Creative Chaos...

I'm posting this entry for something called a blog carnival. I've told some of you about it in person and keep an eye out...you'll be contacted soon to write for a carnival.



I experienced some creative chaos about two weeks ago. I've been asked to teach a large part of a series called, CONSUMED at the Vineyard. We are partnered up with about 35 other churches in the Cincinnati area and we are all moving in the same direction. This is a collaborative effort to tackle some tough stuff together...it's been excellent.

When I was told I'd be teaching a weekend called Debt is Bondage, an idea popped into my tiny brain. I thought, Hmm...I wonder if I could have people cut up their credit cards on stage?

The wind was slightly taken out of my sails when I attended the creative pastors meeting that week. That's a meeting where all of us from the 35 partner churches get together to discuss teaching ideas for the upcoming weekend. I told about 25 other pastors that I wanted to have people cut up their credit cards on stage.

Some laughed immediately because they are ninnies

Others looked at me as if I was trying to snort a bowling ball.

A pastor that I look up to said, "Good luck with that."

Another chimed in with, "Yeah, let us know how that goes."

I left the meeting a little deflated and I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I asked God and it seemed clear that I was to stay straight ahead with my original plan...well, modified a little bit. God showed me an image of a shredder in my mind. Why cut when you can shred?

So I did it. I shared a message about my personal struggle with debt and our mistakes we made. I connected with people on a level very close to home for so many. I had everyone write down their non-mortgage debt on an index card and pass it over to ushers. The ushers returned a total number of debt to me later in the message and when I read it to the crowd they were mostly astounded at the total. This is where the call to action came in.

I brought out the shredder and I explained that we were going to do something about this problem. I gave an invitation for people to come up as they felt led to shred their credit cards while a video about brokenness played. I was pooping my pants as I didn't know if anyone would actually come up and do it.

The next thing I know I look up and there are lines forming. Over 100 credit cards were shredded that morning in what turned out to be a sacred time. The Holy Spirit was heavily present and lives were changed. The only part I really feel I had to do with it was my obedience to do what God was calling me to do...it would have been a lot easier to do something else.

Jesus wants to save us. He wants to save the whole us. Jesus wants to save us from our sins, He wants to save us from anger, jealousy, lust and He wants to save us from our debt.

You can listen to the message here if you so desire.

Creative Chaos can be found here.

Peace,
R

6 waggish utterances thus far...:

melanie said...

Were you pooping your pants while you were waiting or were you going to poop your pants if nobody came up? And, your message was one of the greatest I've ever heard. Really.

DanThoms said...

That was a fantastic message. I'm sure peoples lives were forever changed. I'm ready for the carnival too. Funny think is you called as I was typing this message here, strange.

Helen Ann said...

I told a number of people about that message...It was one of the best and most memorable. I'm glad you didn't let the naysayers discourage you! God always knows best. :) :) :)

Helen

Ryan Allen Doan said...

Ryan and Carrie say that sounds incredible. Wish we could have seen such awesomeness there with you guys.

Stephen Barry said...

that's really creative, man. thanks for sharing that. our church is doing a financial series in a few months; i will have to keep this idea in mind!

valereee said...

What a great idea! And how impressive that instead of allowing yourself to be turned aside by criticism, you instead used it creatively to improve and strengthen your idea. I suspect that a lot of those naysayers will be stealing this idea in future months!