This has been quite a season for HillSong church. We have a new youth minister (#Emily Bailey). We have as many people going on mission trips as we ever have (both HillSong sponsored trips and trips with other evangelistic groups). We are adding local mission projects and recruiting new church members to lead some of those works. Among those in leadership, we have younger members serving as elders and deacons alongside more seasoned members. We have many new babies in the church family.
Personally, I find life at our church to be very fulfilling right now, and at times overwhelming. A month ago, I was asked about my personal beliefs on the doctrine of Hell, and I couldn’t come up with a great response. I believe Hell is real and is a part of the New Testament teaching, but I find myself tongue-tied when it comes to filling in details. For that reason, when we complete our current sermon series on discipleship, we will spend autumn looking at the afterlife.
Preparing for a series on Hell (and Heaven) can be confusing and at times even scary. Coupled with my participation in our mission trip to Atlanta, which affected me profoundly, I am grateful for a few days of vacation. I will be away August 4-14. What I most look forward to is unscheduled time.
However, I anticipate that as much as I met God in the beautiful faces of Atlanta children who live very difficult lives, I expect I will meet God in the quiet of the lake. God is certainly in both places. And God has something to say to me that I will only hear in each place.
I hope you get a chance to take some days off, even if just a long weekend. Whether you do beach, mountains, lake, or a “staycation,” I hope you hear from God. I am certainly not prescribing a theological agenda for your vacation. The only agenda items should be fun and relaxation. But as you are re-created in your time of recreation, I pray that you would meet God. As we always are when we meet God, I pray that you and I are transformed. I am going away to rest for a few days, but God is always working. God will work in me and I pray in you too.