Back in March we brought Lon Wong in as a guest teacher at thebridge. Prior to Lon’s visit I had only known him through his blog. I was energized by how his mind worked and thought he would be a great catalyst for us at thebridge. We were not disappointed. Lon flew in dropped an awesome message on us and went back to that small city in Canada known as Toronto (which by the way will be hosting an NFL game this year!).
I wasn’t all that sure we would do something like this again. It felt like it was one of those God ordained moments that was a one and done. But over the past few months the promptings reemerged and I was again led to toss an invitation to teach at thebridge to someone I had never met before. After some prayer on both sides, AJ has agreed to drive up from his small city of Kansas City (which by the way will be hosting 8 NFL games this year – no playoffs for you Chiefs fans) to visit us in Ottumwa and guest teach next week. We have been praying for him and his family the past few weeks and are super stoked about what he has for us.
To the best of my knowledge there hasn’t been a pastor who invited another pastor to come and speak at their church without meeting them or having a contact who knew them. For the most part this makes sense. I’ve heard phrasing such as, “we need to protect the podium” or “we can’t let anyone speak because we don’t know what they’ll say” and I’m sure there is some merit to this yet I’ve chosen to take a different approach. First of all it is not up to me to decide who God is going to speak through and who he isn’t. More often then not I don’t feel qualified to speak on Sunday’s rather I simply feel called and trust that Christ will bridge the gap in that. Further, I think it is of a complete advantage to not know what the speaker is going to say. It is my hope that those we bring in to guest teach are hearing something from God that for one reason or another we haven’t heard or been talking about. I think a guest teacher can come in with a fresh word that can ignite something that we haven’t previously seen. Don’t hear what I’m not saying. I don’t think we just grab Joe off the street on Sunday morning and put a mic in his hand and wait to “hear” what God has for us through Joe. We’ve been praying that God would show us who to invite. We follow up with that person and ask them to pray about it as well. Our hope is that God aligns this process and it isn’t something we are just winging.
So there you go. We did it again. We invited someone we don’t know to come share with us. I’m pumped!