My life as I follow Jesus Christ, and live life as a husband, father, friend, pastor, runner, coach, and sinner who found forgiveness and favor with God.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where are you?

"And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him..." Matthew 17:14

Wow, the very first phrase that I read from the Bible today lept out at me...go back and read that simple verse again, and focus on the location of Jesus...if we're not amongst a crowd of people, it is impossible for people to come up to us, and it is only in the crowd that we see God's miracles performed.

Where was Jesus? Amongst the crowd.
Where are am I? Amongst the four walls of my comfortable life - secluded from the crowd.

We must...I must...not live my Christianity inside the four walls of my life - I must go enter the lives of other people. It's ironic that as a pastor I find myself going days without encountering anyone in "the crowd" because I'm too busy spending time with other believers talking about and dealing with believer stuff. Ick. Why are we so good and repeating the words of Jesus but so bad at repeating the steps of Jesus?

How about some help here...

Jesus was amongst the crowd...Where are you?
How do you get into the lives of "the crowd"?
How can believers re-prioritize and find themselves in the same place Jesus would be?


KT Stewart said...

I agree we need to be with the people. I think we have this fear of others rejecting the message of Christ and we use it as an excuse. We have to start somewhere though.... I am so convicted by this right now.

Brian Becker said...

yeah Kate for sure...what would need to change to create lifestyles where we were around people who needed Christ AND had the environment to share Christ with them?

Dusty James Lomeland said...

As far as getting into the lives of the crowd I think you show interest, you ask questions, people love to be interested in..I think prayer and looking for devine encounters and stewarding devine encounters is also key...realizing you have one and showing that person their that important by not loosing their number etc. is key. Treat your encounter like a precious thing and don't lose it..

Samantha said...

I really like what you said, Dusty, about treating every encounter with someone who doesn't know Christ, as a precious thing - never to lose it.. I talk with alot of "non-Christians" at work... I even sometimes may see them outside of work as friends. Its hard to find that balance of wanting to be friends with someone (especially if they aren't exactly a christian) when all they think you want to do is be friends with them. They view asking them to come to church, as "strings attached" And that's not really what they are looking for.

Right now I'm just trying to be friends with them, love them enough, so when we do get to the point where it wouldn't exactly be awkward to invite them to church - it would be a natural thing...

But yeah.. this is good stuff pb..

Anonymous said...

I am not a believer in god or any form of religon but I somehow stumbled upon your blog and found it interesting. I see there is a fear of your message being rejected. Rejection is part of life for all of us. I am a transgender liberal and I have dealt with rejection my whole life but I don't let it stop me from living out who I am and what I believe. I have been rejected by my family who happen to be christians in bible belt america. I have been rejected, rejected, and rejected again. Being rejected and shunned for being who you are and standing up for what you believe hurts more than anything I have ever experianced. Anyways what I'm trying to say is, is even though I don't agree with your message never let rejection stop you from being yourself. I would also like to comment on your concerns about the "crowd" if you are referring to non believers that is. Its been my experiance that christians only associate with people like me because they want me to believe. Genuine encounters from christians who genuinly care for me as a person have been far and few. So when you go out to the "crowds" are you going with a genuine heart that truly cares for people beyond their beliefs? Because that's what speaks to people. At least for me and my "crowd". We can smell an agenda 1000 miles away. I don't know why I'm commenting on this but I felt inclined. I'm a 36 year old transgender who has been thrown to the wolves by religious people and truly loved by the most ugly beautiful misfits society has ever seen. Love is why I am still standing and able to be myself without fear.

Brian Becker said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for your transparent post. The cool thing about Jesus is that we see time and time again in the Bible that he loved people regardless of whether they would ever "follow him". It's my prayer and hope that we would love with no strings attached...or as you would without "an agenda".

It's true - many so-called Christians could care less about a person unless they will become some sort of a convert. Unfortunately, that's not God's love, and I apologize that Christ's love has been misrepresented by so many of us.

No doubt about it - Jesus was on a mission (to redeem lives to God), and you and everyone else knows that we (Christians) are apologetically on the same mission...however, I would hope that I could love - and you would allow us to love - with no strings attached.

People deserve love because they are people - not because they are "candidates for conversion". If we ever met, I'd hope that you'd see I'm just an average guy with issues just like everyone else. I'd hope we could have a natural conversation, share stories, and become friends - regardless of beliefs. In fact, I'm starting a new church in Portland OR for this very reason - a church that will offer hope and unleash love.

Maybe you could give me some counsel on ways a church can give hope in a community without an agenda - because that really is our aim.

If you want to keep talking email me: and check out our new site:

Thanks again,

Anonymous said...

Can I also ask you a question? You seem like an ok guy and I have a feeling you might be honest with me. What does rejection look like for you? Why can't I go to saturday market or get on the max without someone telling me I'm going to hell? Has your family ever abandoned you for your beliefs? Have you ever been beat up or spit on for your beliefs? I'm just curious if rejection is the same for you as it is for us. We are both minorities. I would like to add I am not crazy if that's what your thinking. I run a non profit here in portland and I spend my days helping young people who have been disowned and put on the streets because they are either gay,trans or bi. I hope I'm not imposing on your blog. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

I really wish I could give you advice on your church. A church with a vision like yours would probably shake the earth. The difference between us is that I don't believe there is a god and if there is a god he does not agree with me. If I recall correctly homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of god. I am who I am and I was born this way. I can tell you this though this city is in desperate need of love. Society has been so desensitized by hollywood and other garbage that people have stopped caring about eachother. There are people young and old dying on our streets everyday. There are addicts who want to be clean but can't break addiction because there are not enough resources to help. Each and every single one of us has to get back to what really matters and care about people enough to do something. Suicide is higher than its ever been. I am rambling now and I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know. My only advice is to love and care. At the end of the day I don't think it matters what our beliefs are. I think it matters how we care for those around us. I deal with gay youth like I said and the biggest wounds most of them suffer from are abandment and rejection from family and in many many cases the church that preached they would love them no matter what and then rejected them. I would hope if these kids ever walked through your doors you would love them

Brian Becker said...


I appreciate your response and welcome more.

The fear of rejection is a reality for sure. I won't pretend to act like we share the same acts of rejection though - I've never been yelled at or spit rejection comes in the form of pity "poor guy - wasting his life believing in a fairy tale". I can tell you honestly that my heart hurts that anyone would receive the rejection you have received.

Just as in the Crusades of old - people have taken the wonderful Gospel and have abused and misused it to cause pain rather than healing.

My rejection, fears, insecurity have found a remedy in Christ. Today I read this in Psalm 120: "In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me." This is a simple explanation of the process of how I deal with rejection.

Without a belief in a loving God, I'm curious how you deal with the rejection you face?

We don't have to chat on the blog (we can if you want) me if you like.

more to come later...


Anonymous said...

I deal with rejection like everyone else who doesn't believe in god. I know who I am and that those who judge me and dismiss me without knowing me are missing out. And that it was I tell my freinds and the youth I live my life for. A person becomes numb to rejection after a while anyways because at the end of the day it just doesn't matter. -Sid