Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Reading through Radical by David Platte has been quite the experience for Meghan and I. We don't get to read together as much as we would like, but when we do finally get to read a chapter, it seems like we are always challenged.

This last chapter was about the Church. It was definitely a hard chapter to read. Platte referenced some different churches that he had visited in countries that currently don't allow Christian missionaries on their soil. He referenced the power and passion that the churches run with because of their total dependance on God for everything they need to grow and succeed.

He said that his view on American churches had been severely impacted because of his encounters with these churches...that American churches were relying on their own power to succeed instead of relying on God and the power of the Holy Spirit. That accusation is something that really made me struggle. I don't like to think of churches in America being selfish and not rooted in prayer, but the sad reality is that there probably are churches where that is the case.

We live in such a commercialized society that we tend to focus on what WE can do to bring people into the church, like modern videos, louder and more entertaining worship, and energetic, relevant preaching. I'm not saying that these are bad things, but if we as leaders are focused on what WE can do and not what God can do then we have a problem. Ministry needs to be constantly bathed in prayer asking God to bless ministries and work through people to bless people.

Probably the most thought provoking thing that I read in this chapter was something Platte said about prayer and the Holy Spirit. He said that so many times we miss the point when we pray and are waiting for answers. We could be praying for God to provide something to us that we need and while we are waiting for that to simply be handed to us...God has already sent us the Provider. His point was that so many times we fail to see that God answers a lot of prayers for us in ways that we don't expect. Like meeting a physical need for us by sending someone else along to help. It was something that I hadn't really thought about much.

Sorry this post was so choppy and didn't flow...these were just some things I took away from this chapter. I would love to hear thoughts and comments about this subject and how you think the church is doing.


  1. It was a huge shock for me going from being fully focused on school, where everything is about ME getting the paper finished, or ME doing the project, that when I moved into a ministry position, it's not about me. Yes I play a role in ministry, but I can only do my part, and then the Holy Spirit does His. In a sense it is a relief because then I am not responsible for 'saving' people, but then it is also difficult because I have to continually be asking if I am doing my part.

    Thanks for your words Cody! I appreciate your thoughts!

  2. One thing that keeps coming back continually to me is that when we pray for something, we expect it to just be granted to us, like God is some kind of genie.

    I pray for patience, so I expect God to just give me patience.

    In reality, God hands us opportunities to BE patient, and gives us those things for us to practice our patience.

    Not sure if this was where Platte was going with that idea about prayer. Thanks for the book updates/applications. I'll have to check it out.

  3. I heard a quote that really stood out to me on the Holy Spirit. It was by David Timms. What he said was, "The gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us is not for us, but it is for others given THROUGH us." We have to realize that as leaders in the church, we are never to think or act upon the belief that the glue that is holding this church together is us. It is God's love, power, strength, mercy, and grace.

    We as leaders should never think that because we are leaders we should serve. Rather, we should believe that our leadership is nothing more than an overflow of our servitude. Because we serve God and his people we get to be leaders, not the other way around.

    I think too many churches and church leaders have this completely backwards.I know it has been a struggle of mine as well. But I believe that it is one of the most important realizations that we can make in the church. One of the reasons is because it goes completely against what people the church is or should be. This kind of mentality is almost becoming purposefully "irrelevant" to the culture around us. And I believe that it is one of the most attractive and contagious things that a church can do. There are many churches out there that are doing this and God is using them in huge ways. I believe that if we show this kind of model to people, it not only will give the message of eternal life to people, but also the message of a better life. Great thoughts Cody. Thanks!