Why I’m at The Point? (previously published, Remastered w/bonus track)

The title: Just a little music humor for you all. Remastered means transferred to a CD to (theoretically) sound better. Bonus tracks are songs not on the original album or CD. The paragraph below is the “bonus track”. The paragraph breaks (space between them) is the “remaster”.

Hey, I published this note on Facebook last week. Working with the Facebook note system drove me to create a WordPress blog. Anyway I have a bunch of friends on FB from a church called New Walk. I decided it was time for me to attend a different church, The Point? This was not because I had any issues with New Walk, I just felt I needed to switch for Spiritual growth. A lengthy explanation below follows.

If you read this once (without paragraph breaks, ugh) then you’ve already read everything after this sentence (edit: and the next sentence). Please note since it was a FB note I wrote it with the assumption that people knew who I was and were familiar with some basic info about my life. I thought about waiting until I didn’t have a blog for the day so I could keep the streak alive. For better or worse I decided not to cheat. So here you go.

Why I’m at the Point

Hi all, a new note. Hopefully the first of many. I’m sure a few of you are aware that I haven’t been at New Walk in several weeks. The same few of you might be aware that I have been attending The Point? in Brooksville. I’d like to take a few moments (or paragraphs) to address why.

Warning: if you want drama you’ll be disappointed. If not read on.

OK, first off I’d like to address why I left AMPED. Or to put it more formally why I resigned as a youth leader. I was struggling with this decision for several months before I made it. When I did make it I sent a formal email to Brent to explain why. I think this was the right way to do it since I wanted to be real clear about why I was leaving. But at the same time I understand if anyone thinks I should have told him in person. I was as honest as I felt I could be at the time. Now I am going to be even more blunt. I resigned because I wasn’t connecting with the teens. Let me be clear, it was 100% my fault. The teens were never rude or disrespectful to me. At least that I can remember or notice. I simply didn’t have the enthusiasm to be there and I didn’t try hard enough. In my defense I did make an effort but not enough of one. And so because I didn’t really want to be there (because I’m lazy. lets be honest) I didn’t have that positive energy you need to work with teens which in turn made it harder to connect which reinforced me not wanting to be there. Ironically (or sadly) I’m getting to the point where I’m growing and I think I could get fired up but that avenue is closed.

Once I left AMPED I knew I wasn’t where I needed to be with God. I had to think back about when I was growing with God. Answer: mid to late 2009. What was going on in mid to late 2009, two things. First I was in Mark Sheldon’s Foundations class. Mark is a Christian mentor who invested in me. Now he’s the pastor at The Point? He’s always let me know that the door was open for me to come to The Point? I felt like I should go out there, I had felt that way since he started but I didn’t want to leave New Walk. I also didn’t want to drive to Brooksville. But I knew that I had to make changes, I had to be around someone who would push me, who I knew wouldn’t let me remain anonymous.

This shouldn’t be taken as a slight on Pastor Gary or anyone else at New Walk.

An analogy might be helpful here. Let’s pretend I’m a defensive football player with the Jets (I wish). I’m an OK player but not great. I did have a couple of good seasons but the other seasons not so much. So what was different about the good seasons? The Jets had a defensive coach named Bill Belichick for 3 years. Coach Belichick left to become the head coach of the Patriots. I think to myself if I can join the Patriots I might have a really good season since Bill Belichick gets the most out of me. This isn’t an insult on Al Groh, Herman Edwards or any of the other Jets coaches as they are very good coaches. It simply says that I as a player work well with Belichick as a coach.

BTW: Belichick is too darn good for this analogy as he is the better coach (I used the real timeline of coaches for the Jets). I suspect Mark would be happy if I said he’s better than Pastor Gary (just kidding) but sorry Mark, that isn’t the point I’m making.

I have nothing against New Walk. I’m considering joining a connection group in the summer or fall and perhaps showing upon one Saturday night (or several) to see old friends, worship and heare some PG. But The Point? is an opportunity to be on the ground floor of a great move of God, kind of like being with New Walk when it first started. I’m not burning any bridges, I want open doors at New Walk. 🙂 I’m very thankful for all New Walk has done for me and what I suspect they will continue to do.

I said two reasons. The second reason has nothing to do with New Walk or The Point? but its important to point out. In 2009 I had a huge crush on somebody. It got to the point where I was obsessed. Maybe demonically oppressed. It was bad. I never want to go there again, seriously, I’d rather die alone. Not worth it. It wasn’t her fault, she wasn’t perfect but overall she treated me well. She just wasn’t interested. Nevertheless this obsession was horrible for me. Why is this important? Because it drove me to the Word and to prayer. That’s the foundation and if I’m not doing that and pushing myself in that it doesn’t matter who my pastor is or where I go to church. If the football player doesn’t workout, practice and study the coach doesn’t matter. So I can’t discount that either.

OK, I do have one fond memory of that experience. I finally decide I’m going to tell her how I feel. Even though she was wanting to move to her old home and reconnect with an old flame. I’m always up for doing that (well except when I have to actually do it). I finally found the only person on Earth who thought this was a good idea and strongly encouraged me to do this. So I call her and ask her to meet me for coffee because I wanted to talk to her. So we get there and I tell her how I feel (I honestly can’t remember what I said, something about 6 months, cute and servant’s heart). She responds in a way I don’t quite remember. Flattered and she didn’t reject me, that I know. That took about 10 minutes max. And my speaking role in this conversation was finished. That topic was finished. The next hour and a half was about her. She talked, I listened, responded appropriately to her cues. I’m not sure she remembered what I told her by the time we were finished (OK, I exaggerated but not by much).

Yeah that’s the one good memory. That and the night before when it was me, the dude she had broken up with not long ago and the dude she went on to marry and were just all standing there talking to her. Good times. Yeah … good times. Uh, OK moving on.

I feel the reason I’m growing spiritually is because I’m putting in the work. Mark is an encouragement for sure. But what causes life change are things like expanding my Bible study time, setting aside 15 minutes for praise and worship and going to church knowing that if I’m absent I won’t get away with it. Continuing to know I need to grow and serve, that’s what I need. The church I choose is a help but God’s my strength, that’s Who I need to rely on.

Thanks for reading. I need to do more of these. Topic suggestions welcome.

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