Lessons Learned from the Driver’s Seat

Like a lot of Americans, I have a side hustle: I drive for Uber and Lyft in the Austin area. Working on my days off, late nights, or early mornings I have shuttled random passengers wherever they needed to go for nearly four years. Altogether, I have given almost 3,000 rides and have had all kinds of people in and out of my car!
I began rideshare driving after reading Joining Jesus on His Mission: How to Be an Everyday Missionary by Greg Finke. I was inspired by Finke’s compelling presentation of the call to be engaged in Gospel ministry as we go about our daily work. The problem for me is that 99% of what I do is with church people! I wondered, “How can I interact with the general population on a more regular basis?”

Life Review Time

It is THAT time of year… tax time! Covid-19 and our winter storm of 2021 have brought about a new extended tax season and I am guessing that tax preparers welcome the enhanced flexibility. Even so, for most people, taxes are not anything to get excited about. But I thank God for a seminary professor who gave me a new perspective on taxes. My theology professor one day explained how he believed taxes to be an invitation to review life and faith.
Each year at tax time, we can pause and remember with thanksgiving God’s graciousness in providing for us each day our daily bread and all that we need to sustain life. Additionally, we can take some time and reflect upon what we have invested our finances into over the past year. We remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Tax time can be a heart check-up of sorts: if your finances do not accurately reflect your faith and values, then consider re-aligning your financial priorities to better reflect what is most important to you.

Christ Calls Waco Missionary Family

I am so excited to share about our latest church planting endeavor and introduce you to the missionary family who has accepted God’s call to move to Waco and replant Christ Lutheran Church! Chris Meyer has been called to live on mission and redevelop a community of faith to reach new people on the north side of Waco.
Chris hails from Thrall, Texas where he currently resides with his wife, Kelli, and their children: Wesley (13) and Claira (11). He is enrolled in Harvest Workers, our online ministry training program and serves as the program’s Student Recruitment Coordinator. He is employed full time by the State of Texas, working remotely as an EMS Specialist for the Department of Health and Human Services. Kelli currently works for an assisted living facility in Taylor and is pursuing a nursing degree.

Invitation to a Journey

I am at the beginning of a new journey. While this might surprise you (or perhaps not), finding regular, consistent quiet time to sit at the feet of Jesus and study his word and to pray is something I have often struggled with. I would suspect that I am not alone in this struggle and that perhaps you might also identify with it. If so, then I would like to invite you to begin a new journey, too.
I recently joined a formal spiritual formation group for the very first time. Our group of pastors is directed by a trained spiritual director who trains spiritual directors. I have to admit, beginning this process is humbling and a bit intimidating, but I have already grown and learned so much that I am excited for where this journey will take me and my companions as we encourage one another in our journey together in the months ahead.

Obedience… When it Doesn’t Make Sense

It is our belief that God is calling us to multiply disciples and churches. But how can we participate in God’s multiplication activity in the world today? This is part three in a series on Jesus’ multiplication teaching from the most remarkable multiplication story in human history: the feeding of the five thousand in Matthew 14.
In the first two articles, we established that multiplication starts with you and me, followers of Jesus, being motivated with a burden for others and then responding to Jesus’ call to do something about it by bringing Jesus what we have, no matter how meager or inadequate our resources may seem. According to Matthew, when the disciples saw the hungry crowds, Jesus commanded them, “You give them something to eat.” “But we only have five loaves and two fish,” the disciples responded. And Jesus replied, “Bring them here to me.”

Missional Accountability

Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ is in the midst of a significant transition: Our Board of Trustees is in the final stages of identifying the next Service Coordinator to lead our church body as Mark Vander Tuig retires after ten years in that role. As a part of the transition, leaders from across the association gathered for an assessment guided by Bob Logan of Logan Leadership. In this assessment, several keys for the future of our association were identified.
For me, the most significant takeaway was our need to develop our “missional accountability.” What does this mean? As an association, we have four core values: Free in Christ, Accountable to one another, Rooted in the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, and Fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission to go and make disciples. While each of the four core values are important, the last identifies our purpose. And what Bob Logan helped us recognize is that while we hold one another accountable to Scripture, theology and morality, we have had little to no accountability for our mission to go and make disciples.

What Are We Devoting Ourselves To?

The Day of Pentecost is upon us this year on May 31. Each year we pause to celebrate the birthday of the church and the day when the Holy Spirit was made manifest in powerful ways in and through the followers of Jesus as recounted in the second chapter of Acts. It is a day to remember that the Holy Spirit continues to work in and through the followers of Jesus today in small and mighty ways and to pray for God to revive and renew the Church through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. It is indeed my prayer that the Day of Pentecost is a beautiful celebration and that Holy Spirit once again moves with power in and through followers of Jesus the world over.
But perhaps even more important than the activity on the Day of Pentecost is what happens next. In Acts 2:42-47 we read about what the followers of Jesus were up to after this glorious day: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. … They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”