Hi VinPas family and friends,
I’m reflecting on the cult of speed and the reformation of the American church during this final week of Lent. American culture worships speed. There are certainly times when speed is positive … like stealing second base in baseball, or making a fast break in basketball. But in so many significant areas of life, such as relationship in marriage, home, work, and church, haste makes waste and speed kills. In organization and planning too much speed is shallow, reckless, careless, and irresponsible. In their zeal to demonstrate that they really intend implement their campaign promises, the current political administration rushed to implement a number of policies that ended up not happening. While it is laudable that the administration has zeal to do what they had promised, bipartisan accounts reckoned that these policies were not properly planned out and thought through. Speed caused them to stumble and fall. Likewise, the cult of speed causes the church to stumble and fall.
Our cult of speed has caused us to value speed above all else in church growth. Like any organic thing, if the church is alive it grows. If healthy, the church will grow in both quantity and quality. In the average American church the vast majority of people who attend a worship service are consumers. In other words, they don’t exercise and develop their spiritual gifts to build beautiful Kingdom community and they don’t invest their finances in order to fund their church ministry in the local community and the world. Statistics show that on average only 20% of church members are involved in serving in the church. Only 3% of church members invest 10% or more of their income in their church. While there are a number of speedy ways to attract large crowds, there is no speedy way to develop committed followers of Jesus who live genuine, adventuresome, missional Christian community. This is the quality the American church lacks.
The future of the church is in the next generation … the 16 to 29+ year-olds who will take the church into the future. Statistics show that 16 to 29 year-olds who are actively committed to building beautiful Kingdom community do so because they feel that they are “known” by the older adults in their church community and that they feel that their church community is their “home.” In other words it’s all about relationship … the older adults spending time with and giving steady love and attention to the “millennials” in the community. There is no short cut to developing deeply significant Kingdom relationships with our millennials. It is a slow, steady process. And God is so into slow, patient, thoughtful, process. We clearly want to raise up a new generation of Jesus revolutionaries, not just church consumers, but revolutionary co-producers. Revolutionaries are characterized by aiming for instant and total change. By way of contrast, Jesus-revolutionaries change the world by the patient process of growth and development … making the slow process of building relationship (especially with the next generation) a priority and making the church community a home for them … a place where they are known, safe, and experience God breaking into their world. We live this way as well out in the street with our unchurched neighbors, friends, and co-workers. Hospitality is a huge part of this process. This is the reason I’m so excited about the fact that we’re sharing a meal together after our worship times each week at our house on Sundays and Mario Rivera’s house on Fridays. The American church is in need of a reformation: breaking free from the cult of speed, and changing “church” from meetings of large groups of passive spectators to communities of active, revolutionary, Jesus-followers who feel that they are truly known and that their church community is “home.” Looking forward to Good Friday and Easter with you this week!
**THANK YOU for your generous giving to the Vineyard Pasadena Community and its mission to reach neighborhoods and communities in Pasadena, LA, and the world! To invest your offerings in our community securely online go to: http://vineyardpasadena.org/giving/. On the “giving page” click on the last words in the paragraph.
Events Coming Up:
- Monday 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Worship and Intercession 5428 Dewar Ave, Los Angeles 90022. Now we are doing two different worship and intercession times each week. One in East LA area and one in the Pasadena area. These times in worship and prayer are the foundation out of which our life and ministry flows in our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces. Join us in seeking God’s cleansing, healing, guiding, and empowering presence. For details contact Glen Taylor: 323-215-5385.
- Tuesday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Need Prayer? Booth at ELAC (East LA College). Touch unchurched students with God’s sweet and compassionate inbreaking presence. This outreach is in partnership with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship ELAC. For details contact Glen Taylor: 323-215-5385.
- Wednesday 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Worship and Intercession 501 Concha St, Altadena, 91001. This is the worship and intercession time for the Pasadena area this week. For details contact Jonas Lippuner: 626-765-7891.
- Thursday 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Running Alpha on the PCC campus in partnership with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. For details contact Sam Kim: 808-561-8688.
- Good Friday meal and reflection 6:00 pm. 560 S. Fetterly Ave, Los Angeles 90022. Share a meal, chill, worship, and reflect on the most incredible event to forever change the course of history. Singles bring salads. Families bring a simple dish to share. For more details contact Mario Rivera: 323-253-8491.
- Easter Sunday 11:00 am-1:00 pm. 5428 Dewar Ave, Los Angeles 90022. This is the day to invite your friends and family members who don’t go to church. Easter is the one-day of the year they’ll come! The world-altering empowered life arises out of the death and resurrection of Jesus the King! We’ll share a simple potluck meal together after.
- No NextGen this Sunday.
- Every day of the week … love on your family, your relatives, your neighbors, your fellow-students and co-workers. Love on millennials! Do something fun with someone who doesn’t know Jesus this week! Prayer walk your neighborhood for 10 minutes at least one time this week!