Summary: Instead of New Year resolutions, consider making a New Years "Revolution". I offer Two to consider: 1: I will quit giving my money to the church. 2: I will make my feet more beautiful
All Jazzed Up
Well, it’s that time of the year again when all good men and women prepare to fool themselves into believing they can truly keep a New years Resolution for more than a week this year.
Now we could go the conservative route and make a resolution to eat more and exercise less, which I’m sure most of could probably handle if we had to. But besides a few more inches and a few more pounds…..would it make much of a difference in my life?
What if we took it to the other extreme this year though? What if we really got a little creative and a slight bit radical in our resolutions this year? What if we quit calling them resolutions and called the revolutions. Just imagine….
So I offer up these two `revolutions’ to consider this year
1: I will quit giving my money to the church.
2: I will make my feet more beautiful.
Now I’m sure Mike Nance, who handles our finances, is gasping for breath right now. Likewise my wife is probably all for making my feet more beautiful.
But indulge me a little here this morning. I want to first take you all on a little journey. To a not so distant time in history. To a place of beginnings….To a place I like to call…The Jazz Zone.
For several of us that were here in the beginning of Wellspring, the very mention of the Jazz zone, more commonly referred to then as "all jazzed up" brings smiles to our faces.. All Jazzed Up….I’m not sure who coined the phrase first, though he must have been a very wise man, probably around 40 years old at the time, dark complexion , exceeding good looks, probably drives a green truck……
It was a state of mind that we had as God took us to a place that none of us had been before. We tried using words such as cool, radical, even tried groovy for a while, but none measured up to `Jazzed’.
Being jazzed up brought each of us closer to God, as well as closer to each other. I think there was 15 of us that were brought together from all sorts of different backgrounds, and we rallied behind the leadership and vision of our Senior Pastor here at Wellspring, Joel. Most of us came from traditional backgrounds, primarily Baptist or Methodist. Traditional in the sense that we were either one of the few that worked their tails off because no one else would, or were like myself that just sat in the pews each week and did nothing but hide when the offering plate came by.
But Joel, asked us to imagine.
Imagine a church where Jesus Christ is at the center
Rather than the self centered member who would let you know if you were in his seat
Imagine a church where ministry is shared,
Rather than one Pastor who was expected to be at every funeral, birth, marriage, fund raiser, and still only gets credit for working only one hour a week on Sundays.
Imagine a church where community is real,
Rather than a church where community meant a covered dish
Imagine a church where God’s "Good News" makes sense,
Rather than the same dry regurgitation that made no connection to anything I could understand.
Imagine a church where lost people find a savior.
Rather than expecting the previous church where they attended to handle that part of it.
I was hooked. We all were. This is what we were all looking for. However we had one small problem that I think is summed up quite well in this quote I found.
A vision without a plan is just a dream. A plan without a vision is just drudgery. But a vision with a plan can change the world.
God soon provided us a plan though, and the jazz zone was open for business.
Then it came. I remember the day quite well. The reality of finances. What God was telling us to do was going to cost roughly $100,000 to start. A 15 member church faithfully contributing their tithes wasn’t going to get this done. Something greater needed to happen.
I remember Flip Wilson doing a skit on his show many years ago about a Preacher at the “What’s Happening Now Church.” Flip did a Skit where he told about this preacher. He’d shout out:
"IF THIS CHURCH IS GOING TO SERVE GOD IT’S GOT TO GET DOWN ON ITS KNEES AND CRAWL!!!"
And the audience yelled back "Make it crawl preacher, make it crawl!
"AND ONCE THIS CHURCH HAS LEARNED TO CRAWL, IT’S GOT TO GET UP ON ITS FEET AND WALK!!!"
"Make it walk preacher, make it walk" the audience moaned.
AND ONCE THIS CHURCH HAS LEARNED TO WALK ITS GOT BEGIN TO LEARN TO RUN!!!"