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The Aftermath of a Decision

June 16, 2008

So a week has gone by since the big announcement that ECC will be merging with to become a multi-site church. This means that we will be one church that meets in two locations. We are not amalgamating the congregations, we are actually going to be meeting in two different locations, but we will share vision, values, process, and teaching via HD video broadcast. Last week was a great moment for our church, but it has not come without its share of conflict.

After the announcement Pastor Brian Hunter and I went to Tampa Fl for the Church of God Campmeeting. During this time I was bombarded with questions and comments, some very much against what we are doing, and some with great positive feedback. Where was the dividing line you ask? What made some get it and some not? I am not real sure. It had nothing to do with age because some of the “younger guys,” think it will not work. They can’t get past the fact I won’t preach each week. At the same time some of my more “aged, wisdom filled” friends tell me it is an amazing idea that will reach more unsaved people than ever before. Age had nothing to do with it. Traditional vs. Contemporary? Not the dividing line. The main thing I believe that made some get it and others not is a characteristic that can be easily identified by the eye. I believe that the people that understand the essence of Jesus’ teaching as opposed to just the words he used are the ones that get it. The fact that I am willing to do whatever it takes to reach ALL people that are currently in not in a relationship with Him, is because I have allowed Jesus to break me from all preconceived ideas of how the Great Commission is to be fulfilled. I am broken daily.


So then came yesterday, and it seems that some of the people at ECC are not going to go on this journey with us. These people are wonderful, loyal, God loving people. They are to be commended for their faithfulness to this church and path they forged that has allowed us to make this venture happen. It is apparent that they are not against the idea of video venue or of, they are against growth in a way they are unfamiliar with. It’s normal. It does not make them rebellious or bad Christians. I believe that they have a heart for this church, and want to see it prosper as long as it does not interfere with how they think it should look. I love them and will miss them.


So what have I learned this week?

  1. Reckless obedience to Christ is not easily comprehended by those who are not used to seeing it lived out.
  2. Reckless obedience to Christ will cost you something, but most of the time it is something you can live without.
  3. Reckless obedience to Christ will bring personal attacks.
  4. Reckless obedience to Christ will cause you to make decisions that many people will not like, or understand, and it may cost you some relationships.


But, even with all that…

                        …reckless obedience to Christ is the only way I want to live my life.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    June 16, 2008 5:17 pm

    You did a great job. Very well put!

  2. June 16, 2008 6:47 pm

    It does bother me tremendously that not everyone can understand where we are headed. I want to conceive some brilliant way to get the point across to everyone and have them all on board, excited, and longing to help us in this venture. But as much as we hate to see people leave… As much as we hate for people that we truly love to feel that they’ve been disregarded entirely… We can’t miss God’s plan for us in an effort to salvage them. I honor you for making the tough decisions. I support and defend you and the vision that God has given you for this church… as well as the plan that he’s revealed to get us there. It doesn’t look like this will be made easy for us… but we’ll get through it for now… and prosper on the other side.

  3. June 17, 2008 4:36 pm

    I am praying for you. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Is anything ever easy anymore? I have learned through the years that all that really matters is my relationship with God and with my family. Know in your heart that those relationships are flourishing and you will be all right. Churches change. People change. God doesn’t. Be encouraged my brother.

  4. Stephanie permalink
    June 17, 2008 5:35 pm

    We are very excited for you guys and we cant wait to hear about all the great things God is doing in Tall. Im always excited to see pastors that care more about what God wants than what people think. Its all about seeing the lost saved and having a relationship with Him. I cant wait to hear about all the people that God brings in to help with the ministry! You, your family, and the church are in our prayers.
    love the rivera family

  5. Stephanie permalink
    June 17, 2008 8:24 pm

    I love how recklessly obedient you are. It is sad to see these people go but, as you have reminded us time again, keep looking toward those unchurched, hurting people that God is preparing us for. It’s in those times of trial that our relationship with God is, not only put to the test, but strengthened if we choose. You have chosen to grow, and that’s the type of pastor that I want. My love and prayers are with you.

  6. June 17, 2008 11:23 pm

    Hey Ben,
    I have had some experience in coaching several leading multi-site churches through church mergers.
    Let me know if I can serve you.
    Here to help,
    Jim Tomberlin

  7. Ruth permalink
    June 18, 2008 3:18 pm


  8. Mike permalink
    June 18, 2008 4:13 pm

    We cannot adopt the way of living that was satisfactory a hundred years ago. The world in which we live has changed, and we must change with it.

    Felix Adler

    I wish I could be there. Love You Man

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