Shaping Culture: Recap

Earlier this month, Resurrection Church had the unique opportunity of hosting an evening of worship and learning that brought together the communities of three Stadium District churches.  

The event included teaching from First Presbyterian Church, New Community Church, and Resurrection Church; with worship led by musicians from New Community Church.  The teaching focused on our call as disciples of Jesus Christ, throughout the South Puget Sound and beyond, to shape and to engage the culture around us.      

Pastor Eric Jacobsen - First Presbyterian Church

Pastor Eric Jacobsen - First Presbyterian Church

Pastor Eric Jacobsen, of First Presbyterian Church, spoke about the fragmentation of the culture in which we live, and the importance of our intentional placement within it.  Citing God's intentional placement of Adam in Genesis 2:8 as an example for us, he taught “You now live in a particular place. And I believe that God can use that place to grow you as a disciple, and to utilize you in His mission to reconcile all of creation to Himself.”

He went on to discuss some of the common barriers and distractions to loving our neighbors that are hardwired into our culture (i.e. - television, mobile devices, isolation from neighbors), and how we can overcome them together; stressing the importance of church covenant community, which he believes can “pull us out of the insularity and the fragmentation our culture is commanding on us.”

 
Pastor Bo Noonan - New Community Church

Pastor Bo Noonan - New Community Church

The second speaker was Pastor Bo Noonan, from New Community Church, who opened with a reading of Colossians 1:15-20.  He talked about what it looks like to see Jesus preeminent in all areas of our lives, including our careers; presenting an illustration of the “8 Domains of Society.”  These are eight categories of work that can be found in every society in the world (family, economics, agriculture, education, etc.); and each of us falls into at least one.  Pastor Bo explained that we need to break and denounce the cultural lie that we have a church life and a separate work life; seeing instead the need for Jesus' reign in all areas of life.  He emphasized that “if we are people living under the reign and rule of Jesus, and we're submitted to the reign and rule of Jesus, then we need to invite His jurisdiction, and His reign, and His will, into our domains.”    

 
Pastor Bubba Jennings - Resurrection Church

Pastor Bubba Jennings - Resurrection Church

The final speaker of the evening was Pastor Bubba, of Resurrection Church, who spoke about our ability to engage culture through our stories; recognizing that everyone has a story, and that their story is a part of God's greater story.  He stated that “when we understand that to influence people and shape culture requires us helping them understand that they’re part of a greater story than themselves, then we will look for opportunities to connect them to God’s story.”  

To illustrate this, Pastor Bubba shared the account of St. Patrick, the first missionary Bishop, who engaged the “unreachable” people of the story-loving tribal culture who once held him enslaved, through sharing God's story with them; inviting them in to become a part of it themselves.   

 

Samuel, who attended the event with friends Mark and AJ, resonated particularly with the idea of sharing stories.  He shared this thoughts: “I think telling a more compelling story is pretty huge in evangelizing.  And really telling a story that implies that there’s something more than just being saved… a redemption of our lives and the passion that we have in Christ to share Him with other people."

Resurrection ChurchComment
An Undeserved Gift

How have you seen God working in your life lately?

 

Colby:

"Well I got in a pretty bad car accident recently and God has really been showing and teaching me some stuff in that. 

When I got in the accident, all I could think about was that my life is awful, that this is the worst thing that could happen me in this exact moment.

I had just taken off my jacket while sitting in traffic and hadn’t put might seatbelt back on yet when we started moving again.

The fact that i wasn’t wearing my my seatbelt at the time of my accident and ended up ok is really crazy. 

Everyone that was in my Community Group was reminding me, “You should be thankful to be alive!” 

I didn’t want to hear that.

But Jesus was pouring into my life through these friends and helping me to stop thinking about how my car was totaled and think about how God had grace on my life. 

You could say, "it was just a car accident”, but I’ve been more appreciative and thankful this week, realizing how good Jesus is.  

God showed me through the accident that I do not deserve anything, but he's given me everything with a single breath of life. 

A verse that has wrecked me is Hebrews 12:3-5. It reminds me that no matter what tragedy or bloodshed occurs to me, I'm saved by grace to enter the gates of heaven, and that pain and bloodshed still will never equate to the crucifixion of Jesus."

Christ at The Center

How has God been changing you and working in your life this year?

Bryan:

"For one, we just recently got married in December and that has been an experience that I was completely unprepared for that God uses to grow you in ways you didn’t know you needed to be grown or could grow. My friend who got married a couple years before us would say, “marriage is the hardest and most fulfilling thing that I’ve ever done,” and I didn’t know how to comprehend that until I got married. In the last year that’s what stands out the most; the way that God uses someone that you love so much to reveal to you ways that you need to grow. Every single day I know that there’s an opportunity for me to show the love of Christ to Devon and also to receive grace. There are a lot of growing pains and a lot of grace needed to figure out what it looks like for us to be married and to have Christ at the center of our relationship."

Devon:

"When we got engaged I was living in Arizona with my family, and so when God clearly gave us this direction, it became a matter of me walking in obedience quickly to the Lord. In that journey of learning to trust the Lord, it was different from how my relationship had been with God in the past, and I wanted to trust him so much but it was also very hard not to just plan everything very well.

But walking in faith and obedience and seeing how rewarding that can be and how that was way more comforting to me than holding onto everything more tightly. Moving away from my family to Washington because that’s where He’d called my husband to be and a community that he was flourishing in and clearly that God’s hand was a part of, having courage and relying on Him for that strength which throughout my faith has been a difficult thing.

The tale of my story was that I really struggled with trusting in God even when I really wanted to and at the end of the day I would always rely on my own strength. God gave me a really beautiful opportunity and it’s come with a lot of blessings and rewards and more things to work through, through marriage and learn about myself and about how to love other people.

As frustrating as it can be sometimes, marriage is the best place to see how ugly you can be and then to really feel sorrow for that. When it’s the person you love the most and you see those things in yourself and how you can love them better and it’s a really beautiful relationship to grow because God is so faithful to it."

 

God is Enough

What Has God been teaching you lately?

Jenny: 

"That God is enough. That I don’t have to do things in order to earn his love, his approval. That really just trusting in him is enough.

It’s a lesson that I always have to keep relearning, as somebody who likes to plan and know what’s going on all the time and be in control.

That has probably been one of the hardest things, learning that God’s just going to do it and he’s going to be there for me and no matter how much planning and doing he has a plan. I kind of need to be just like, okay, and surrender and realize his way is going to be the best and he’s what I need to lean on instead of all the things that I’m trying to busy myself with.

If I’m so busy trying to be in control of everything you miss out on what God’s really doing. So I think that I’ve really learned to start to step back and that finally see that there’s joy, comfort, peace, all of those things that you can be so busy trying to do on your own; because God’s will and his way is going to be perfect for me.

If I look at my life, where it’s gone, I would never have scripted any of it, but even though a lot of things were really hard, it’s where I'm at and that I have a life with Jesus is like way amazing."

 

All For Christ
12473732_884625624966365_4754571846157173034_o.jpg

Q: How has God grown you in this last year? What is he teaching you?

John:

"The Lord has really blessed us this last year. With our third daughter on the way, the physical growth of our family is incredible.

The spiritual growth in my own life has been really centered around God teaching me perseverance at work and with my relationships.

He’s given me greater patience with other people and helped me see that all that we do in life is for Christ.”

Our Good Father
12491800_884631841632410_1648199044684693816_o.jpg

How have you seen God work in your life over 2015 and into this new year?

Natalie: 

"I’ve been going to God with my anxiety and fear. Moving from California to go to school here was hard but in that God has been showing me how good of a father He is, and how he provides and follows through.

If I take a step in faith, no matter what it is, God will follow through.

He's given me boldness. Before, I would be afraid to step in a sanctuary. Walking in and having people greeting me was super intimidating. To see God putting a desire in my heart to participate in music and talking to and sharing the Gospel with people, It's something I would have never done before.

God has created me the way he has created me for a a purpose and for a reason and there are people I can reach that others can't. He's showing me how to be faithful in that, to step out, even with fear sometimes. The result is that you have even more faith and less fear.

Before I had the mentality that when God broke me free my fear I'd step out to witness to others be he's been showing me that in stepping out my fear is being broken."

The Blessing of Church Family

How has God been working in your life this last year and into 2016?
 

Chelsea:

"God has really blessed me with a great community this year.

I was able to spend the last two Christmases with Deacon Jim and Kathy. With not a lot of family in the area, it’s sweet to have the blessing of extended family in the church.

I’ve also grown a lot in a great community this year, with a group of people that are, as cliche as it sounds, in the "same stage of life”. Really though, it’s an intentional community of people that are praying together, challenging one another and having fun together."