The Most Inspiring E-mail I’ve Ever Received

Please take a minute to read this e-mail I got from a 20-year-old sophomore girl after I spoke in ACU’s Chapel last week. I wish I could bottle up her passion and sell it. Her faith and fervor will blow your mind. Please read:

Hey there Steve,

Wow. I just wanted to encourage you because of the things you shared today in chapel. That was amazing, powerful, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was in it.

I spent last summer as an intern for a street ministry in Denver, Colorado called Dry Bones. (www.drybonesdenver.org) The missionaries (and I’m so glad that you called yourself a missionary because that is indeed what we all are, the US is a mission field too!) that I worked under share your philosophy of ministry exactly, and so the things you said made perfect sense to me. I’m glad that God put someone up there on the chapel podium to get that message across, to however many or few were really paying attention. You planted seeds, brother, and amen to that.

The church as we know it is indeed passing away–people are so preoccupied with expanding their buildings that they do forget about the people within the walls, who are the real church.

I saw that vision of the two blue haired people [note: I made reference to my dream of sitting between two blue-haired people in church — one is 16 and has blue hair by choice, and the other is 85 and can’t help her blue hair]come alive last summer. Dry Bones worked closely with Lakewood Church of Christ, and we brought gutterpunks into that church with their solid black clothing, eighty five piercings, and mohawks. And then we watched the church change…they actually put ashtray pillars outside all of the church entrances, to show acceptance to the streetkids. Wanna reach the lost? they asked themselves. Then we have to meet them where they are at, invite them into our homes, into our lives, give them more than a handout, more than church pews, pretty hymns, and a peace of unleavened bread. Give them a new way of life.

What would happen if every kid at ACU, all 5,000, realized what it seems you and I both have, Steve? What would happen if we all dropped down to 12 hrs a semester, making our 4 yrs turn into 5 or 6, and used all our extra time reaching the 50% of Abilene that is still unchurched? What would happen if our near-graduating students suddenly realized that living off of a ‘mere’ $20,000/yr, like your friend in Austin, is okay? What if they realized the literal meaning of “sell all you have and give to the poor” and “do not worry, if God takes care of birds and flowers then He’ll give you enough too”? What would happen if we all gave up summer classes, getting ahead of the academic game, and used our summers for mission work somewhere? What would happen?

I invite you to Hope Church of Christ–I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but I joined a year ago, realizing that they are reaching for that dream. It is a church where all are welcome, and many have never been to church before. www.hopechurchofchrist.com. We could use more people like you, who have this mindset of “breaking out of the box” the ‘church’ has put itself in. It’s not about rules, it’s about grace.

Also, check out a book called “Messy Spirituality” by Michael Yaconelli. If you haven’t read it yet, then it’ll blow your mind how much in line it is with what you are already saying.

Good luck in Boston. I wish I had friends that were like you and were willing to literally go, just GO, for the sake of the kingdom. Man! Be encouraged, brother, you have the right idea. I wish you all peace and fire from our God.

In the passion of Christ, the ultimate rule-breaker,

[name withheld]

This is case-and-point why I believe God is going to do something we won’t believe in and through the younger generation of North Americans. Such reckless abandon, not for “church”, but for the Kingdom. Praise God.

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