Mike is the definition of a ‘willing servant’. The greatest gift a leader can have is someone they can count on to show up and do whatever is needed. Mike doesn’t ask for glamorous roles, only to be used in God’s service. That said, I’ve enjoyed seeing Mike’s gifts as a mentor and teacher emerge these past months, and I’m thrilled to have Mike leading one of our LifeGroups this fall. Here’s his MainStreet story in his own words. -JB
I want to tell you why I have joined the MainStreet launch team. In Barbara Brown Taylor’s book “An Altar in the World”. I came across 2 passages I want to share with you.
“As important as it is to mark the places where we meet God, I worry about what happens when we build a house for God. … Do we build God a house so that we can choose when to go see God? Do we build God a house in lieu of having God stay at ours? Plus, what happens to the rest of the world when we build four walls – even four gorgeous walls – cap them with a steepled roof, and designate that this is the House of God?… What happens to the people who never show up in our house of God?”
I am part of MainStreet because I care for the people who never show up in a “House of God”. One of MainStreet’s primary purposes is to reach out to this group of people. Acts 17:17 “So he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.”
Second, she has this to say about St. Francis of Assisi:
“God called upon Francis to rebuild the church. Unsure what church God meant, Francis chose a ruined one near where he lived. He recruited all kinds of people to help him build it. Some of them came to watch, and before they knew it were mixing cement. Others could not lift even a single brick without help, but that worked out, since it led them to meet more people than they might have if they had been stronger. To most of them, building the church became more important then finishing it. Building it together gave people who were formerly invisible to each other meaning, purpose, and worth.”
I am part of MainStreet because I asked God to use me and he told me to go to Mound to help build his church. It is the process of making new friends, building something that is eternal (His church), and, most importantly, being obedient to His calling that truly energizes me.
I want to close with a short personal story. Psa 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Lots of years ago I went to college, got a degree, graduated, and got a job. I settled into my roleas teacher, my place within the community, and my church. In a word, I was comfortable. Unfortunately, the more comfortable I became, the less I relied upon God. Until one day God stepped in, grabbed me by the shoulders, and gave me a shake. The short story is I didn’t listen to Him and as a result I lost my job and was out of work for almost a year, which was about how long it took for me to realize my error and start relying on God again. What does this story have to do with MainStreet? I love this church (Excelsior Covenant); I love the programs; I love the leadership; I love you, the people who are the church. Last January I realized I was comfortable here and the warning bells went off. At that point I knew I needed to step outside my comfort zone to a place where I would have no choice but to rely on God. It was at that point, I asked God to find a place where my gifts were needed. Jms 2:16-17 “If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Are you “comfortable” where you are? Doing something unfamiliar is not comfortable. On the other hand, stepping out of your comfort-zone, being forced to rely on God, moves God’s providence off the pages of the Bible and makes it a real, tangible, “I-have-experienced-it” knowledge.
Search your hearts, listen to God’s urging, consider stepping outside your comfort zone. Please think about making a short term commitment to MainStreet.