Tuesday, November 16, 2004
An answer to prayer
I had a very encouraging, and rather ironic experience this past weekend. I was at a youth pastor's retreat put on by my denomination (the Baptist General Conference), and Brian McLaren was the speaker. I just thought it was so ironic that while I'm on the verge of being fired basically for having the same views as Brian, my larger denom is open enough to invite Brian to speak and encourage us to learn from him and his ideas. Talk about your mixed messages.

The retreat was awesome though, and God answered my prayers in a huge way. Going up there (to the Twin Cities) I was praying that God would give me a chance to speak personally to Brian and get his advice on the situation at my church. Specifically I prayed that the things Brian told me would provide me with the kind of information and resources that I need to find a direction for the future, especially in regards to my dream of possibly planting a church.

Well, the first night I was there, Brian invited me to have dinner with him, and then patiently and graciously listened as I poured out the whole story to him. Then he even more graciously offered his advice and (most fantastic of all) gave me the names of individuals and denominations that I should contact about planting an emerging church in the Chicago area! That's the kind of info that I would have had a difficult finding on my own. Plus, if the recommendation comes from Brian, I know I can trust it far more than something I had dug up on my own. (For those of you who are wondering, his #1 recommendation for church planting was going with the Evangelical Covenant Church. Apparently they're good at focusing on the essentials and not imposing a lot of nonessential requirements on their new church planters and are one of the few denoms open to the idea of planting Emerging Churches.)

Anyhow, I was so blessed to get a chance to talk to Brian, and I was stunned at how quickly and thoroughly God answered my prayer for help and advice through him. Meeting him really was like meeting a celebrity. His books have meant so much to me over the past few years. As my mother-in-law commented, me meeting Brian was like a U2 fan meeting Bono. :)

BTW, thanks for your prayers everyone. Please keep praying!
posted by Mike Clawson at 10:22 AM | Permalink |


At 11/16/2004 06:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous



At 11/20/2004 10:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

That's great Mike! I love hearing how God has been working in your life. I think your being kicked out of your job may be a blessing in disguise, and that you'll be happier in the long run. :-)


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