As my kids have gotten older, and all their friends with them, I have begun to have conversations with some fellow parents about where life issues and matters of faith collide. We have friends whose children have decided they no longer believe in God or who make choices that are in conflict with God’s design for our lives.
In addition, my wife and I are starting to see some areas in our faith where we no longer believe what we were taught growing up. We are in the process of untangling some of these areas from our faith.
These two things have caused me to start thinking about how our faith should operate.
Over the years I’ve encountered many situations that forced me to deal with conflict. Naturally, I’m a non-confrontational leader. I’d prefer to have peace. However, what these situations have taught me are a valuable part of what God is creating me to be — not just as a “leader” but as a worshiper and follower of Jesus.
If you grew up like me, you grew up in a home that did a great job of celebrating the birth of Jesus each year, but without much liturgy. I didn’t grow up in a liturgical church so it should be no surprise that liturgy wasn’t a part of our our celebrations. In fact, I didn’t really know what Advent was until I was a worship pastor at a church and my lead pastor said we should have Advent candles in our services this season. I said, absolutely…then quickly googled “advent candles”.
Growing up in a pentecostal tradition I’ve heard a lot of pre-message sermons on faith. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the pre-message sermon, that’s the sermon you get before the regular sermon. It can be anywhere in the service, but pentecostal pastors like to give their congregants their money’s worth — so we normally get 2 sermons. (Sorry for that rabbit trail…see I make a good pentecostal preacher).
So, as I was saying, I’ve heard a lot about faith — mostly in the context of moving or doing something. We even have a phrase for it: stepping out in faith. It’s a very biblical concept. After all, Peter stepped out of the boat and walk on water (Matthew 14) — albeit for a brief moment, but nonetheless he stepped out of the boat.