifting from spiritual death to abundant life (or as it says in Colossians 1:13 “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…”).

It is the outward expression of an inward condition. It is a way for you to “go public” with the life that you have found in Christ.

We strongly encourage everybody who hasn’t been baptized yet to join us in this celebration. We would love to be a part of your story, and we believe that a sequence in your plot should be baptism! Sign up today!

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.

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!!

Fighting Tendencies

The phrase or excuse, “That’s just the way I am” gets thrown around way too often, especially in light of the Gospel.

We all have tendencies that are contradictory to the truths found in God’s word. To forfeit effort to be pleasing to God in a particular area because it’s not something that comes naturally to you is really inexcusable.

To take it a step further, it’s actually pretty selfish.

Think about it on these terms: Personally, as I have aged my natural tendency is to be more introverted. My wife clowns on me because I don’t like to go to certain restaurants that I feel like I have to really work to create relational energy. It would be easier for me to be a loner. BUT that’s not what is best for the people around me.

Your tendency is probably not much different. It’s something you have to fight or else it would take over. Maybe it’s difficulties with punctuality, or depression or sarcasm. Whatever it is, if it’s not life-giving then it’s the opposite.

I heard a quote one time that really encapsulates this notion. A pastor told a staff I was on, “Always do what is best for the church.”

I think we could hold ourselves to that standard on a personal level and even take it as far as “doing what is best for those around us”. Is my tendency affecting those around me in a dissenting way? Is my timeliness (or lack thereof) encouraging tardiness to others? Is my lethargic attitude rubbing off on the ethos of my organization? Are there hints of cynicism in my conversation that create negative shockwaves?

We can’t be crippled by the tendencies that have carried over from our lives prior to being a follower of Christ.

It doesn’t really matter who you were. It matters who you are. And the way that I’ve got it scored you’re a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:17- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Fully Convinced

Fully Convinced. I use this term often.

However, something that I have noticed about my faith is that it is somewhat liquid. I’ll explain.

My thoughts about God and His nature and characteristics and what that demands of me are constantly being shaped, formed and reformed. What I thought about God 8 years ago was more rigid than I think He is today. Then I trusted more in my ability. Now I understand grace as unmerited favor. Then I acted as if I could make God love me more by an almost masochistic faith. Now I am learning the art of rest. You get the idea.

So what I was fully convinced of then is not what I am fully convinced of now? Maybe. I’m “fully convinced” there are aspects of our faith that will grow and stretch and change as long as we are alive.

However, I also think there are some constants that can provide some stability to our frenetic lives. Examples:

  • God is love. That never changes.
  • Jesus as Savior. That work has been finished, it can’t be tampered with.
  • Sin kills. Always has, always will.

This is where it gets practical. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it, thus being fully convinced. I find out what I am fully convinced of when I am backed into a corner. I find out what I am fully convinced of when one of the truths that I value is attacked.

Paul said in Romans, “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”

Whatever it is that you believe, believe it because you believe it. Not because somebody else believes it. Not because it was the most attractive option. Believe it because it has you fully convinced that its origin is one of validity.

This is so pertinent for followers of Christ because the passion with which we convey the greatest message of all time rises and falls on our belief in it. That’ s no small thing. Passionless delivery diminishes the effectiveness and value to the listener. Don’t try to sell me something that you’re not smoking!

The take away: Let’s get about the business of owning our faith. Let’s study, pray and trust the leading of the Holy Spirit to “Lead us into all truth”. BE FULLY CONVINCED!