Wednesday, May 07, 2003

A little about me, in case you are new to me, or in case you've known me for awhile but haven't found my intraverted self very open to share. I live in Vegas with my wife Rebekah and my four-year-old daughter Tori. Without getting too deep, I consider myself a missionary to today's culture, which has landed me with my friends planting simple churches. I love to travel. I am an avid runner. I am an avid reader. I am way too devoted to the Chicago Cubs and the Indiana Pacers. And recently, I have made a major life decision to go back to school. I will begin part-time classes at UNLV's Boyd School of Law this fall. In case this makes you wonder what in the world I'm thinking, here is a little something I wrote up a week or so ago to explain my thoughts . . .

. . . . Why am I going to law school part-time for the next four years?

To prepare to live the “normal Christian life.”

In 1989 I made a last-minute decision to go to Bible College and to enter vocational ministry. As I look back, I made this decision for two reasons: First, because I was so frustrated that my high school friends were hurting and needed Christ, yet I felt ill-equipped to do anything for them. Second, because I was a nominal Christian at a crossroads. I knew it was all or nothing, at that point in my life, there was no middle road for me. I had to go for it completely in the only way I knew how, or I would be a nominal Christian for the rest of my life.

Now, fourteen years later, my situation is much different. I am now equipped to share faith with my unchurched friends (I just don’t have any of those kind of friends these days). I have now walked so far away from being a nominal Christian that I’m not sure I would know how anymore! I am now a Christ-follower and a servant/minister, regardless of career title. Especially with my convictions on simple church planting, I am committed to serving and living for God regardless of what my role in life may be.

To spend much time among people in the real world.

I often think it may be more powerful to model my convictions in the process of living a normal life among real people than by practicing my convictions behind the four walls of a church building. A missionary, after all, is one who is sent into a culture. I am ready to start my final stages of preparation to live the normal Christian life by taking law classes.

I am not sure I was ready to be in the world but not of the world back in 1989. I needed some years to learn how do both without getting them reversed. Now, I feel great anticipation and excitement about being out there, in the world, while not being of the world.

·To use my natural talents & abilities more fully

I could be consistent with everything I stated above by working at Wal-Mart or by parking cars at a hotel, or being a construction worker. However, my natural gifts and abilities are white-collar skills. I am naturally designed to read, write, speak, analyze, and organize. The fact that I was able to get into law school at this stage in my life seems to show an open door for me to pursue this use of my gifts. While I never see myself as a defense attorney or an “ambulance chaser,” a law degree opens up a broad door of opportunities for career pursuits that are consistent with my gifts & abilities.

·To have the flexibility of being able to be a tent-maker

As I have become convicted of my call to simple church planting, I have been in many situations to coach and mentor others who are considering the same calling. More and more, I find myself advising them that the best way to start such a ministry is to work in the real world, at least part-time. I always feel a bit of an inconsistency that I really don’t have that option. I look forward to being able to support myself and my family while I live out my ministry convictions.


One person who prayed about this with me had this to say: “I see two highways before you. God says chose either one. But, you must have fun with whichever one you chose!”

I haven’t always been the best at having fun. I usually need someone else to drag me into it. However, taking on challenges has always been a source of fun in my life. Law school is the next such challenge. Only a person like me could see this as an exciting adventure!


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