Eugene Cho

defending whatchamacallit…

Apparently and unintentionally, I struck some nerves by referring to a Greg Laurie Seattle Harvest event as a “whatchamacallit.” In response to yesterday’s post, some responded with questions and good push-back and I can reassure you that I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful or disparaging.

Let me explain to you where “whatchamacallit” came from. First, let me ask you this question:

How do you explain a “Seattle Harvest” to a non-Christian?

Seriously, I’d like to hear your words and thoughts:

How do you explain that?

I’m asking because I tried and I’m embarrassed to say that after stumbling through a few sentences, adjectives, and illustrations, I referred to it as a “whatchamacallit.” Again, not to be trite or disparaging but I found it really hard to explain without using the words: Harvest, Crusade, or Stadium Evangelism – all words that would normally freak out my neighbors. Kinda like a Christian taboo game.

Well, let me share three comments from yesterday’s original blog entry about Harvests and Crusades in a Post-Christendom World including two from readers.

First, a great pushback from “Rusty” –

While I understand and appreciate the pressures of time and priorities, I sense a disparaging tone as you speak of such an event (“Seattle Harvest whatchamacallit”).

What you have in this “whatchamacallit” is a man who is bringing a message of truth from God’s Word, and who is zealous to reach unbelievers with the message of salvation through Jesus Christ – eternal hope and a purposeful life with Christ, and eternal doom without Christ. I would hope that, as a pastor, the hope that some would come to faith in Christ would be enough to at least cause you to speak supportively of such an effort. Is it not true that the northwest – Seattle in particular – is the most unchristian or “pagan” area of the country?

While “. . . justice, compassion, mercy, and humility, human trafficking, prostitution, homelessness, domestic violence, access to education, and other social inequalities . . .” are important issues for Christians (Micah 6:8), they pale in comparison with the eternal destiny of people who will never die. More important than a quality education or the redistribution of wealth is the eternal security of a never-dying soul.

My simple response trying to explain “whatchamacallit”:

Hi Rusty,

I can share with that there’s no tone of “disparagement” or at least, that’s not intended.

I have much respect for these pastors, leaders, and evangelists alike. If they’re not posers, scam artists, and preaching a false gospel, I’ve got respect.

While I’m not equipped with both giftings, resources, and networks to conduct such an event, I only desire much fruit knowing that there are thousands and thousands of people that would resonate with such an event. Not everyone speaks my spiritual language and that’s ok.

As for the “whatchamacallit” term, I say it to literally convey my inability in describing it to people. While I haven’t advertised it, I have had couple conversations and it’s the hardest thing to describe a “harvest” to someone that isn’t a Christian and thus = whatchamacallit.

And read this comment from ‘Andy M.’ Bam.

The question is, how many unbelievers would actually be attracted to such an event? In my experience, very few people who have not been a part of the “christian” world much or ever in their lives would be interested at all in such an event.

Being zealous to reach unbelievers does not naturally translate into actually being able to reach unbelievers. A man may be able to be very influential within churches, but that does not easily carry over into the secular world. Often, being influential among christians actually hinders the ability to influence non-christians.

To me, this is a Christian event, meant for Christian people. If it were me personally, I would not be interested because I would not be interested in being “harvested”.

And the social aspects of the Gospel do not “pale in comparison with the eternal destiny…” They are no more, and no less important. The Bible is not just about how to go to Heaven when we die, but rather it is about Heaven and Earth intersecting and the Kingdom of God coming here and now on Earth. To deny “justice, compassion, mercy, humility, human trafficking, prostitution, homelessness, domestic violence, access to education, and other social inequalities…” and their importance is to deny the Gospel itself. It is not an either/or, but both/and.




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36 Responses

  1. Steven Kim says:

    Well, God prompted me to get up at 3 AM eastern time to pray and, of course, I felt the urge to connect and here I am connected and prompted by Pastor E’s follow up post on the Seattle Crusade.

    Pastor E asks, “How do you explain a “Seattle Harvest” to a non-Christian? Seriously, I’d like to hear your words and thoughts.”

    Well, I’m a bit perplexed my this question. But, in my not so humble opinion if we repent of our self-righteusness and of judgment of each other in the faith community, I believe the Holy Spirit will move us to embrace such a gathering and be blessed by it instead of causing a stumbling block.

    “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20). I am certain that God was present and blessed many who attended the Seattle Crusade event.

    It causes me to pause and be pained when I sense disunity in the Christian community, especially as it relates to the form of an event and the underlying message.

    Instead of being a peacemaker I see many in the faith community competing for a space and recognition that “their cause” is more worthy, when in fact God uses all of us in diverse and mysterious ways.

    Here’s a comment from someone that attended the event:

    Cathy Taylor: “I was so nervous, yet excited to see who the Lord would bring me to counsel after the Friday Night Harvest. I turned around and there were two young high school girls, tears streaming down their eyes, both of them telling me how they were doing a very good job of sabotaging their lives. Relationships with their parents were shattered and their faces betrayed a life of grief, regret and total rebellion. They were friends who both wanted to come home and follow Jesus. I shared the Good, Good News again with them that Jesus had died for ALL our sins. God could transform their hearts and reconcile them with their loving, heartbroken parents. They cried some more. Just then, I saw my son walk by and I asked him to share his testimony with them. He too, a pastor’s kid, had rebelled. He too had come home to God. He shared what kind of battle lay ahead for them, but God would be faithful to strengthen them through His Word and the loving support of His Body. We all hugged and prayed again, filled out our cards and said our good-byes. My family and I then went out to celebrate at Dicks Drive In the great night we all had watching God work. My other son’s friend had come along with him and gone forward as well. We had lots of joy to go around. Just then, I looked up and there were the two girls I had counseled earlier! We were all so thrilled to see each other and I was so happy to introduce them to all my sons friends who loved Jesus with all their heart. Wow Lord. And I was nervous about who you would lead me to.”

    I’m sure there are thousands of awesome testimonies like this.

    So, how do you explain Seattle Harvest? Just lead them to Pastor Laurie’s site!

    How do I explain QCafe and your ministry? I lead them to your sites! With open heart and God’s leading.

    God bless Pastor E!

    • Dan Morris says:

      Steven, great post. It seems to me there is an underlying tone among many of our Deconstructionist Christian brothers that these types of events are, in some ways, confusing or too aggressively Christ focused for non Christians (and for them). I guess their perspective may be that,” sure people are coming to Christ at these things but they reinforce a style of ‘Western Christianity’ that we need to move away from.”HMMM.
      If people are hearing the word of God and coming to Christ at a Crusade, awesome! And as you said, if they are coming to Christ at a “QCafe,” awesome! It is “Both/And” in my book folks, not “either/or.” God bless.

      • Steven Kim says:

        Yes, it is “Both/And.”


        Pre-Easter Jesus AND Post-Easter Jesus.

      • chad m says:

        maybe i’m cynical to the point of insanity, but i’ve prayed for too many kids exactly like this at events exactly like this to believe it takes the resources spent at an event such as this to make that prayer opportunity happen. i hope that makes sense. i’m sure these girls will find themselves at another youth retreat, camp, YoungLife event, you name it, praying the same prayer next month. wait. i shouldn’t say that; it’s cynical and not “nice.” but it’s REAL. what are we doing to do about it?!

        i wonder, with a little creativity, what we could come up with that might actually be interesting and compelling to non-believers.

        • Steven Kim says:

          I’m working on the creative part myself 🙂 I’m currently attending Drew Theological School part time pursuing a Masters of Arts in Ministry while working as an attorney and praising God as an electric guitarist.

          I put my creative hat on hold to engage in the intellectual side of Faith and to gain more perspective all the while patiently waiting for God’s leading.

          I recommend many to study theology!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alltop Christianity, Christian Ray Flores. Christian Ray Flores said: check this out defending whatchamacallit… […]

  3. mo says:

    Sounds good man. My contribution is that I LOVE that candy bar. Sorry man, that’s all I got.

  4. Darko says:

    I wonder if a more appropriate title would be “Explaining Whatchamacallit” rather than “Defending…”

  5. Tony Lin says:

    I’ve never attended any crusades or mega-conferences.

    But aren’t these things more like a motivational/inspiring event for Christians to go out and do evangelism? Kinda like Urbana? It has a speak who is famous only in some Christian circles. Christian bands known only by Christians… what’s the incentive for a non-Christian?

  6. Andy M says:

    In my opinion, “whatchamacallit” would probably be a better name for the event than “Harvest”. The word “harvest” has various problems with it in our current American context.

    First off, this may just be my American individualism showing but I do not wish to be “harvested” by anyone else. I don’t want to be a notch on their spiritual (and likely financial) belt. If I am harvested, then someone else is receiving the benefits of my having been harvested, not me. And while I admit that this is not the best perspective, this is how many non-christians would likely see this and how they would respond.

    Second, a “harvest” like that sounds even just a little bit like stories of aliens coming to harvest our brains. It’s stupid, but is still a strike against the title.

    The word “harvest” is an agricultural term, even used by Jesus, but it does not speak to the masses today, except for Christians who are used to it and at least kind of understand the proper context. If a small town pastor used the term while speaking to farmers, then I would expect it to be understood correctly, but that only accounts for a tiny selection of the American population.

    So, the “Seattle Whatchamacallit” event is sounding pretty good to me.

    • Andy M says:

      I meant to include this but forgot. If I was explaining the event to anyone, Christian or non-christian, I would just be honest and compare it to the Billy Graham Crusades and such. Call it for what it is, because if you tell a non-christian something then they go and see that it is exactly like a Crusade, or whatever, then they will possibly believe that you were trying to trick them.

      I would just be honest and then I would point to the merits of such an event, and hopefully, whether they attend the event or not, it would lead to further discussions about faith.

  7. Paul Glavic says:

    “The medium is the message.”
    – Marshall McLuhan

    • joel says:

      as someone who grew up just outside riverside ca., i still find it odd that people attend these types of events. the event in seattle simply reads like a pastor trying to grow a brand.

  8. Brian Gomes says:

    Hello Eugene,
    I heard 1,400 people received the Lord at the “thingy” to talk about Jesus. I know our methodologies are not always culturally relevant, but the strange reality is that when people’s hearts are soft and they have friends that are believers they realize that what they are going to will be different and they don’t even worry about titles like crusade, harvet, revival. To them, they are honoring the request of a friend.
    True, the tried and true methods don’t work for all people, but they still work for some. If our goal is to “save some” as the Apostle Paul explains in 1 Corinthians chapter 9, then should we as believers allow for all types of sharing opportunities as okay with the understanding we’ll need to constantly tweak our efforts to meet people where they are at.
    In Christ,

  9. Abe says:

    My fear… in regards to these type of events, gatherings, “harvests” (which I do believe is a terrible term to use)… is what happens afterwards.

    The Gospel is being preached and shared to people, whether they are followers of it or not; Amen? Paul’s words in Philippians: “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”

    The fear here, however, is that after such an event as this, those who made “decisions” to follow Christ and His Gospel in turn, naturally leave that event. Once they leave, they lack the support, guidance, and love of a congregation or the true body of believers to walk with them in their journey. They leave on a high, but not properly fed… they crash soon after… leaving them in a place worse off with possibly even more distain towards the church. I equate this in my feeble mind to short term missions… not that showing up somewhere and doing “good deeds” is bad… but that no relationships are really built. Nothing is substantially sustainable in the long run.

    Evangelism, in my interpretation of the Gospel’s, is to be done through loving relationships.

    To “show” the love of Christ to someone in a mass delivery… and offer no support thereafter… no relationship… is to do a disservice to them and the Church as a whole.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      In fairness to the organizers, I don’t believe anyone’s motivation is to simply leave those that make decisions w/o support and community.

      Most try to partner with local churches to connect folks but we all know that many fall through the cracks. Geez, that happens even in a small church like Quest.

      There are instances when thousands come to faith in the Scriptures and somehow, the Gospel continued to flourish…

      At the end of the day, we are…because of the Gospel.

  10. Davis says:

    I think it’s a bit saddening to see how much critical discourse goes on here regarding how this group comes to preach the word, bring thousands to either a saving knowledge of Jesus, and Thousands more to a revival of personal faith… And that the only mention of it is in critical posturing of “man, what do you call a circus like that?” and “I wonder how God could possibly enable His holy Spirit to flourish in these new believers hearts unless we have a perfectly planned out follow-up response..” surely God is not worried or panicking is He? Or is He thinking – wait, I’m not ready for this one in my kingdom yet?

    It is often en vogue to accept worship styles of many kinds, but when it comes to how the word is preached, we are so fearful of how it will be received.. Often I’m convinced that this idolatry of perfected presentation is one of satans best tools to immobilize and silence the body of Christ… Can we collectively renew our faith in the power ofthe gospel to break down strongholds? Not solely in the clever or subtle “popular” presentations.. But that upon occasion it is okay to step out and preach out in full faith and confidence that it is the holy spirit who will convict and not our well thought out presentations..

    Lastly, let’s not demean the word rejoice, by simply tacking it on in a one sentence comment as an afterthought or response following 2 blog posts barely mentioning the fact that thousands of lives were changed and will remain changed.. Even though some of the seed will fall into thorns… If we truly rejoiced in this, wouldn’t this at least warrant the headline of a blog, not a tertiary comment response?

    • Eugene Cho says:

      Thanks for your comment and pushback.

      But I’d like the freedom and joy to use the word rejoice to reflect how I feel in knowing that God is at work.

      I continue to rejoice in God’s scandalous Grace and Pursuit of His creation.

    • Andy M says:

      I don’t mean to be argumentative, but I think it is saddening when we are NOT critical of our events as christians. It is true that we do not need to be overly critical or negative about everything. But not being critical about what we do as the church is in my opinion the reason that the church is losing relevance and influence in our world.

      Critical thinking is essential. The question raised here is whether events such as this Seattle Harvest event, are productive in a post-christian world such as the world we live in. Without wanting to be too negative about it the general consensus here seems to be “no” these events are not as productive as we would like them to be, primarily that they do not reach the unchurched, but rather they cater to already churched people.

      My request is that if christians are going to have “christian” events which in reality are primarily meant to appeal to christians, then let’s not delude ourselves that we are reaching the lost. Call it for what it is, not what we wish it to be.

      I’m curious about your comment on the “idolatry of perfected presentation”. What do you mean by this? Eugene isn’t pushing for some single perfected form of presentation of the Gospel, but leaves room for all kinds of presentations of the Gospel, which in turn will reach more people because of the variety.

      Here is the problem with just “step out and preach out in full faith and confidence”. This is often “christianese” which actually means “Preaching in the old school, bible-thumping, hellfire and brimstone, tell people they are going to hell” kind of preaching. You may not mean it that way, but that is what I often hear when people talk about preaching like that.

      We should preach the Gospel with confidence, but also with the knowledge that some words have baggage. “Saved” is a prime example. Just watch the movie of the same title and you can see the misunderstanding and confusion that is in the world about that particular word. Many pastors no longer speak a language that makes any sense to non-christians, and often is a language that repels them. If certain words (even good ones) are almost certain to be misunderstood, then we shouldn’t use them, at least not as much.

      Example. Shouting “Repent!” vs. talking to people about how their lives are going in the wrong direction and they need to re-direct, or turn towards God.

      • Steven Kim says:

        It would’ve been nice to have read constructive criticisms based on those who have actually attended the event.

        Rather, it’s like reading a movie review from someone who didn’t actually see the movie, but propagates the same points over and over about a certain genre of movies.

        • Andy M says:

          Agreed. I admit that I haven’t attended that event, thus I cannot know exactly what it was like. Thus I should not make too many assumptions.

          However, it is fairly easy to discern what kinds of christian events pastors usually put on, and the mere fact that they named this one “Harvest” says a lot about what kind of event this is.

          If I make any unfair assumptions, then I’m sorry. I’m just giving my opinions. I would also appreciate someone commenting who attended the event and would give a fair critical analysis of the event.

  11. Daniel Azuma says:

    Well, I suppose I must plead guilty to contributing to “critical discourse”, and perhaps also contributing to a need for bloggers to defend the use of perfectly legitimate, umm, English colloquialisms. I’m sure none of us means disrespect, and I certainly don’t either. But I have been known to argue with the pastors and bloggers I like most… 😉 Sorry about that… :/

    The question of how to describe an event like this is an interesting one. I agree with Andy M and other posters that “harvest” is not the greatest term, nor is “crusade”, since outside a churchy Christian context, those terms have unfortunate connotations. I also do agree in principle with Andy that we ought to be honest about what it is, and maybe to “compare it to the Billy Graham Crusades and such” would be enough for people to understand.

    But there are certainly other ways it can be described. Terms like “celebration” or “rally” come to mind. In fact, the most similar “secular” kind of event I can think of off the top of my head is the political rally. Various commenters have made the point that events like this are more designed to appeal to Christians than non-Christians. This is an important point for us to remember, because it reveals the strengths and limitations of these events, and thus makes their nature more clear. Someone with no interest in Christianity or an aversion to Christianity will probably not be interested in attending (unless they’re coming to heckle or ridicule.) But it’s great for Christians to celebrate and be inspired together, and for people with some interest in Christianity to see what’s cooking. In that way, it’s probably very similar indeed to a political rally.

    Anyway, my point is that, culturally, there very seldom is anything new under the sun. Nearly all of what we do as Christians has some counterpart in other traditions, and so some way to describe it without resorting to Christianese or “whatchamacallit”. Indeed, I’m not sure there exists a true “whatchamacallit”, except for the person of Jesus himself.

  12. Daniel Azuma says:

    Oh, by the way, I loved the term “Christian Taboo”. Hi. Lar. I. Ous.

  13. Pat says:

    Christian harvest is a like one of those old Billy Graham conferences. It’ll be like a big church service with music and a message from the pastor. The preacher will ask people if they want to accept and live a new life with Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It’ll be tailored towards older people but I’m sure it’s open to any age group including teens and those in their twenties. If they ask about what Harvest means then I’ll say it refers to a verse in the Bible where Jesus says that people are waiting to open, hear, and receive.

    That’s how I’d share with my non-Christian friends.

    I hope that underneath our criticism or cynism is a spirit of love. We may say, we have nothing against harvest with our words, but I think we need to examine our hearts. Are there things we want others to think about so as to think negatively about them? E.g. not communal enough, not justice oriented, speaker oriented, too much of a focus on heaven and not the here and now.

    I confess, when I think of my parents’ church I tend to look down on them at times cuz it seems too structured and old fashioned. However, I wonder if we’re just becoming younger hipper brand of self-righteous pharisees.

    For those cynical about harvest to which I didn’t attend, perhaps, this event is needed for some. It may be like a milestone for some as to how they met Christ in their journey of faith. It may be like a wedding day for some to reflect back on. Some people need those key events to reflect back on as to God’s faithfulness.

  14. Rusty Rabon says:

    Greetings, Eugene!

    I didn’t mean to start a firestorm with my comments. Thank you for your gracious consideration of them.

    I agree somewhat with those who see the Harvest event as a Christian-oriented event, but I think many are going a bit overboard with their struggle to explain what it is. People go to big events all the time – big concerts, political rallies, sporting events. The Havest Crusades (OK, to be “P.C.” maybe change that term) are a big rally featuring live music and a speaker with a message about Christianity and Jesus Christ. What is so difficult about that? How is that any harder to explain that John Stewart’s event in Washington or Barak Obama’s election victory rally in Colorado?

    What I sense is a resistance – or rejection – of a conservative, evangelical message that places the message of salvation through Jesus Christ prominently above other socially-oriented messages. I believe it is both theologically wrong and eternally dangerous to put such an emphasis on social concerns ahead of the primary issue of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The modern “progressive” mindset does not seem to accept the exclusivity of Christianity as the only way to salvation, but that is the message of the Bible. There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. THEN the social concerns grow out of that relationship with God through Christ, as a life lived in obedience to God by caring for his world and other people.

    I appreciate the dialog . . .

    • Eugene Cho says:

      No firestorm. Just good dialogue and conversations.

    • Andy M says:

      My issue is not that there exists big Christian rallies, it is that we often delude ourselves on what they actually are for, or accomplish. Honestly, we have rallies all the time, it’s called church. We just need to be honest with ourselves that we usually create events that appeal to “us”, not non-christians.

      The conservative vs. progressive discussion usually misses some things. The conservatives go on about the spoken Word of the Gospel, while progressive christians go on about the social aspects of the Gospel, and what we need is a mixing of the two, not either/or. One does not come before the other. Action is not to come after Belief, and vice versa. Jesus never said to believe then change your actions. Both/And, not Either/Or.

  15. Rusty Rabon says:

    Perhaps consider this blog post from a pastor in Nashville named Ray Ortlund on the most important need people have. The understanding and acceptance of salvation through Jesus Christ – the essential core of the Gospel message – take priority over any temporal need that anyone may have. Not to say we ignore temporal needs, but there is an order of priority.

    “I do not love the suffering poor less by offering them what they need more” (Thomas C. Oden).

    • Eugene Cho says:

      If there is an order of priority, how do you respond to those who have needs that are “lower” on the priority once they say “no” or “maybe” or “not sure” to the invitation to the gospel.

      Do we move on? Or do we minister and tend to their holistic needs?

      I can’t speak for everybody so let me speak for myself. The Gospel is everything. It is the crux of who I am, who I serve, where I’m going, and how I want to do what I’m doing.

      Rather than thinking in such linear or binary terms, I believe the Gospel is so much more…

      • Pat says:

        I think the best thing about the gospel is Jesus. If they reject him though, of course you don’t deny their physical or emotional needs.

        But the heart of what I think people are trying to say is that, the hope is that they encounter Jesus, the ends and foundation of the gospel, which also has eternal implications.

        I think it’s somewhat a pushback to mainline liberal churches who have gone down a road where they prioritize social justice over Jesus, salvation, hell. Some of whom also reject Jesus’ literal resurrection.

        It shouldn’t be the driving force for social justice and evangelism, but if you believe in a literal hell of eternal suffering (which I think many more don’t anymore), that of course will be in the back of people’s minds if they really do love people. But, it doesn’t mean they’re gonna neglect the injustices in the here and now. In fact, those who have such a tight grip on salvation may be a sign that they really do love people considering that they don’t want anyone to perish and suffer eternally in hell. So people who care about people’s eternal souls, I commend them because it’s easier sometimes to help people physically or emotionally but harder to talk about Jesus or even heaven or hello.

        So again when conferences like Harvest are in town, I say we should rejoice because if people truly meet Christ, hearts will be transformed. The fruits of a transforming heart will be more people caring for their neighbors, justice, wives and in other relationships.

        Therefore, we should encourage them, not be so cynical or point out straight away how we’re not like them because it doesn’t align with our culture.

        I just don’t think we can generalize our cultural assumptions on everyone, people meet Jesus in different cultures. Yes, people from Quest may have a different culture than those who attend Harvest, but rather than pointing out all the time how we’re different, if all love Jesus, then lift up what unites us.

      • Andy M says:

        In Craig Gross’ book, “The Gutter” he begins with a story of an encounter he had with some homeless people. In a small self-sacrificial gesture of one guy in his group which partially dealt with one homeless woman’s “social” problems (she had no shoes in a cold climate, one of the guys in his group gave her his shoes)Several homeless people immediately asked to attend church the next day, after having rejected the invitation that was given prior to the giving of the shoes.

        Every situation is different, every person is different, and we must meet both spiritual (eternal) and immediate physical needs. To say that one “must” come before the other is to limit what the “whole” Gospel can do in people’s lives.

  16. […] Friday series going; bookmark it. It will be serious and fun at the same time.Eugene Cho’s whatchamacallit. Ted ponders Veterans Day for a pacifist. Roger Olson sums up the differences between NT Wright and […]

  17. chad m says:

    how to describe said event in order for it to appeal to the “non-believer”?
    1) a rock concert? probably not. do non-believers really find Christian “rock” music appealing?
    2) a rally for Jesus? weird.
    3) a festival? maybe. that might be interesting. but someone might expect there to be beer and such at a festival. i would expect there to be beer at any good festival.
    4) harvest? yes! and then point the non-believer to the biblical texts about the harvest – where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. let’s go with this one!

    in all of this i wonder, “IS THIS THE BEST WE CAN DO?” i think i’m more disappointed that this has become THE major outreach model for the last 40+ years. where have all the creative Christians gone?

    part of me is ashamed at my own critique because when it comes to reaching the lost, i’m doing a pretty lousy job. i wonder what we could come up with if we got serious about reaching the lost and also got seriously creative. God is BIG. God is creative.

    anyone doing anything CREATIVE to reach the lost? or will we be talking about Christian harvest festivals and big tent revivals for the next 40+ years?!

  18. eliseanne says:

    i think andy m. brought out a great point – the crusade/harvest model and language is simply out of touch with non-christians and how they see christians/christianity.

    from a christian’s standpoint, the crusade/harvest model makes sense (for the aforementioned arguments) but from a different standpoint, without church context, it is illogical.

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One Day’s Wages

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It. Still. Hurts.
#TamirRice Incredible news: @onedayswages is projecting to have our most impactful year as we grant out $1.3 million dollars! Thank you so much for your prayers and support...please read on to learn how you can join in our work.

As you gather with family, friends, and loved ones for Thanksgiving and the holidays, I wanted to share an opportunity. Often times, when I speak to people about the privilege of generosity, I remind them, "You don't have to but you get to." It's so true.

My wife and I (and our three kids) started ODW in 2009. We felt the Holy Spirit convicting us to give up our year's salary. It wasn't an easy thing to say "Yes" or "Amen" to but we made the decision to obey. As a result, it took us about three years to save, simplify, and sell off things we didn't need.

It's been an incredible journey as we've learned so much about the heart of God and God's love for the hurting and vulnerable around the world - particularly those living in extreme poverty. ODW is a small, scrappy, grassroots organization (with just 3 full-time employees) but since our launch, we've raised nearly $6 million dollars to help those living in extreme poverty: clean water and sanitation, education, maternal health, human trafficking, refugee crisis, hunger, and the list goes on and on.

So, here's my humble ask: As we do this work, would you consider making a pledge to support our that we can keep doing this work with integrity and excellence?
You can make a one time gift or make monthly pledge of just $25 (or more). Thanks so much for considering this: (link in bio, too) Don't just count your blessings. Bless others with your blessings. Here, there, everywhere. Be a blessing for this blesses our Father in Heaven and builds the Kingdom of God.

#ReThinkRegugees #WeWelcomeRefugees
@onedayswages Grateful. Still reflecting on the letters that I've received from classmates and students that have come before me and after me. Never imagined all that God would have in store for me. Lots of humbling things but in the midst of them, there were literally thousands upon thousands of daily decisions and choices to be faithful. That's what matters. Seen or unseen. Noticed or unnoticed. You do your best and sometimes you stumble and fumble along but nevertheless, seeking to be faithful.

Also, you know you're getting old when your school honors you with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Lol. 47 is the new 27. Or something like that. Here's to the next 47. In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply.

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