A Finding Church Conversation (#456)

Brad comes over to explore Wayne's new release, FINDING CHURCH, as he probes Wayne about the process and what most impacted him in writing this book. He also has some specific questions that rose in his mind while working through it. They talk about the critical choice of choosing the new creation when the door is open in front of us, instead of retreating inside the old, and how we learn to fly in the fullness of the Father's life or stay stuck on the ground by living in our own human efforts. This is the first installment of a three-part conversation with Brad that will play out over the next three weeks.

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  1. The sad part about seminary is that you aren’t warned about the resistance you’ll meet. Yes, you’re prepared with your tools and your enthusiasm to make a change and to help people walk into a fuller spiritual life, but you aren’t prepared that that won’t sound like good news to a lot of people. Part of the problem is that some people are so steeped in the way the Church is, they aren’t open to there being another way.

  2. Soul,’ I prayed,
    I have hawked you through the world
    Of Church and State and meanest trade.
    But this evening halter off,
    Never again will it go on.
    On the south side of ditches
    There is grazing of the sun.
    No more haggling with the world. . . .’

    As I said these words he grew
    Wings upon his back. Now I may ride him
    Every land my imagination knew.

    ~ from the poem Pegasus by Patrick Kavanagh

  3. “When stability (uniformity) is achieved, there is no more harmony.” ~ Jacques Ellul

    It is true just in the context of music….just imagine how boring a song with all the same notes would be.

    …and it is equally as true in the context of community.

  4. Thank you Wayne and Brad for what you guys are doing. I’m enjoying the birthday present of being able to read the first 5 chapters of the new book in advance of the release date.

    About 1.5 years ago, I decided (after being stuck in the cycle of revival, exhaustion, depression, repeat) I was going to develop a deeper spiritual relationship with Jesus or die trying. I prayed that no matter what the cost, I was willing to pay to have that relationship. He ended up pointing me to various resources including some of your books. Your experiences have been a great help for me. There have been pains is things that I use to depend on falling away, but I’m enjoying the journey overall and wouldn’t trade this relationship for anything!

    I left the congregation I was a part of (and that my family had been a part of for generations) and have been learning to walk with Jesus since. Some from the congregation I use to attend still present their “love” as to say “if you come back to our way, we’ll forgive you and love you.” However, experiencing this freedom in Jesus is so amazing, I could never go back to “pew warming.” There are those who I still keep contact with and share my journey, but many reject who I’ve become as I’m not conforming to their standards. I still strive to love them and show them glimpses of this relationship in hopes that a seed will be planted that he will cultivate one day.

    I’m thoroughly enjoying the preview chapters of the new book so far and am patiently waiting until I can get the full copy. I’ve also read “He Loves Me” and “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore” (several times). Thank you again for allowing Jesus to shine through you and helping those of us, who are seeking that relationship, to find it easier.

  5. Like A Sheep Without A Shepherd.
    But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 9:36 NKJV

    He pities them, and was concerned for them; He was moved with compassion on them; not upon a temporal account, as he pities the blind, and lame, and sick; but upon a spiritual account; he was concerned to see them ignorant and careless, and ready to perish for lack of vision. Note, Jesus Christ is a very compassionate friend to precious souls; here his bowels do in a special manner yearn. It was pity to souls that brought him from heaven to earth, and there to the cross. Misery is the object of mercy; and the miseries of sinful, self-destroying souls, are the greatest miseries: Christ pities those most that pity themselves least; so should we. The most Christian compassion is compassion to souls; it is most Christ-like.

    See what moved this pity. They fainted; they were destitute, vexed, wearied. They strayed, so some; were loosed one from another; The staff of bands was broken, Zechariah 11:14. They wanted help for their souls, and had none at hand that was good for any thing. The scribes and Pharisees filled them with vain notions, burthened them with the traditions of the elders, deluded them into many mistakes, while they were not instructed in their duty, nor acquainted with the extent and spiritual nature of the divine law; therefore they fainted; for what spiritual health, and life, and vigour can there be in those souls, that are fed with husks and ashes, instead of the bread of life? Precious souls faint when duty is to be done, temptations to be resisted, afflictions to be borne, being not nourished up with the word of truth.

    They were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. That expression is borrowed from 1 Kings 22:17, and it sets forth the sad condition of those that are destitute of faithful guides to go before them in the things of God. No creature is more apt to go astray than a sheep, and when gone astray more helpless, shiftless, and exposed, or more unapt to find the way home again: sinful souls are as lost sheep; they need the care of shepherds to bring them back. The teachers the Jews then had pretended to be shepherds, yet Christ says they had not shepherds, for they were worse than none; idle shepherds that led them away, instead of leading them back, and fleeced the flock, instead of feeding it: such shepherds as were described, Jeremiah 23:1, Ezekiel 34:2. Note, The case of those people is very pitiable, who either have no ministers at all, or those that are as bad as none; that seek their own things, not the things of Christ and souls. – Matthew Henry

  6. Thanks everyone for contributing to the e- conversation. I love that historical figures like Matthew Henry saw some of these things…even when at times it feels like we’re discovering something new! (smile) So much to think about, to talk with Him about and with others when He brings our paths to connect.

  7. It’s funny Sue (as in peculiar), I awoke from sleep last night and what popped into my head was ‘sheep without a shepherd’, so I went googling and found that passage from Matthew Henry, which I felt was so timely and relevant to the subject of Wayne’s book. Better than I could’ve said it!

  8. Ron, that passage spoke to me in a unique way…from a Presbyterian “rule structured” family and organization kind of background. Matthew Henry was promoted as a great insightful author. As Father is opening my eyes over time, I’m seeing that it’s a more nuanced journey than I imagined. Rather than “all or nothing” slowly it’s becoming clearer that all through history there have been people and authors who’ve seen the difference b/t knowing information about Jesus…and living (or learning to live) inside of a relationship with Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hi Wayne

    Just got my shipment of 12 books yesterday. Thank your wife for all her hard work. Hopefully you guys can get the car in the garage now……

    Enjoyed your work as usual. Where this journey will take me I have no idea. I have a guy in my Sat. am group who decided to do some construction on his home. So he went down to the local homeless shelter and hired two homeless guys. (I might mention he is a widower so no danger there ladies) He had them for about 6 months and came to the conclusion they were crazy. He has also done a prison ministry of teaching, visiting, giving away stuff, etc. He is also in the process of inventing things in his garage. He has his doctorate degree in chemistry and worked for some big corps in his time. He just gives the inventions away. To whomever, he was a little vague.

    But an interesting life. Ministry by wandering around instead of management by objective. Like Jesus. Good to continue reflections on His great love with your writing. Your book has nice quotes I have been attempting to memorize but then I would just probably use them to try and pound someone to pieces……. So I’ll stop memorizing and continue living.

    Many blessings. A great read. I’ll give these away to someone. Or maybe I’ll just read all twelve and look for typos……

    Blessings! Love wins.


  10. Oh my! Chapter 18 is so great! Equipping without Subduing. Amazingly simple truths. ‘Leadership’ is such a manipulating and misleading term the way it is defined in religious circles. Equipping type people are under rowers not overlords. They don’t carry a neon sign. Their lives weave in and throughout life knitting for the Master, sometimes recognized, often not. So loved the statement : “Once people put a label on it, they treat me in ways that diminish my effectiveness.”

  11. I am one of those who have not been listening to your podcasts for a long time because “I don’t need to” and today I found myself with nothing better to do. So I’m playing solitaire and listening…and on the one podcast talking about your book and “if the thing you’ve built requires a paycheck” bit reminded me of something God showed Dave and me so many years ago…about 14 yrs ago actually.
    God impressed on us to “take the money out of ministry” and quit looking for people to compensate what we had to give (if we had ANYthing to give them) spiritually. That bit of insight over the years has led us into some amazing relationships with people with whom we have very deep connections.

    Now we are at the point where “ministry” means nothing to us and we just live our lives daily with “what’s in front of us” to do….

    I haven’t read your book yet, though Dave bought a few copies….waiting for it to come out on video…LOL!!! just kidding…

    Thanks for all you do encouraging the believers and unbelievers out there where we can’t reach…we have our hands full here…

    Sue Hanauer
    Rio Rancho, NM

  12. I been re-thinking agenda and what it really means and the problem with it for the past 9 month. I could be wrong about all my thoughts, but the more i think about it there is only 1 problem with agenda, It is not agenda in itself that is wrong but other things that people sometimes have that contaminate agenda. the problem arises when agenda has to happen for someone and People force, control or manipulate somebody to conform to their agenda. A subtler form of forcing can sometimes be persistence. Somebody continually requesting the same thing.

    The nitty gritty.
    Everybody though has a right to share their agenda within their relationships, better put to help people understand, share their hopes desires and plans. And the other people or person can say yes, no or let me thinking about it.

    Sometimes though it’s not so cut and dry. Sometimes people miss understand each other (in the new creation mercy should be given for that), sometimes people don’t totally know what their agenda or want is.

    What to do when someone miss understands you.
    You could drop the desire and submit to the other person. Dropping the agenda may or may not be what Jesus wants. You could also continue on, slowly or quickly, until you both understand each other and the boundarys of respect are made clear for each party. From there, the new creation thing to do is not cross over those lines of disrespect.

    My conclusion, for anybody interested.
    I can’t see any issue in the world, unless Jesus says not to, to be open and up front in sharing your hope and desire in a relationship. As long as the plan or hope is shared freely.

    interestingly dictionary.com defines agenda as a plan or outline.

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