In his book "SoulTsunami" Leonard Sweet says this about change:
"In the medical world, a clinical definition of death is a body that does not change. Change is life. Stagnation is death. . . . Skin replaces itself every month; the stomach lining, every five days; the liver, every six weeks; the skeleton, every three months; cheek cells, three times a day. Ninety-eight percent of the atoms in your body are replaced every year – your whole body every five years (men) or seven years (women)."
This is amazing stuff to me. It means that the church oughta be the same. If we’re not changing, we’re dying. Robert E. Quinn says the same thing, "None of us can avoid the confrontation of slow death. We all must choose the strategy of deep change." He also describes the deep change process as "walking naked into the land of uncertainty." I love that image ’cause it so clearly communicates the fears that we have going into the change process. We are vulnerable – scared – unsure of ourselves. But isn’t this where faith gets to exercise? Isn’t it when we are weak that He is strong? Isn’t this also the place where we feel fully alive? Where we are fully present in the moment? It’s frightening – but oh – it’s also exhilarating!!
Our study materials suggested that we find a mentor and so I asked my Father-in-Law, Mike Mathews. He and I were friends long before I even met his daughter (my beautiful bride) and he was influencing/leading me into new places spiritually from the first day I met him. We have traveled all over the world together learning about Jesus and the church. We have been to Israel, Soul Survivor in England, Brooklyn Tabernacle, and Phoenix Church of Joy together. He also sent me to Willow Creek, Saddleback, and Ginghamsburg UMC in Ohio for more training. As much as I learned from each of these places, I have probably learned more from watching him in both the way he lives and in his vocation as Pastor. I’m excited that he has agreed to talk with me and our first meeting was great! He shared much with me about his personal “Deep Change” over this past year.
Thank you God for preparing the way to make this day possible. Thank you for this friendship and for the ways that You have worked in Mike’s life to bring him to this place in life where he is finding His purpose and meaning in You in new and profound ways. Use these times that we meet together to help us encourage one another and be the “body” that You’ve called us to be. Use these times and experiences to speak into our lives and move us to maturity in You. AMEN!