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New Mark Driscoll Fan

Last week I was able to attend the National New Church conference. Several organizations were present including Vision 2020, Acts 29 and the New Thing network. As I said, I think a few things could be better (and I'm sure will be) but I absolutely loved Mark Driscoll's short message. Normally he speaks anywhere from 1 hour to 1.5 hours (and his church is averaging 4,000 people in Seattle) but the conference gave each speaker approximately 30 minutes max.

Several things that make me a fan:
1. He knows who he is. Mark is not worried about how others see him. He's worried about being right before God and being a change agent for the Lord's Kingdom.

2. He knows what to value. Mark doesn't give you an inch on the things that matter most but he'll walk a mile with you on the extra-biblical things that so many Pastors look down on.

3. He worships a Jesus worth worshipping. The picture he painted of the soon-to-come Jesus from Revelation 19 is inspiring.

4. He's as sarcastic as I am (or worse). Many times my sarcasm is reserved for myself or my wife but I connected with Driscoll's way of looking at things.

5. He pushes men to be men. I love the fact that he is going after that side of the population. Jonathan Eldridge has nothing on Driscoll's approach to men.

On Thursday at the conference I went and purchased the new book called "Confessions of a Reformission Rev." by Mark Driscoll. I soaked it up. ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!

This was the most raw book in Christianity I've ever read. This book was not written simply to tick someone off. It was written to honestly share best practices and worst practices with the rest of us. Mark is truly taking up his position as a leader not only for Acts 29 but for our generation. A friend and I were talking the other day and agreed that he is bringing the church what we've needed for a long time. I love guys like Andy Stanley and Ed Young but there is something amazingly raw about Mark Driscoll that connects with me.

I grew up in Baltimore city... not Alpharetta or Grapevine.... I wasn't raised in a Pastor's home and I didn't have a father in my home... Like it or not, much of America looks more like me than many of the big-wigs in Christianity today. For several years I've had a feeling that the church is still not firing on the cylinders needed to reach this generation.... I truly believe that Mark Driscoll is much closer to this than any of us realize. It's not about "Emerging" or "Modern" or any of that garbage... it's about people... sick people who are addicted to pity, pervertedness, drugs, alcohol or arrogance. No matter what the drug... society needs the cure...

I'm not doing a book review here... because Steve McCoy did one here and Gary did a smaller one here... and Ben mentioned it here... but I will tell you to go and pick it up. It's an easy read but a powerful read as well.

The SECOND BOOK I read in as many days was Mark's first book... Radical Reformission. Again, awesome. I know it's a few years old and I'm behind on this one... but I LOVED IT. The entire book is about culture and how we really should approach it. This is another concept I've been passionate about (before I knew there was even a book that expressed my heart).

Basically most churches want to change morality. They are more concerned with getting a person to do the right things on the outside. This HUGELY frustrates me. First off, there are some issues that are NOT BIBLICAL but yet we want to force people to change. Just because it's a traditionally held standard does not make it biblical. I find it ironic that our predecessors fought for our denomination to view scripture as the inerrant Word of God but once we do they bend over backwards to make up crap that's not in the text and try to pass it off as God's will for our society.

Anyway... a friend expressed to me a few years back "Tally, we have it all wrong... the church wants people to Believe, Behave and then Belong.... but really the de-churched or unchurched need to know that they Belong before they will Believe and Behave." That's what this book is about. It teaches us the why and how of encouraging people to Belong before they change their beliefs or behavior. We are asking people to flip their life. A true repentance is 180 degrees ...an about-face. A true conversion of that nature will not often happen in 3 minutes at a doorstep. People will naturally have some sticky questions and may even need to have a safe place to process those questions.... God's not afraid of that.... and he's not turned off by them... so why should we be?

Mark talked last week about the church becoming a church for men. Men dont' like the church. The church neuters men. Mark went on to talk about the fact that the Jesus most churches put out there is one-dimensional. We show people the weak and mild skinny Jesus that we picture in the Passion of the Christ. Mel Gibson did a fantastic job showing us the torture and suffering that is the Passion... but Mark points us to a risen Jesus.... a Jesus who WILL RETURN. We don't worship the dead or dying Jesus... we worship a RISEN Lord. What will that Risen Lord look like the next time we see him?

Revelation 19
1I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.
(The Jesus we worship judges and makes war!)

His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. (Powerful dude. Kinda ticked off too)

13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. (Yep... that's Him)

14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.
(you know you're in trouble when the person who's coming to fight you wears white and doesn't expect to get dirty)

15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
(not very weak here huh? "treads the winepress of the fury" wow!)

16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

This was a very freeing message. This is a Jesus that most of the world doesn't hear about. This is a powerful Jesus who deserves all of our worship and praise. This is a Jesus that MEN can relate to. There is no reason why most of our churches should continue to be full of passive men. We must become the central location to teach men how to be men. As Mark says... teach young men how to get educated, get a job, get a home, get married, take care of kids, raise a Godly family, lead the church, change their world!

Instead the church spends it's time picking up the pieces from men who screw everything up because they don't care if they leave a wake behind them. We counsel kids who don't have dads. We support single moms, we have to deal with the depression and feelings of worthlessness that people have who grew up with out a father present or who had a father but he abused the family.... The church has to quit enabling these men by ignoring the cause of all of these problems. Let's show them a God whom they can relate to and let's call them to live for Him.

Thank you Mark for calling us all to a higher standard.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Wednesday, May 03, 2006


At 11:00 AM, Anonymous bill streger said...

Amen, Tally. Mark is a friend and a hero of mine, and I think he has been uniquely gifted and raised up by God to make an impact on the Church at large during this generation.

By the way, I agree about his second book - probably one of the best church planting books I've ever read. Great stuff.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Chris Marlow said...

Hey Tally,

I agree...I went to Mars Hill back in 2000 and I was so happy to connect with a church that felt strong and not weak or wimpy.

Its amazing how so many churches feel so wimpy, the colors patterns they choose, the flowers on stage etc. Then we wonder why men do not want to attend church???

Anyhow, great post.

At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Ben Arment said...

Amen and amen.

At 2:34 PM, Blogger blake white said...

Great stuff man. Thanks!


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