One hundred and eighty people gathered in North Carolina for four days in October to go three- by-three to meet with state leaders in every county in the state. This Adventure was modeled after Luke 10 where Jesus sent out the sometimes scaredy-cat 72 disciples two-by-two to every town to pray and lift up Jesus’ name. Wow … what an opportunity and privilege.
|I met with leaders in Surf City, NC|
I flew in from New Orleans and didn’t know anyone. I left North Carolina understanding the power in multiple bands of three brothers stepping out in faith. I expected we would be handed a script to use with our conversations … we were reminded the Holy Spirit would give us the words. I expected we would have pre-arranged appointments set up for us … we were led only by God in every town and to every person. I thought we would sleep in hotels … God provided the home of a man and woman of peace (and we didn’t have to shake off the dust from our feet). I expected to see North Carolina … but Jesus led us to see the plentiful harvest and not look through, past or by human beings … to truly see them. Jesus blew up all of my expectations and I was left with nothing … but Jesus. Guess what? He was enough.
The power of three going out in Jesus’ name yielded open doors in every town … mayors, county managers, half-way houses, Indian reservations, jails, police chiefs, parks, college presidents, churches, etc. Leaders and people were asked, “What is your biggest problem?” The reoccurring themes were – Racial division, lack of housing, the churches are divided, Meth, lack of peace, and people complaining. Everyone sensed the trouble in our nation and local communities was bigger and deeper than what Republicans, Democrats or Organized Religion could solve. I met the head of the North Carolina Supreme Court. In response to the problems in the state, he said, “We are just putting our fingers in the dykes, and we are running out of fingers to plug the holes.”
Our message of hope to every leader and person was that there is a solution for our human predicament. The solution is in the only Leader who can transform a human heart and bring about real reconciliation.His name is Jesus. We didn’t say the answer was in Christianity but in Christ. The answer is not throwing stones, demonizing, endless complaining, but lifting up the name of Jesus and learning to love God and love people in a Jesus fashion. This has the power to bring about a great awakening of one or even a nation. One young 6’5”, rough around the edges, country boy said it this way, “Everybody just read the book with red letters and everything will be OK.”
We didn’t get booted out of any public official’s office. People were intrigued, curious and drawn to Jesus. Leaders everywhere were exhorted to start little groups in their offices, or a coffee shop, and get to know the real Jesus. A fire got lit in North Carolina. May it spread? Now I will go out two-by-two in Louisiana. How about you? Check out Luke 10 yourself.
You never know when God will bring a divine appointment. This happened the other day:
Stranger: You look familiar. Where are you from?
Me: New Orleans
Stranger: I’m from New Orleans, too.
(It turns out we didn’t know each other. He asked what I was doing and I summed it up in a sentence.)
Stranger: I don’t want to talk to anyone about Christianity!
Me: It sounds like you have had a very bad experience with Christianity.
Stranger: When I was 12 years old my parents divorced and all three of us got excommunicated from the church!
Me: Sometimes I don’t like talking about Christianity either. Would it be alright if I talked to you about Jesus?
Stranger: Oh, that will be okay.
Me: One thing I know for sure … Jesus would never have excommunicated a 12-year-old boy from His church. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I know Jesus cares about you and wants to have a relationship with you.
(Off we went into a wonderful conversation about Jesus. Jesus wasn’t a Christian; he was a Jew. We don’t pray in Christianity’s name but in Jesus’ name. The gospel is the good news of Jesus, 1 Cor. 15:1-4)
Prayer for Colorado
|Leaders from Estes Park and Longmont|
A couple of weeks ago eight leaders who have faced devastation from the recent floods in Colorado, flew in to Louisiana. The leaders from Estes Park recounted the damage, and leaders from the Longmont area spoke of a town being washed away and losing their entire church building. They asked me to come preach and meet with community pastor/leaders. My aim was to encourage these leaders by sharing our Katrina story and put a copy of my book in their hands. Pray. May God work His exploits and faithfulness like He did in our times of anguish. I am still convinced that God works great works in the middle of disasters.
|Estes Park, Colorado|
Betting the Farm on God,
North Carolina Adventure Report