We can't do it alone.

May 29, 2016 was a historic day for Gateway. One that we may look back upon and see it is a "turning point" for our great family. If you are not aware of what happened, you can watch the teaching here. You can watch the teaching, but what you will not see in that video is the altar call.

Here's that story.

Lance Altar Call 5-29-16
Lance Altar Call 5-29-16

I asked the church, "Ask Papa God if you struggle to give. If he says yes, then I encourage you to repent by bringing something to the stage of value and give it away."

Many people came forward.

I then asked the church, "Ask Papa God if you struggle to receive. If he says yes, then I encourage you to repent by coming to the front and take something that was given."

Many people came forward.

Tears flowed. People were touched. Emotions were high. God's presence was strong. I've never been a part of anything like that.

The amount of money or value of items given away was not the goal (although some had specific needs that needed specific amounts of money). The goal was to humble ourselves, repent, have our hearts touched by the grace humility receives and give or receive.

I have received many encouraging remarks and words via email and social media since then, but I need and want to give honor to whom honor is due.

First, to Jesus for always making His presence known in Gateway.

Second, to my former pastor Clark Whitten who would always say, "We must learn to be good receivers." As someone who lived with a "spiritual orphan mindset" [1] that was a difficult phrase to understand. Having, by God's mercy and kindness, grown into a more mature "sonship" mindset I have a better understanding of what he was saying. Thanks Clark.

Third, to my friends Rick McKinnis and Kevin Butterfield because they shared with me a story that happened at Wellspring many months ago when they did a similar time of "giving" and "receiving" as we did yesterday. During my prep time for this message I recalled two things: 1) Preach people to a place of "experience." 2) The "giving" & "receiving" story from Wellspring would be our "experience."

Fourth, my friend Scott Tavolacci for praying for me during service and providing helpful feedback as I processed the courage and vulnerability necessary for such an altar call.

Fifth, my Church of the Hills family in Austin, Texas where I learned how to lead as a son.

Sixth, the amazing Gateway family. Your willingness to come forward and give (shoes, watches, money, pictures, military pins, necklaces, family heirlooms, etc.) and secondly your willingness to upgrade your ability to receive by coming and taking some of those things for yourself was one of the most moving moments of which I have been a part. Christ's brilliance is seen in you Gateway. You are a beautiful part of his Bride. You have taught Darlene and I to love better. Thank you.

I write this to give honor to whom honor is due because it's the way of the Kingdom. It brings pleasure to the Father and glorifies the Son. It also encourages others and affirms that "we see" the gold in them. (I was going to say "we see others for what they do", but that's not what I want to say, otherwise our desire to be seen is only satisfied when we "do" things and that is contrary to the Kingdom.) I want others to know they are valuable before they do anything. I also write this because no one can emerge into the fullness of their calling by themselves. The church is called the body of Christ for a reason, we mutually supply to one another.

Thanks to Papa God, my Gateway family and friends for a day that penetrated my heart and allowed me, for a moment, to have a snapshot of Heaven.

 

Resources:

[1] You can learn more about this theme by reading a couple of books that I recommend:

  1. Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship by Jack Frost
  2. Healing the Orphan Spirit by Leif Hetland

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