CHAPPYS PIT STOP: This thing called "CHURCH"

Chaplain

God Dude
Sorry, this one is long winded.

Currently, I am reading a book called The Shack, by William P Young. It is about a strong-willed man named Mack, who is dealing with the loss of his young daughter. Through the grieving process, God literally calls him out to meet with Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Himself in the very shack where his daughter lost her life. The author challenges our stereotypical beliefs of who and what the Three n’ One are, how they want us to live and how the church plays a role in it all. Jesus and Mack have a candid conversation on a lake dock where Jesus gives him some insight on the world and a believer’s role living in it.

“Mack, the world system is what it is. Institutions, systems, ideologies, and all the vain, futile efforts of humanity that go with them are everywhere, and interaction with all of it is unavoidable. But I can give you freedom to overcome any system of power in which you find yourself, be it religious, economic, social, or political. You will grow in the freedom to be inside or outside all kinds of systems and to move freely between and among them. Together, you and I can be in it and not of it.” Jesus continues to describe people who know him as “ones who are free to live and love without any agenda.”

Looking around, I find myself surrounded in a society the author is describing. A society fractured by economic rationalism, globalization, racial disunity, ideological differences, fear and violence. It’s a world looking to “find ourselves” and find a place of solace and acceptance. People desire to find community for its offering of belonging, empowerment, and redemption. I know I am “in” race communities every weekend where participants are seeking these attributes, but am I “of” them too? If you received this update you are probably a Christian racer, fellow chaplain, track official, and/or motorsport fan IN one of these communities as well. What are we building? Are we building such a community that Paul speaks of in his letters to the church? Communities full of compassion and forgiveness where those who know Him are free to live and love without any agenda?

Col 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
• Who has hurt you?
• What do they owe you?
• Stamp “PAID IN FULL” on their account!

I am challenged and am asking the same of you; “What has God called us to be and do in our racing community?” Can a church shape itself to fit the context of the racing culture in an order that fits and transforms it for the sake of the kingdom of God? As long as we stay faithful to the Word of God, I believe this can be true even though it may have an appearance vary radical to that of a traditional church as we know it. With all of my heart, I know that the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ is greater than anything offered at any racetrack, racecourse, car show or stack of rocks. However, we can’t expect this community to leave the lure of competition and racing to search out the one true God on Sunday by themselves. Instead of waiting for non-believers to come into our churches and instead of going out and bringing them into our great buildings; why not bring church to them. If we fail to present the gospel to our communities, will they ever find it on their own? If we are not taking the gospel into our communities, then we must be hoping that unbelievers will just wander into a church to find it on their own.

What is the attraction for an unbeliever to go into a traditional church? Many of the racers I talk with view the traditional church as nothing more than a religious institution with attendant structures, priesthood, rules and sacraments. We have an amazing opportunity to build “churches” at our racetracks that are dynamic, revolutionary, social and spiritually moving. Church where all that is seen are the lives of its incumbents, a living breathing community that is in love with Jesus and not in love with buildings, programs, or even race cars. A community that is about relationships and sharing stories with members who are open and available to others surrounding this “church.” A community where the freedom to live to the fullest and love without any agenda is the norm.

This sounds great, Steve, but how does it start and how do we make this happen? In my experience, it is almost always a struggle to get racers to accept talking to me about Jesus. Keep in mind, this isn’t street evangelism. This is relationship ministry, and we have to invest the time. After listening to them talk about racing, their car, their family, their work, etc., etc. over and over—which can be exhausting—they might ask, “Hey Steve, can you pray for me?” And that is when things get very exciting. After praying with them several times, the table can be turned a little by praying with them instead of just for them.

Galatians 6:9-10 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Zephaniah 2:1-3 Gather together, gather together, O shameful nation, before the appointed time arrives and that day sweeps on like chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s wrath comes upon you. Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.

We are not meant to struggle with all of life’s difficulties on our own. We are a community! We are not defined by our numbers, by where we meet or by a denomination. Join with me in building a flat biblical leadership community that unleashes the gifts of evangelism, apostleship, and prophecy as well as pastoral care and teaching. As chaplains, we facilitate the opportunity of worshiping God, teaching, serving and building up the racing communities. It may not look like a church to some, but we are meeting the biblical criteria for a church as Paul would define it. To emerge as a church that sees itself able to interact meaningfully with culture and without ever being consumed by it, or compromising the gospel. We are building a community of followers in a shared cultural context that is “free to live and love without any agenda.” I encourage you to seep into the cracks and crevices of the society we compete in and to be Christ to those who do not know Him.

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father in heaven.
 

Vtr_Racing

Well-Known Member
What is truly amazing is when God touches a persons heart in such a way that its life changing. Thanks Steve.
 

deano

McDeano
chappy, you're so the #1 god-dude :cool: -- (i heard glenn-g was gonna come down there and help you spread the word ?:eek:)
 

JRod

fast-aid.org
Thanks Steve..... Next race we get a chance to talk, I'll have to tell you about God's healing he put on me after a couple rough run-ins with the "traditional" church..... and the church he brought us to find healing.



As the saying goes, "If you should find the perfect church
Without one fault or smear,
For goodness sake! Don't join that church
You'd spoil the atmosphere."


LOL!


Keep looking for that flying pig in Baja for me Steve...
 

Chaplain

God Dude
For those who missed it, we held "church" on Pistol Pete's TT trailer in Ensenada Mexico this past weekend. Truly a great time of fellowship by all that were there.

Thanks Pistol.
 
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