• Stefan Youngblood

GPS and Disney World

My friend Bishop went to Disney World this past week, and took his mom and dad, Doug and Morgan along with him. I love Disney World. If there were a church there, I would want to lead worship. I have a lot of great memories of being there when I grew up. My parents and 8 kids in tow; that in itself would turn a person to God. I took my 3 kids two years ago. We arrived just after dinner, entered the front gate of the Magic Kingdom, and took a glance at the huge map. You know… the “You are here” map with the great big red arrow. You then determine where you want to go, you speed walk through Main Street, and then you take off straight to “that place.” For us it was “Space Mountain.”

It’s not quite that easy in the Christian journey to get from point A to point B. I love the fact that Ned calls it a journey and not simply a destination. This goes for our personal walk of faith as well as our journey as the community we call, “The Gathering.”

I have a GPS in my car. It’s not a normal GPS. It’s so bad, I actually think smoke signals would work better. When I set it with my destination, it waits. And waits. And…you get the idea. It says “locating satellites”, but I think it’s actually waiting for them to send up new satellites. So I just start driving, sometimes holding the GPS out the window, presuming that the roof of my car may be interfering with the signal. Never mind the fact that the signal just travelled hundreds of miles through the sky, those last 12 inches are tough. Finally, after I call 3 friends to get directions, stop 6 times to ask for directions (because I keep forgetting what the last person said) I finally arrive at my destination and the GPS says the only words it actually knows, “Arriving at destination, on left.” (It’s never right) Many of my friends have said, “Stefan don’t you have a GPS?” I always tell them that my GPS only tells me when I have arrived; it never tells me how to get there. It kinda says, “You’re on your own buddy.” In our personal lives, and at the Gathering, we’re on a journey. We’re not content to stay where we are. That would become a rut. We look expectantly at what God has in store for us. Ok imagine this:

Intentional Discipleship combined with Radical Hospitality- Everyone is so excited about this amazing and authentic mosaic of people, that they invite friends every week and we run out of seats. Sprinkle in Extravagant Generosity. Even folks with “nothing” find joy in giving back to others of their time, and talent, and resources. Stories of outrageous generosity end up in the newspaper. Passionate Worship. Simply singing songs and heartless prayer is a thing of the past. People walk in the door and say, “Wow, this place is amazing. I can actually sense something of heaven in this worship.” Risk Taking Mission. “The Gathering” is actually reaching out to Raleigh in ways like we’ve never seen. And God is made famous through the lives of ordinary people.

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