Tim and Jill Way

Adventures of the Way Family

The Bridge Part 1: Heart

This week and next we’re inviting friends and anyone who may be interested to come find out about what is happening with the West Tulsa 24-7 Prayer community. We’ll be at the Westside Harvest Market (2232 S Nogales) at 7:00 this Friday evening (Sep 4). The first week I want to talk about heart – what are the values and passions behind what we are doing. Next week we’ll get more into specifics about the what and the how. But we have to start with the why. There are three things that are foundational to who we are and where we are doing. In brief, these are:

1. Prayer. No-brainer, maybe. Basic. Even un-exciting? We don’t think so. The reason prayer is primary is that we are a Jesus-centered community. We’re not simply about getting together and feeling good about ourselves. We’re not into mere self-help or making friends or finding purpose or even serving the needy. We are about Jesus. He is our vision and our reward. He is our Master. It is for love of Him that we serve and for His glory that we gather. Intimacy with Him is our delight. Serving Him our privilege.

We value prayer because anything worth doing or being must be absolutely centered on Jesus. We are passionate about prayer because we are desperate for God and acutely aware of our own weakness. We put prayer first because our Father loves us, and we love Him too.

2. Together. We have no desire to do this alone. Some of us have tried that, and it’s just no good. We have high aspirations in this. We want to be more than community. Community is so temporal, and temperamental. It’s held together by geography or common interest or common belief or common cause. We want to be something held together by the greatest bonds – those of love. This is called family. It feels risky even to write that or speak it out loud, because I wonder if such a goal is truly attainable. Yet I think it’s the promise of the Scriptures. It’s God’s desire for us. “This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here… God is building a home.” (Eph 2:19). We belong. God is building a home. These are central and powerful truths that describe who we aim to be. Of course, we cannot create this – which is why we begin with prayer. With Jesus at the center, God can make us a family. His family.

3. Mission. I am convinced that God is on a mission. Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Lk 19:10). The more we love Jesus, and the closer we get to His heart, we ourselves become more and more passionate about His longing to bring redemption to the lost and hurting and broken and bound people that He created and loves.

A gathering of Christians cannot properly call itself Church if it exists simply to meet its own needs and continue… existing. If it is all about personal growth or spiritual experiences it might be a nice group, but it isn’t the Church that Jesus said will not be defeated even by the gates of Hell. Too easily we can become a food distribution experience for the overfed. Church does not exist primarily for me to “get fed,” but for the glory of Jesus to be seen in the nations through the redemption of His creation. This is the mission of Jesus, and we really want to be part of it. Not as hired hands who are looking for a paycheck and a pat on the back, but as beloved sons and daughters who have been invited to participate in their Father’s great work.

Like many of us, I am not very good at mission. Nor at relationships. And certainly not at prayer. So it seems a bit hypocritical to say this is who we are. And yet… Yet, this is who we long to become. This is in our hearts. This is a longing and a desperation. This is a commitment. And the encouraging thing is that we can go after it together, empowered by the grace of God. I think it’s God’s dream, and in that there is hope.

If this resonates with you, we’d love to hear from you. Find out more, and contact us, at: http://tulsaboilerroom.com/


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