Saturday afternoon, about 3pm, Kris and I were sitting in the front row at North Point Church in Atlanta. I was mulling over what I was about to say when I realized that Bill Willits, a leader at North Point, was calling to the stage three friends of ours: Norton Herbst, Steven Redden, and Jason Malec. Three excellent, gifted, young leaders — and they have come together in a decision to plant a church in Denver. Bill barely managed to keep himself together … and we too … and yet it was a good moment. The kind of moment that many of you know — the commissioning of those you love to leave and strike up a new work somewhere else.
We were at North Point for another reason.
Bill Willits had invited me down to speak to small group leaders — and it’s pretty cool when the leaders number more than a thousand — about the The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others
and the missional life that the Jesus Creed can create. So, in the morning I did a talk on the Jesus Creed and the need for us to develop a sacred rhythm of reciting the Jesus Creed at least twice a day. In the afternoon we did one on how the Jesus Creed can teach us to welcome (what I call) “blue parakeets” into our neighborhood. I’m persuaded that to become missional-minded we need to become more love-shaped. The habit of reciting the Jesus Creed can help. Wonderful people; great questions; challenging.
Between our sessions we attended Norton Herbst’s session on how to deal with serious theological problems in small groups — and I thought he did a marvelous job of teaching us to focus on the essentials and discerning when and where and how to diffuse heat. It was a good session. Then we got to chat with Jason and Norton and Brian and Bill and Terry over lunch. (By the way, Bill and Terry and Kris and I went out the night before to Wisteria when we learned that we have a common love of Italy.)
We think the world of North Point and these fine leaders … and so we got on the plane with thankful hearts that we were able to experience briefly God’s work at North Point and for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful work of God in Atlanta.