Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reformission Rev. Review Pt. 1: Prayer and Calling

Another book review for you. I just recently read Mark Driscoll's Confessions of a Reformission Rev. And it was really good. There are some obvious areas in theology and church life that we differ on, but Driscoll's passion to love and obey Jesus through planting and leading a church is a fun and encouraging story to read. This particular book is just that, a sort of autobiography of his life planting Mars Hill in Seattle. Driscoll is an engaging writer, story teller, and thoughtful theologian.

Over the next few days, I'll post some of what I found to be the highlights of the book:

Part 1

At some point in the early days of church planting, Driscoll realized that he needed to submit to the will of Jesus for Mars Hill. And this meant that he (Driscoll) needed to find out what Jesus wanted Mars Hill to be, to do, etc. Driscoll recounts how he began spending extended periods of time in prayer and bible study on the one hand and then lots of time hanging out in coffee shops and various public places in Seattle, trying to get to know the people, and their needs and interests. Through this process, Driscoll became convinced that Mars Hill needed to grow up from a graduated high school youth group meeting into a full-fledged church that would make a significant impact on the city of Seattle. I really appreciated Driscoll's realization that he needed to spend a lot of time studying the Bible and praying. He notes somewhere in there, that this is still a regular part of his schedule, and this is something that pastors have to come to peace with. An important part of the pastoral call is *praying*. Hours should be spent each week *praying*. And this is different than preparing for a Bible studies, sermon preparation, reading theological journals, or blogging. Praying is talking to Jesus about what He wants from you, from your people, and what He wants for your city. If Jesus is Lord of His Church, and King of every one of our cities, then we need to speak to Him and hear from Him. While Driscoll has been called to minister to many different sectors of Seattle society, he began with and continues to focus on young men and the college/young singles crowd (though the church has grown up to include families of all ages). When pastors pray for direction from the Spirit of Christ, they should not expect to know already where they will be sent. Some need to be sent to the trailer parks, some need to be sent to India, some need to be sent to the homeless shelter, and some need to be sent to the coffee shops. But it's awfully easy to think that Jesus wants all the hip, young seminary graduates hanging out at Starbucks and listening to Sufjan Stevens. But we need to listen to our Heavenly General very carefully, and this means spending lots of time in prayer every week.

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