Are you ready to challenge the norms and take a deep dive into the transformative power of a disruptive church community? This episode is a bold, honest exploration of our journey at Madison Church, as we set our sights on a mission to connect people with God and each other in truly meaningful ways. It's not always easy - we've had to make tough decisions, let go of things we love, and even end projects. But through it all, we've stood firm in our mission, examining the costs and rewards of being a disruptive force for good in our community.
Picture, for a moment, the traditional understanding of faith. Now, imagine setting that aside, and instead emphasizing the role of community and mission over physical church buildings. We discuss this in depth, through the lens of Jesus' resurrection and the Gospel's mission. We look at John 20, breaking away from the conventional to stress on every believer as a missionary, and being sent as the very essence of the church. Can you see it? A vision of an ecclesia, an assembly of people gathered for a purpose, rooted in the teachings of Jesus.
But what does this mean for you? How can you become a part of this mission? We believe in stepping up and serving the community, using our gifts, talents, and passions for the collective good. We acknowledge the dedication and hard work of those already serving, and encourage more people to join this mission. We also discuss the path of salvation and reconciliation as a collective effort, requiring unity and understanding. The journey might be tough, the road filled with hardships, but the rewards are immense - a life of fullness and thriving. So, tune in, get inspired, and take action!
to our online audience. Welcome. I'm Steven Lead, pastor, madison Church and, as I mentioned to the room already last week, we celebrated nine years. We had a fun party afterwards you guys like that. We got faces painted. We had a few people got their. Not enough adults got their faces painted. I was a little disappointed with our kid to adult ratio there. We had some balloons, we played a lot of games, we had a baptism which was just so meaningful, I thought and we had our highest attended gathering since Easter Sunday of 2019. So, for some people and I was one of them if you ever wondered, are we going to get through the pandemic and are we ever going to get a glimpse of what used to be last week, was it? It was pretty great and we are. We are on the up and up and it is a very exciting time, and so I'm glad to just welcome you all here as we continue to envision and speak to what we hope and dream will happen over the next year. What I mentioned last week and I want to just mention it again, I just copy and pasted it from last week's talk there's no way to like say this without sounding arrogant, but I really do mean it with a tremendous amount of humility. What I find most remarkable about you all and our church community is how we've always focused I mean just so focused on our mission at Madison Church to connect people with God and each other. It's not just me emphasizing that, it's you all, it's the ministry teams, it's everything that we do. Everybody has their heart tuned in to this mission of connecting people with God and each other. We have these conversations that if it doesn't connect people with God and each other, we're just not going to do it. And we are so hardlined about that. We're so hardline we kill things. We've started ministries and we've killed them the minute they stopped serving the purpose of connecting people with God and each other. And it's also what makes us open to trying new things. If we think that there's a better way to connect people with God and each other, we're going to do that, even if it means walking away from something we really like now. Now, this has okay. It's fun to talk about conviction, right? Yeah, convicted, yeah, faithful. It's fun to talk about that every now and then. In reality, though, week to week, it comes at a cost. It's challenging to stay convicted. It's hard to not sell out. So instead of building a huge crowd, instead of building a huge audience, we've really valued the quality of our community and building relationships, which means we haven't grown anywhere near as fast as we probably could have. We know all the little secret techniques that all the other churches that grow fast do. We really do. Those aren't that terrible, those aren't secrets, I should say, and so. But we said you know what we want to value relationships and community building. And that means we have to do things a little bit different here. We've prioritized being healthy. We want to be a healthy church and we want to help people who come to our church find healing. That also means we can't do some things the way that other people do them, because we want to be a healthy. Does that mean nobody gets hurt here? That's not true. You're going to get hurt anytime. People are involved. People are going to get hurt, but you can be hurt and healthy and healthy and hurt. Okay, I should just stop there. That was great. We're just we're going to make it all to the Packers game. And finally, we have aspired to be a disruptive church community in Madison. We want to be disruptive, and the term disruptive might sound negative, but in the context of our faith, it is about bringing significant and sometimes sudden changes to the established way of doing things. These changes ultimately lead, I believe, to a fundamental transformation of the status quo. Somebody has to go first, and I believe that God has called us to go first. I don't think that God thought Madison needed their 201st church, and by that you might say, well, that seems oddly specific. It's because the first time I ever Googled churches in Madison, the thing that came up was here's one of 200 that we found listed on Google. So there's probably more than 200 people who aren't on Google. But I thought, does Madison really need us? And I felt like God was calling us to go forward, to be the church of tomorrow, of the future. That was really a big conviction to me. As a matter of fact, I don't know if it was Dan that I told, but at some point over the pandemic, I told some of you that I felt like maybe you know what's weird, maybe we planted 10 years too soon. I thought we were like we started in 2014 and we had all of these ideas and I was like we're going to just hit the ground running in Madison and people are really going to like this. And a few years into it I was like maybe we were too early, maybe we were too tomorrow. Tomorrow we're more like next week church, we're not like tomorrow church. And so we came in to be a disruptive church. That was the big thing. So when I say we want to be a disruptive church community, I think I got it up here on the screen which says Madison church community. We will be unafraid. We'll be unafraid to challenge norms, to break routines and embrace change to fulfill that mission of connecting people with God and each other, whatever it takes to connect people with God and each other. And I've wanted to unpack this for quite some time. And so we're doing a four part series that I've creatively so creatively titled disruptive church. I know where does he come up with this stuff? The artistic brain of Stephen. Some of you grew up in a church or you grew up around a church, especially if you grew up in a more liturgical setting, say, like Catholic background. You might struggle. It dawned on me this week. You might struggle with what we're talking about, what we talked about last week, what we're talking about this week, what we're going to talk about the next two weeks, because what you were told and kind of sold and it's packaged is that this is sacred. And to disagree with the way that we do church or the way that we think about church isn't to actually disagree with us, but it's to disagree with Jesus. Maybe some of you, I know not all of you and so then Steven comes on the scene in Madison Church and you're here, and then you hear us talking about Jesus, talking about Ecclesia and what that meant in Greek, and then how we kind of got off track ever since then. It might be like, well, wait a second. What's true? I just want to assure you we're following Jesus to the best of our ability and this isn't like opening it up and being like, okay, now we're gonna use this verse and this verse and then we're gonna build something out of those two verses. We're reading the explicit red letters of the Bible and we're not really breaking them down. If you watched or listened last week, we didn't do a tremendous amount of breaking down. I said this is what Ecclesia meant boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And here was the vision of that. Alan Hirsch might provide a little bit more comfort than I am right now. Alan Hirsch is an author, he's a church leader. I mean, this guy's a pioneering leader. If Madison Church is the Church of Tomorrow, alan Hirsch is the Church of the Next Century. Okay, I love everything that he writes and he just had a new book come out called Metanoia, which is the Greek word for repenting, changing of your mind. We've talked about that recently. But he writes this book and he says the anxious and we can feel it the anxious attempt to preserve the status quo often comes from a fear. It comes from a fear that if we don't stick to the well-worn paths, the faith will be lost. Now we know that fear doesn't come from God right, so that's in the New Testament. Fear doesn't come from God. So if we have a fear about having to preserve something that's not from God, we should check that right away, instead of carrying the gospel boldly into every context and every question. Instead of carrying the gospel, we fight battles to perpetuate the current state of affairs, and it is a sad state of affairs. We work hard to make sure the next generation knows to stick to the established paths of the generation before. Right, this is what being a destructive church is. We challenge that statement right there. But Alan Hirsch says this is akin to burying God's truth in the sand. Burying God's truth in the sand in a feeble attempt to safeguard our cultural norms for the next generation. Alan Hirsch is saying you know what we're doing? We're putting the gospel in the sand and we're prioritizing our preferences, our models, our methods over everything else. And if we wanna uncover and unearth and dig out the gospel again, it's gonna require us to throw away these other things. And that's okay and it's comfortable and we can absolutely do that. Last week, as I mentioned, we talked about the word ecclesia and ecclesia if you didn't get them, listen to the message yet it's a Greek word that is talking about an assembly, a group of people who have gathered together for a purpose. This was not a religious word. This would have been like an ecclesia is the farmer's market downtown in Madison. That is an ecclesia. If we were all Greek speakers here, an ecclesia would be going to the fair. The county fair would be in ecclesia. We're a bunch of people gathered together for the purpose of riding rides, of looking at cows or goats or whatever they do at county fairs. Okay, it's been a while, but then Jesus comes on the scene and he tells Peter I will build my ecclesia on you, I will build my assembly, I will build my community on you, on a group of people. And so the first thing we needed to disrupt was our understanding of church. When Jesus talks about church, it wasn't a building and it wasn't a service. We didn't go to church. He said you are the church, and Jesus envisioned a movement that goes beyond physical buildings. It goes beyond it and it emphasizes the gathering of people for his mission. And while every gathering of believers has an element of togetherness, it doesn't fully capture what Jesus meant by ecclesia. I brought up last week. I said well, me and Dick and Dan and Judd and a few others, we're all from Madison Church and we all golf together. We just like golfing. So does that mean on a Sunday morning when we're all out golfing and having fun, is that the church? And I said sort of. There's an element there. If it's like looking at a diamond, it's a facet, but it doesn't include the whole church. Togetherness is an aspect of church, but there's one other thing, and it was the mission. It was a mission that Jesus has for us. The church is a community on mission, where Jesus is king. And today I wanna talk to you about the mission aspect of the church of ecclesia, and so I'm gonna read a passage from John, chapter 20. If you wanna follow along, I'll have the words on the screen, but it's a scene recorded by one of Jesus's close friends, the guy who humbly calls himself the disciple Jesus loved. His name is John. He's probably Jesus's best friend, and he unfolds the story after Jesus's resurrection. Okay, so this is Easter Sunday. The passage we're about to read is the very first Easter Sunday and, for context, if you're going to John, chapter 20, what just happened is that Jesus died on Friday. Now, these men and women who had been following Jesus absolutely like, completely faithfully, saw him die and, despite Jesus telling them over and over and over again that this was going to happen, when they saw Jesus died, they all abandoned their faith. I mean, they became atheists in a moment. They went from he is God to there is no God. But it was worse than that because to them they had to hide. There was an empire that wanted to just kill the Jesus movement. They killed the leader. You cut the head off, but that wasn't good enough for those folks. They were going to go after the followers, anyone with influence, which was probably John, the disciple of Jesus loved. It was probably Peter. There's a few of these guys in the room right now who are hiding doors, locked windows shut, thinking how long do we have to hide before they forget about us? How long do we have to hide before they forget about the Jesus movement and they don't care about it anymore, because you know they're not going to care, that we don't care. That's honestly what the disciples are thinking. They don't believe in God anymore. We know that. Why? Jesus, by all appearances, is a failure. He died. God doesn't die. God doesn't let other people kill him, certainly doesn't do so, mostly naked on a cross. That's what they saw. And so they're not faithful anymore and they're thinking but they don't care if we're faithful or not anymore, when they find us we're dead. They want to do this whole thing, and then that's when we're going to start to read here. That's the scene. So verse 19, john 20,. That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, and suddenly Jesus was standing there among them. Peace be with you, he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and in his side and they were filled with joy when they saw the Lord. Now, just try to imagine the mixture of emotion in this room. One surprise I don't know if you've ever been in a room when someone just appeared. It'd be a little surprising, wouldn't it? Okay? So probably surprise, shouts of joy, probably shouts of fear. Again. That whole like someone just appearing, gasping perhaps even tears of relief, as they realized, wait a second, he was right and he did tell us he would do this. And now we're seeing it with our own eyes. He really did do this. Wait a second, we're not wrong, hold on. Do you think he knows what we felt the last two days? I mean, these are all the emotions that had to be feeling at this moment, and it's in this extraordinary moment that then Jesus imparts these powerful words to them, and it's not what you would expect. He says peace, be with you, as the Father has sent me, so I am sending you. If you're doing a Bible and one year reading plan or you get the verse of the day, you might read this and just like move on with your day. Yes, we are sent. That's great. Let's stop. The disciples have been scared for the life for two days. Jesus comes back and he doesn't say I told you so. He doesn't say, oh, ye, of little faith. Jesus says there's work to be done. There is work to be done. It is just beginning. Now, imagine if you're the disciples. Okay, your faith just reignited about 20 seconds ago and Jesus says there's work to be done. You would probably wonder what work you live, jesus, you taught, you healed, you did miracles. You told us you had to die so that you could overcome sin and help reconcile us with God. All of these things right, all the lingo it's done, it's over. You did it, we won. The very first thing Jesus says is as the Father has sent me. The Father sent me. I had a job to do, I had a mission. I did my part. As he has sent me now I am sending you to continue my work. It's not done yet, and it is. Here we witness the profound essence of Ecclesia, the church again. It was never intended to be a community gathered merely for its own sake. If church was just about them, about just having faith, that's where the scene ends. Peace, be with you. I'm back, y'all, and it's over. We're hanging out, we're having communion. But he said no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. There is work to be done. We have a mission and there is a purpose, and it's not just getting together to hang out to sing songs, to do all of the good things that we're doing here this morning. It's not just about that. If it's just about that, this is not the Ecclesia. It's not the church that Jesus cast a vision for. From its very inception, the gathered church, god's assembly, was meant to be sent. You and I are sent into the world for the sake of other people, and please understand this. In the eyes of Jesus, being sent isn't a directive. Being sent isn't something you should do to check off the box. I want you to understand that being sent is the very essence of his church. It's what the church is. We are on mission. He crystallized the notion that every believer is a missionary. Every believer is a missionary. You may not believe me. You're like, I'm not a missionary. I got a Monday through Friday job. I know what a missionary is. They go overseas and they start churches and all of those things. And Stephen's kind of like, maybe like a US missionary, but not really a missionary, because he didn't have to go somewhere hard, right, okay, all of these things, but the word for missionary is derived from Latin and it means one who is sent. That's where we get the word missionary. It means one who is sent or a person on a mission. If you're a follower of Jesus here, we don't presume that everyone is but if you are a follower of Jesus here, he has a command for you. As I have been sent, now I am sending you. You are a sent one. Followers of Jesus, you are a sent one, which means you are a missionary. You are a missionary. We are a community of missionaries. We are a community of believers who are sent, and I want you to think about this for a second how much trust Jesus has to have in us. He's got a lot more trust than I do. If I had the biggest mission in the world, certainly wouldn't pick you folks. No, I'm just kidding. He trusts us, though. He trusts you and me. He trusts us collectively and not just us. But think about all of those scripts, that, all of those other churches you've ever been to before. Right, okay, yeah, think about that. He trusts us. He has an unshakable purpose to impact the world with this message of love and God's love for people, and it is. It is a call You're like well, if I do this, if I'm sent, if I'm really a missionary, if I'm really picking up what you're laying down here, that means I'm going to have to get out of my comfort zone. It means you're going to have to not be complacent. Those are things but, as we've been talking about, we disrupt. We disrupt the comfort and complacency and what will you find if you disrupt it? I'll tell you. You will find a vibrant realm of mission. Man, your faith is going to flourish. Your faith, again, is meant to be on mission. You're going to see lives transformed. You're going to see hope and other people rekindled, and what you're going to see, and what's most impressive and most attractive in all of this, is we've gotten to experience little bits and pieces of it. I believe we got to experience it a little bit last week, but we got to. We get to experience the Kingdom of God advancing all around us. We get to see it. We get to be part of it, not just witness it, but we are participants in it. God has a plan to redeem the world and you and I and every person, we're part of that. If you're a follower of Jesus. We are a part of that, and it's so much bigger than going to church. It's so much bigger than doing church. The mission of God is about being the church. Let go of those words. We're not going to do church. We're not going to go to church. We're going to be the church, understanding what the church is called to do, though. Understanding this right, it's Sunday, we're happy, the weather's decent. You might have gotten caught up in a little traffic on Willie Street because of the fair, but living it out tomorrow, wednesday, what about a year from now, when we're not talking about disruptive church anymore, we're not talking about mission? Or in a year when something bad happens and you lose your job or someone passes away, when real hard life stuff happens? That's when it's going to be hard to choose to continue to live out on mission. And another thing we need to myth bust, while we're disrupting things, that we think Living out on mission is not reserved for just the pastors. It's not like. I know some of you contribute to the church, right, and then the church has all this money and I know we're just swimming in it. Did you see my jet in the parking lot? No, okay, but I get paid. And so then sometimes it's easy to think I know it's easy to think this but it's easy to think we pay a professional to do what we're talking about today. I will go to church, I will write the check and then the professional will do the work of God's mission on my behalf. Okay, we love your generosity. Thank you, my family loves that. I get paid, by the way, I just want to throw that out there, but it's not just for the pastors. Listen to Peter, do not forget. Peter is the one and this whole conversation starts on. Who do you say? I am, you are the Messiah. Ah ha, jesus says Peter, I will build my ecclesia on you. And then Peter writes a letter and he talks about this very subject. So we can already tell that's starting to happen, that people are thinking that, oh, only the apostles are, only the disciples. Are this once supposed to do this? Peter writes you are a chosen people. This next part's the important part. You are royal priests. Peter is a Jewish Christian. He grew up in the shadow of the temple and the Old Testament law, and not everybody got to be a priest. You didn't apply for the job. You had to be born into certain families. You had to be a certain person to walk into the tabernacle to do the things in the temple. You had to be special to hear from God. You had to be special to speak to God. And that's what's already starting to happen in that first century church. They're starting to think well, I'm not Peter, I'm not the disciple Jesus loved, I'm not John. Those guys can talk to God. They did talk to God. They can hear from God, they did hear from God, but that's not me. And Peter says no, no, no, no, no, no, you're a priest. And if you were a first century Jewish Christian, that'd be really hard to understand, because for the last 10,000 years or so these people have been put on such a pedestal. And if you weren't the right person, you might remember a couple scenes in the Old Testament where, like if you weren't the right person and just to make sure that nobody else had to go in after you, they tied a little like chain to your ankle. So if you went to the holiest of holies and God wasn't happy with you Down and then they pulled the dead body out because you didn't want to go in after him, if God just struck him down. Right, this is in the Old Testament. Okay, peter says you are all one of the good ones of that. You can walk into the holiest of holies. You are now Royal priest. He elevates you to a position above pastor. So that's my job title. I am a pastor. But Peter says a modern-day equivalent is hey, madison Church, y'all are popes. Think of the holiest of holies, think of the highest church position in the highest institution of church ever. You all are Popes, and he continues to say as such, as a result, you Can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness and into his wonderful light. He says don't rule yourself out. None of you should rule yourself out. You are a priest not because of anything you have done. You are a priest because of what God has done in and through you and what he will continue to do in and through you. But notice, he's writing to a crowd, he's writing to a church, and what he is saying is that the mission is a collective effort. It requires all of us, every single person here. And so then the question, I think, is what are we sent to do exactly? Jesus says as I was sent, so I am sending you, I am a sent one. Check, check, check, check, check. You're following. What are we supposed to do? Well, there are a few moments in the New Testament that Jesus recorded saying what his purpose was, why he came, and when it comes to why he came, why he was sent, luke records him as saying that the Son of man came to seek and save those who are lost. The Son of man came to seek and save those who are lost, and in Luke 1910, here the word lost is a Greek word that literally means being destroyed. I have been sent to seek out, to look for and to save those who are being destroyed. It would have conveyed the idea that Somebody was in spiritual ruin, that somebody was separated from God. They were facing a future of spiritual death if Jesus didn't intervene. This is one of those verses when Jesus says this is why I came. I came to seek and save those who are spiritually Lost, those who are perishing, and he began to emphasize that his mission and our mission is about announcing salvation and Reconciliation and healing and redemption to those who need it. Now, everyone, take a breath. I Knew when I was writing this earlier this week that this verse would make many of you uncomfortable, because, in modern language, being labeled as lost, it's not a positive thing. It's actually a very negative connotation, isn't it? To call someone lost is Kind of offensive. Why? It makes people feel judged, makes people feel criticized and it kind of puts me in a position that I'm not lost, I'm found and you're lost. Get on my level. We don't say that, but that's what we say, and I know you have loved ones, as do I, who don't share the faith that you share with us today. And, as a matter of fact, you might be in the room or listening or watching, watching online, and you might not have faith. You're checking things out and what are we saying here? Is Jesus saying I'm lost? Is Steven saying am I lost? Are they up on this high horse, this pedestal, looking down on all of us in? No, let me assure all of you that recognizing our need, our need for Jesus, it's not about condemnation, it's not about judgment, it's not about criticizing other people. This isn't hellfire and brimstone or confrontational preaching. We don't use fear or threats at Madison Church over eternal damnation. If you don't agree with us, you don't believe me. We've got about eight years of content on YouTube Take you about a hundred days to get through, I think if you listen nonstop. It isn't about online trolling and engaging in religious debates that begin as a religious debate and then turn into a personal attack. I know you've seen that a million times. Why some of you aren't even on Facebook anymore. So we post a picture of like them and their family doing something and then, like, all of a sudden it turns into a religious debate and then the religious debate turns in what you suck man and you're a terrible parent and nobody likes you. No, it's not about that. That's not what we're talking about today. It's not about selective moralizing and my god, please remember this next election season. Selective moralizing it is easy. I do it, you do it, we all do it. We pick the moral issues that mean the most to us and we prioritize it above everything else. And if you don't exactly agree with the morals that I think are most important, I am morally superior than you. Don't do that. Stop doing that. Also, if you're the one doing the online trolling, stop doing that too. While I'm at it, when Jesus says I came to seek and save the loss, he says there's destruction, and I don't think that's unfair. When you look at the world around you, is there not a lot of destruction and they're not? Earthquakes right now? And floods, wildfires, mass shootings, war, debt, that's just the big things that are affecting all of us. What about your individual lives? And I'm not saying you begin to find and follow Jesus and all of a sudden, all everything's fine. But I do believe I have no problem saying I believe it gets better. I hold Jesus to his word when he says in John 1010 I purposely give him life and give him life to the full. I believe that we have missionaries who have served in Ukraine who are currently serving in Iraq. Is that hard work? Yeah, that's really hard work. But would they say that they're not thriving? No, they wouldn't. They would say they're absolutely Thriving in places that you and I would. We would struggle to live in a small, rural northern Iraqi town. That would be hard, but they say that they are Surviving. When we talk about our need for Jesus and salvation, we are not and should not be passing on judgment to others, but acknowledging a universal truth about the human condition that none of us are perfect. We have all messed up, we've all hurt people, we've all contributed to the brokenness of the world and we need God's love, grace and forgiveness to lift us out of the hole we have dug, not just for ourselves, but for those who are in proximity to us. How do we do this? Well, there are. There are several. There are books on the subject that we're talking about today. There are several books and ways that you can go out and individually do this yourself as a sent missionary. But in the context of today's passage, in the context of today's series, we are talking about a disruptive church, a disruptive Assembly. So how do we go on mission together? Not individually, and I'm not taking anything away from that. I want you to do it individually. But what I'm talking about today, how do we do this together? And I'm gonna suggest that the opportunity is right in front of you. It's not just right in front of you, it's actually all around you. The way that we as God's ecclesia, as Madison Church, can begin to be on mission together is by serving on a volunteer team. It really is. Some of you are friendly extroverts. You've never met a stranger. Coming to church is a big deal for people. It is a really big deal for people. And I'll let you in on a little secret. When people who are new come to Madison Church, they expect me to say hi to them. That's my job. He can at least do that. And I can't at least do that. I'll do you one better. I'll buy you a drink this week if you have time. But it's a bigger deal if somebody who's not being paid to be here comes up and says hi. It's a bigger deal when somebody who doesn't have to does. If you're a friendly extrovert today, how about you step up and help us to create a culture of friends, not a friendly church. A friendly church is hey, how you doing High five. See you next week. I want you to help me to create a culture of friends where we know people by name and we know what they're going through and we can ask them about it and we can follow up with it. And it's not just that they're going out with Stephen later this week for a drink, but that they're going out with you. That you made time to do this. That might be how you can serve. I think of people like Judd, who has contagious energy, who holds open doors for us and welcomes you. I appreciate that. I think of Lindsay, who's warm. Lindsay, you make everyone feel like a friend. I appreciate that about you. You make people feel alone at times, and so we're coming along. We're jointly together, inzed by. We're doing a great job. We're going to connect with God on how we share it. That's what's sharing children. That's what we share trước amenities with God. That's what'smak этого Van訂閱 and Mein Jeffrey. God give me faith. And so if you have musical background, you're good. We're not just gonna hand anyone a mic, sorry about that. But if you're like Dan Jeff, megan, danielle Marby our band is so good and they're all volunteers. They do this for free. They use our artistic talents to serve us. I'm grateful for Tamara, who makes sure that the slides are up when they need to be up so you can follow along. I'm not teaching heresy. You can now quote me right Cause she makes sure that the slides are up and that they're correct. When the band is playing a new song that you don't know, the slides are up there. When I have a typo, where the band lyrics have a typo, she fixes that again for free. I think of how much different our church community would be without ministries for children and students. You may not know this upstairs right now we have a nursery upstairs right now. We have an elementary room upstairs right now. We have a student ministry room and we have volunteers leading all of those things right now. Imagine if one of our volunteers today just decided they weren't gonna show up. Imagine if all three of them decided they weren't gonna show up. Imagine if one of the volunteers was gonna be very disruptive in here today we're talking about disruptive church and he brought an example with them and you know what's worse is that it wouldn't be appropriate for them. An eight year old sitting in here this talk boring. Guess what they're gonna do when they're 18? Peace. Oh, I hated church growing up. Some of you were that kid right, your grandparents dragging you. I'm so thankful for Megan and Ginger and Brianna and Teresa and I were able to make sure that they were able to take a break and rotating to make sure that our kids have a safe place to not just belong and this is so important to me, they have to belong, this has to be safe but that they can learn about Jesus and God's love for them. Perhaps there's a passion, that you have a series of gifts and I haven't mentioned a ministry yet, but that's how ministries get birthed. At Madison Church. We have a student ministry now because I sat down with a woman named Renee and I did what I just did. We have three readers. We have people like Ray who does a million things to make sure Bibles and Kleenexes are out and chairs are out. We have volunteers and I present all of that to Renee. And Renee says you know, I just don't know if any of that's for me. And I said that's fine, what's on your heart? Because I believe that God is birthing something new at Madison Church. And she says I feel like starting a student ministry. I'm like well, that's great, because we have two kids who, if they start coming back to church after the pandemic, they're gonna be going into middle school. She says I'll give it a whirl and she starts that ministry with those two students. And last week we had eight students up there with a teacher and they come down for baptisms. I think that's an example of maybe I didn't mention something that you're like fired up about, but how it can be birthed into something good. I know I gotta wrap up. If you're new here, I want to assure you that this talk isn't meant to put pressure on you or make you feel obligated to do something. Okay, this talk isn't meant to put pressure on you or make you feel obligated to do something. Whether it's your first time joining us or you're casually watching online or checking out our community, it's perfectly okay if what I'm talking about today doesn't resonate with you yet, but I want you to understand, if you are visiting, that inclusivity and our mission are at the core of who we are. We value your presence, we value your trust. Thank you for being here today and I want to convey that being a part of our church community is about being for you. Even if you're not for us yet, and if you have ever been disillusioned by a church that talks a big game and never backs it up, this should be a breath of fresh air for you, because we're gonna talk a big game and we're gonna do a better one. Whatever we say, we're gonna do better because we are an action-oriented church and as long as I'm the lead pastor at this church, we will always be action-oriented more walk than talk. Now, if you're not new, it's time to step up. If Madison Church is your home church, if we are your community. I know this is hard, this is hard for me, but it's time to step up. God has given you gifts and talents and skills and passions that we need. For example, we have three small groups right now, and the only reason we're able to have three small groups right now is because 50% of the leaders are new. 50% of the leaders are people who are just like you right now if you're not serving who decided I'll step up, I'll do something so that we can have enough groups for enough people in our church who want to be involved, to get involved. I love that. That's a tangible example of what we're talking about today. How would Madison Church be different if you stepped up? We might have 50% more groups next time. We'll have a bigger rotation for kids' ministry. Jeff and Dan might get a freaking break. I don't know. You know what I'm saying. Like there's so many things that could happen if we step up now. Okay, so if you're new here, I'm not trying to make you feel obligated. If you've been coming to Madison Church, I want you to step up. If you've been coming to Madison Church and you've been serving, please understand. I'm not asking you to do more, thank you. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for what you have done. I'm grateful for it because I know to serve at Madison Church and the capacity that you do means occasionally putting away other plans so that you can be here. I mean saying no to something else so that you can say yes to being on mission with our community and your commitment to redirecting your resources, your time, skills, talents, all of that and giving it to others and giving back to Madison Church. It allows us to do all of the things that we are talking about, this entire disruptive church series, and I want you to know that, even if we don't say it every week, how grateful we are for you, and I try to say it as often as I think about it, every time there's a baptism, every time there's an anniversary Sunday, any time we celebrate any other milestone, I know it's on your feet, I know it's because of your hands. So thank you for serving our community, community, well.