Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New Community: Sara Groves and Randy Frazee

I tend to get choked up when I hear the song Tent in the Center of Town because it reminds me of Willow, so it hit me pretty hard to hear Sara Groves play it in our own "striped tent" tonight. (Yeah, I'm a sentimental dork, didn't the cat paintings tip y'all off?)

Tent in the Center of Town
by Sara Groves

There's a tent in the center of town
The people have gathered around
Cause they think they'll go there to see lions and bears
In the tent in the center of town

But it's all about the winning of soul
Say the signs on the telephone poles
They say if you are blue Jesus is calling you
To the tent in the center of town

The preacher is preaching his best
And he barely takes time for a breath
Their hearts are complete in the bearable heat
In the tent in the center of town

The gentlemen give up their seats
To the women who've been on their feet
But it's standing room only when the Holy of Holies
Enters the center of town

There's a tent in the center of town
Where the people can gather around
Who wouldn't step foot in a church
But who aren't afraid of a good news crusade
In the tent in the center of town

They say they're drawn in by the stripes on the awning
And the beautiful music inside
But they're drawn by the Spirit that's pouring down
On the tent in the center of town

And revival hits like a wave
And hundreds are joyously saved
And the thief and adulterer lay it all on the altar
In the tent in the center of town

The time has come to move on
To the next hurting throng
And they hope as they tear it apart
The tent will live on in their hearts

I once was lost, but now I'm found
Because of a tent in the center of town
Amen!

Randy Frazee gave his much-anticipated second message as a Willow pastor. I'd paraphrase it like this:

Everyone is short-handed. It could be your income, your skin color, your height, a handicap...we all have something.

We tend to deal with our short-handedness one of two ways:
  1. Back down.
  2. Try to outperform it.
But neither of these works. Instead of trying to hide from or out-run our limitations, we need to find our identity in our position as children of God. We love our children because they are our children, not because they lack shortcomings.

As a young pastor, Randy knew that this was what the Bible taught, but he still tried to find his sense of security in outperforming his shortcomings. He wasn't able to make "positional identity" a way of life until his son was born without a hand.

His unconditional love for his handicapped son, along with the need to model healthy positional identity for his son, helped Randy to stop over-compensating for his own "short-handedness."

Once he truly adopted a mentality of positional identity he found that, rather than hurting his performance, it improved his performance, because when we feel secure we are more likely to trust God and take risks, and these are instrumental in success.

Can I say again how happy I am Randy is here? I look forward to learning from him for years to come!

Finally, it was officially announced tonight that Jim Tomberlin is moving on. After several years of phenomenal success as the pastor of the regionals he is feeling called by God into a position of consulting other churches on how to create successful satellite locations. When Randy came to Willow in 2001 satellite churches was a bit of a joke (seriously, I remember the articles - folks thought it was nuts!) Now 1 out of 3 churches with an attendance of 250 or more is considering regional sites. Tomberlin has been one of the movers and shakers in this movement and has so much he can share with these churches. We thank and pray for him and his family as they start out on this new leg of their adventure!

3 comments:

Friar Tuck said...

This message sounds wonderful

Crystal said...

So sad I missed this one, I will have to get the tape.

I like this part...

"But neither of these works. Instead of trying to hide from or out-run our limitations, we need to find our identity in our position as children of God. We love our children because they are our children, not because they lack shortcomings."

It seems so obvious to me, why it doesn't to everyone who is a Christ follow just blows my mind!

Great post Kimmy!

Kim Traynor said...

Hi Clint, it was a great message. I think you'd like Frazee. Big ideas but down to earth personality.

Hi Crystal, hope you enjoy the camping! Frazee was saying that it is obvious - in the head. It's the heart that has a hard time getting it.