So, for the last couple of hours, I haven’t been able to get a couple of things out of my head about the Antioch community that I’m really proud of.
Thought that maybe if I wrote down some of the cool stuff I’d be able to clear my mind!!
Here’s a list:
- Financial giving at Antioch has been really amazing. What makes that so cool to me is that we haven’t even really talked about money. I really think that people want to give to what God is doing. Maybe when pastors goad the congregation about giving it actually takes the ownership away and makes it less fun for people to give??
- Brandon declared at staff meeting this week that he’s swamped with people wanting to help other families in the church (both through time and money) and that he can’t surface needs fast enough to keep up with the amount of people looking to give. Have you ever heard of something like that?!?
- In the last couple of days we’ve heard from a married guy in Portland who decided to quit his job, move to Bend and work for us through World Relief NEXT for the next 6 months of his life; from a coffee shop owner who is willing to give his coffee shop to Antioch if someone is willing to run it; from a church in the midwest that has decided as a congregation to focus on helping churches in the Congo for the next 5 years because of what they’ve seen and heard through us (we’d never even met them before!); from a coffee distribution manager of a local coffee company who offered out of the blue to take care of all the coffee needs at the Kilns Bookstore; from a brand new family to Antioch who wants to help take care of our College pastor financially; and from a Christmas Tree lot that donated 20 trees to be given away to families in need.
- Mission Kids is getting ramped up for a relaunch with Linda (our Children’s Director) who is fired up to help parents teach their kids about compassion. Mission Kids is something that the staff has been passionate about for a long time. Matt (our College and Missions Pastor) and Brandon (our Community Pastor) are both excited to be in the mix. Stay tuned on this one!!
- Saw a really cool article in the Bend Bulletin yesterday from a local high school student that mentions Kilns College. It’s amazing that a place like this exists where young people wrestle with questions of faith.
- I’ve been having conversations with several people who are now coming to Antioch because of the new Q&A Service. Several are staying for both services and are, in their words, “for the first time finding God.”
- There’s a conversation going amongst many of the professionals and artists I know about the concept of “giving your life away.” I’ve never seen so many people willing to contribute, do pro bono work or volunteer. It’s amazing… absolutely amazing to see people doing what they can to add fuel to the fire!!!!
Anyway, the list could go on and on. I read Acts 2 to the staff this week and said that in the past decade I have read it a hundred times, taught on it a dozen times, but feel like I’m living in it now for the first time.
A pastor I met recently from another state shot me an e-mail this week to affirm Antioch and said, “you must be having the time of your life.”