Tonight’s opening main session at Orange was completely over the top and downright inspirational.
Worshipping with 3700 other people is pretty awe inspiring to begin with, but have Steve Fee lead us tonight was incredible.
I am so grateful for God sending Reggie Joiner into my life. He’s more than just a great leader to me – he’s a great friend. Reggie hit it out of the park tonight with a message that was far more than just well-prepared and well-delivered, it was completely inspired.
He talked about living in the midst of prodigal generation — a generation of people who grew up and ran away on God. (Read the original story here.) Many wish they could come home. Here’s the problem: they just don’t know who they are going to meet when they show up — a loving father, or their older brother.
Reggie encouraged every church leader to repudiate the attitude of an older brother when it comes to dealing with prodigals, and adopt the posture of a loving father. Among Reggie’s insights:
- Loving fathers are preoccupied with whoever is missing. Older brothers are preoccupied with themselves.
- Loving fathers forgive. Older brothers shame.
There was so much more in the talk than that, but as I thought about those two alone, how would they change our lives and our churches?
Reggie imagined church after church turning from an older brother mindset and becoming loving father churches.
Tonight rekindled my passion in a very personal kind of way. As a former prodigal, I remember being greeted by grace, not judgment. I remember a loving father who welcomed me in my rebellion. And I know that there are thousands of people within a heartbeat of every church on the planet who would stampede back in a second if they thought a loving father, not an older brother, might greet them.
I want to snuff out every last bit of older brother out of me. I want my life – and our church – to be the kind of environment that prodigal can’t wait to get home to.
It made me think of people in my life I really need to open up to completely – zero judgment, just grace.