Life is Full

A little window into my life this morning…This isn’t necessarily dramatic, but it is candid. I ask Suncrest to be real with each other so this is me being real with you. This fall been one of the most intense seasons of my life. Some good. Some not so good. Very demanding. I feel like I’ve failed at some things personally and church-wise. I’ve also seen God work in some powerful ways – both through me and in spite of me. It hasn’t been an awful season…or the best season…just the most intense.

IMPORTANT: If you start feeling sorry for me when you read this…PLEASE STOP. Stop feeling sorry…and stop reading if you have to! 🙂 That would miss the whole point. The point is your life and my life are probably a lot alike. And the last 5 bullet points are BY FAR the most important.

I’m just reflecting here in some random bullet-point form about my thoughts from the past couple months…

-THRIVE was one of the most powerful series we have ever done…it generated a lot of intense and personal and time-intensive conversations.

-People re-calibrating their lives is huge and I think it’s hard to step right into another big thing like SERVOLUTION.

-I feel like we’ve had trouble getting SERVOLUTION “off the ground”. I could be wrong, but it feels too preachy to me…

-I know this about myself: When I get tired it shows up in my teaching. Sermons become more finger pointing and “you should” rather than insightful and “what if we did?”

-I’m praying hard that your community group is providing great inspiration to you here to fill the gap…and when you do jump in to serve somewhere you will experience the joy of it.

-I preached in Chapel at my alma mater last week. Getting invited back as an alum to help mark a significant change at the institution was a great honor…

-But I felt like the sermon I preached in Chapel wasn’t very good. (You ever been in a place you really wanted to hit a home run, but you just grounded out to the pitcher?)

-Jenny is trying to meet the needs of some of our neighbors by helping get kids on the bus in the morning. It makes for a full house from 6:45-8:15 most every morning.

-The Cardinals got swept in the playoffs. Ugh!

-I haven’t blogged for 10 days…I started to type late at night a couple times (embarrassingly late, actually) and fell asleep at the computer.

-It is budget time. And offerings that were strong in the spring are not so strong now. What does next year hold? God knows.

-By every measure out there, Suncrest is short-staffed for our size. It makes us creative and focused. It also creates a “plates spinning” environment.

– I keep praying for someone to make a $2.5 million gift to the church so we can take the $20,000/month we spend on a mortgage payment and use it for staff or other needs.

-I’ve preached every week for a while. I love that. It’s my favorite thing to do.

-I’ve preached every week for a while. I hate that. At it’s worse, the sermon is “the term paper due every week”.

-I get lots of people who want things from me or the church. That’s usually a good thing…they see a chance to make a difference in someone’s life.

-It’s only frustrating when the requests are more about personal preferences than kingdom-mission. That’s human nature, I guess.

-Jenny is serving in more areas than she ever has at church…Children’s ministry, visual arts, and going on the Africa Mission trip in February. I want it no other way.

-Every night she has had an Africa meeting, I’ve had another meeting. Is it good to farm the kids out so we can serve the church? We are blessed with great sitters.

-A very generous soul has given me the gift of unlimited free golf at a very nice local golf course. I used it only twice this summer. That makes me sick.

-I’ve had to have my share of “hard conversations” with people lately. I don’t know anyone who likes those. I know I don’t.

-God has placed some huge opportunities in front of us for next year…I want to tackle all of them. Not sure we can. But who wants to miss an opportunity?

-We keep seeing lives changed. We keep baptizing people at both campuses. As a pastor I know says, “THAT never gets old!”

-After I felt like Sunday’s sermon on “your gifts” was kind of a dud, the first three people I saw in the hallway told me they were jumping in to serve.

Which reminds me…

-God is always at work. He does not grow tired or weary…even if we do.

-Jesus really did overcome death…he can overcome any of my stuff (and any of yours).

-The Holy Spirit really does live inside of me. He guides me as much as I let him. The strength he makes available is limitless. But he doesn’t force it on us.

-In the midst of everything, when I stop to consider all God has given me there is no appropriate response except gratitude.

-I am pretty sure I have the greatest job in the world.

I love you, suncrest. Thanks for being authentic in who you are and encouraging me to do the same. This Sunday I’m going to talk about our passions and how they are God’s signal to us on where to serve. Can’t wait to see you!

~ by Greg Lee on October 15, 2009.

5 Responses to “Life is Full”

  1. Greg,

    1) I know exactly how you feel on most everything in your list. Preaching – Check!, finances – check, wife involved – check, hating job and loving job – check, struggles with people including our board – double check, hard conversations – triple check.
    2) God is faithful even when we struggle. My health is one of my biggest frustrations right behind over-scheduling and too much to do. You too have your thorns in your side.
    3) The best we can do is learn from our failures and keep trying. Many times I want to quit because I am so inadequate for the mission given me. Frustrations with myself, with my people, with the lack of spiritual fervor, with foolish decisions, etc. I realize that I am trying to take everything into my own hands. I am trying to do everything myself. When I give it back, I am not nearly as frustrated.

  2. Greg – Thanks for your honesty. You voiced what many feel but don’t have the courage to write. I admire your authenticity and respect your leadership. I’m proud to have you on the NewThing team.

  3. Greg,

    I wish you well. If you would like my perspective, call me sometime and we’ll have a cup of coffee or something. 219 808-4076


  4. Greg:

    Your authenticity and honesty is one of your greatest attributes!!! It offers others to understand you better, know what to pray for you and your family, and understand that you are human!! I love that about you, and I love that about Suncrest in general. We all experiance seasons in our lives…..some are so incredibly filled that we wonder how we can accomplish anything at all, and make any strides in our quest to share our love for Jesus….and some, sadly are incredibly empty, when life changing events almost paralyze us and make us feel like we don’t know where we fit. It is both really important and difficult sometimes not to let our guard down. It is really hard to juggle our lives, and find the balance that God wants for us. I keep you in my prayers.

  5. Greg,

    Since we met at the Indy airport back in February before a life-changing 12 days in Liberia, I have felt very connected to you. I know why now. We both love Jesus a lot, and both feel very, very human. I love how you ended…yes, Jesus did beat death. Yes, we have a Counselor. Wow. That drives me. I am Mr. Busy in my job, my other job, my family, my…my…my…I need to let Him drive my life and stop saying “me, my, or I” and more about Him, and the One. The Way. Thanks for serving when it does not seem so wonderful. Galatians 6:9. I rest on that. Obedience brings that fresh water that only Christ can offer. Love in Christ, rt

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