“We usually don’t pick up hitchhikers… but I’m-a gonna go with my instincts on this one. Saddle up partner!”

 – Lloyd Christmas

You can’t go wrong starting your blog off with a quote from one of the most ridiculous films of all time. When I think of road trips, one that stands out is that of Lloyd and Harry making their way to Aspen. As this dynamic duo of stupidity keep adding people to their “Shaggin’ Wagon”, they end up with it stuffed with strangers and singing out the song “Mockingbird”, which is one of my favorite scenes in the movie. In fact, as you are reading this, you are probably singing the song yourself too! Believe it or not there is something we can learn from this crazy movie scene. We may not always be on a road trip, but as long as our heart is beating we are on a constant journey. Jesus challenged us to go out and invite everybody to jump on the “wagon” with us. You can find that challenge given to us through the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19. In 1st John 5:11-12 it says, “And this is what God has testified; He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God;s Son does not have life”. When I read these words I feel challenged and directed to go after people who aren’t on the “wagon” and invite them to “saddle-up”.

The challenge we have today is that it’s harder to pick people up because they run when they se us coming. Christianity is one bus that people are afraid to jump on and as we previously communicated through scripture there is no reason why they should run away. The problem is that Christians and leaders are not communicating the Gospel as effectively as the Bible does. I firmly believe that people would (and will) run to Jesus as fast as they run away from the Church. For some sad reason, we have stopped being like Lloyd and inviting anybody onto our “wagon”. We say they can jump right in, but if they don’t automatically understand the culture of our “wagon”, it’s just like the game of Survivor. People must strategize a plan to extinguish their opponents flame. They have jumped out of our ride hurt, broken and lost. All the while, the only thing we can say we have accomplished is that we have successfully entertained saints. If all that we do is cater to people that already have a seat reserved in Heaven, then our results are going to be counter-productive to the challenge issued to us by Jesus himself.

When we realize that it isn’t about the culture of our “wagon”, but more about the journey that is life, we will be able to operate in freedom and reach the people that do not know Jesus. After all, that is what we were challenged to do. The heartbeat of our church plant is to try our best to find the heartbeat of Jesus, which I believe is reaching out to the lost, hurt and broken. Through divine direction from God, we can find new ways to communicate the news of Jesus in a way that gets the “wagon” filled up with people and then in turn, we fill people with LIFE, which is only found in Jesus. Saddle-up partner!

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