You Lost Me Part 6


Welcoming to other people's shoes. I'm your host Neal. And today, we sit down with a gentleman by the name of Kirk. Now Kirk is the pastor currently of upward church here in Medford, Oregon, Kirk shares from pastoral perspective on why he thinks people should stay in church. And even when maybe it's time for people to move on from church to very unique perspectives. Hope you enjoy it because, you know, I'm ready. I hope you're ready. Let's go. Do something. Change older. Change. Welcome into other people's shoes. I'm your host Neal and today I get the privilege of sitting with a very kindred spirit where kindred spirits, and a lot of regards, but, but in one kind of superficial kindred spirits, we are both still maybe the long lasting Seahawk fans. So welcome in my guess Kirk Kirk. How are you? I'm doing great. Awesome. So Kirk, I always liked to lead every show off with what size shoes. Do you wear ten easy? That was that was easy. No question. All right. Ten I'm kind of surprised by that. I mean I'm like a ten and a half eleven but eight tenths fine. Do you have a certain pair of shoes that you really loved aware that just accentuate your outfit? Is that weird to say that way? I don't know STAN eating in camouflage, are you counselors guy? Yes. I am today I today or not. But, but that's okay. Okay. Is there a certain brand that you like above another no doesn't matter didn't care, don't care? Okay. As long as it's comfy. It's, it's, it's scaring me, okay? The idea, of course, is we're in your shoes. So that's why we kind of lead with that. So we're yeah. We're in tens camouflage shoes. No brand. So we're, we're going to KMart non brand. I wouldn't go that far. Fair enough. All right. So we'll just jump right in here, Kirk because I don't like to wait in the water at all. I like to just kind of splash in canon ball style. So so here we go. Why? And how did you get into church leadership because we're we're your passer, your passer of upward church. Let's throw that out there. Right. Brand new church and evaluate are how old now year and a half you're in half. And you guys are meeting, wear meet at lone, pine elementary school and service times, if ten AM, just one service one service, right? Okay. All right. All right. So how did you what's of your story in a nutshell of how you got into leadership? And then how you got into, you know, maybe planning churches. So what's, I'm not I guess I'm big on calling, but I'm not big on, you know, magical poof, calling overnight, I think calling is a process. I mean finding your calling happens over time. If you really diligent to, to be seeing what God has for you. And so for me that would be my story from nineteen on. It was it was a process of knowing I was leader by just getting my hands dirty being in ministry. I just started youth ministry, where can I serve what can I do not knowing what my calling was, and then through that process? It's always been. Okay. See that kind of good. At that, that's a gifting. I might have. And, and I remember the first time I preached was, I was thinking, it was twenty four I had no idea what I was doing. But there was something the senior pastor. I remember he was standing in the back and afterwards, he came up to me, and he said, you won't be here long. I had no idea what he exactly meant, but he just he saw something, and it wasn't I look back on the worst message of ever preach, but he saw something and gifting there. He's like, maybe I was really comfortable upfront. Whatever it was that he's like, yeah, I see that in you that's probably going to be something you're doing so calling is, is, is found through a process of serving and having good people around you pointing those things out, and I was had people that were willing to say this isn't your thing or this, this is something I think you would excel in. So as we walked along, I took that advice in kind of pursued the areas that I think I was best in and it led to church planting, and we've done that three times now. And so, I think it. Forty two. Now, I think I'm finally kind of hit my stride to where I feel like I'm at least firing on all cylinders things. I did my twenties that were stupid, you grow out of those things as you mature and grow up. I think you don't reach a level of leadership where you stop growing. It should be this process of learning what God has called you to do. And then getting good at it. And then teaching others to do the same thing. So, yeah, it's been kind of an evolution if I can use that word a Christian evolution of finding out, what God has for us. So it's been fun and humbling. Because I think if you go that process kind of takes the pride out of it, I'm not here to say, look because of my gifting, ings. I have this magic power to to serve Jesus better than anyone else. Now it's through a lot of humbling experiences through the process of learning. What not to do that you find what you should do. So it's been fun. And we're really stoked to be doing what we're doing now. Now, we're we're all of you planted churches. So obviously here in the valley, and then we're else we did. We started in Salem Oregon. In west Salem. And that was in two thousand four five somewhere in there. And then in two thousand nine we moved back to California to job at our kind of our mother church down in reading for a little while just to figure out what God had next through a series of events led us to Hawaii. I used to live there in the ninety s when I was single. So I had some connections, there was called to interview for a church out there in two thousand ten we flew out to speak there, and we re realize really quickly that that wasn't the church that we were called to go to, but God gave us a burden for that area immediately. And I know people at oh, it's why, of course, you had a burden I would even challenge to. Yeah. Wasn't that I'd already lived there? I what it was like. I didn't have that stereotype. This is perfect place to be. I saw the real culture. They're the real life there. So we, we just strategically said, now we're supposed to plant here. And we did. We went there with no organization just got job. Tent maker sell implanted there. And then we moved back here, I turn that one over in two thousand. Something, and we've been here for a few years, three years now, I think, and through series of immense now working with the CF again, or contrition evangelistic fellowship to, to plant here in Medford. And so, yeah, it's been a great transition. Great for our kids here to be here. It's a good place. When you have younger kids to raise your kids, we bounced around before when, when our kids were too young to have friends, but now it's kind of that season of life where we don't wanna put down the roots. I don't see us just okay? We're going to plant again immediately. We really feel like this is where we're going to stay at least for the time being. So we'll we'll kind of take a little bit of a turn here for a second. So I to grew up in the church and sounds like you kind of did as well. So I mean by all definitions church kids. Right. So I've heard through the years, you know, being a member of a church were, were, there comes a point in time, where someone leaves right? And so I you know, I'm I read through this book thoroughly this. You lost me. Book is a book put up by the Barna group. And so in that kind of got my mind, kind of swirling in a way like why do people really leave church? Why would someone ever wanna leave this comfort this caring people? But, but people do leave. And so maybe you could speak about that, too in your experience. How does someone generally leave or how are you notified of someone leaving a church if that does take place? I think just like anything else, there's good reasons in bad reasons to do anything and I don't think leaving a church or making a decision on churches any different. I don't want to just say that if you leave that's wrong. Sometimes there's actually good reasons to not be at a church, number one. If the leadership is bad, if they're sin you shouldn't be there or you should deal with it, if it won't be dealt with then you should move on. I think that can be a cancer, number two if their theology is bad, if they're if they're not preaching the gospel, if they're not making Jesus the center. These are good. Reasons to say, I might not need to be here, and again, you should you should try and work through those be a catalyst, if you get to the point where you say these things are not happening here. I need to move on. And then the most practical one that I think people minimize is just if you're just not connecting like it could be a great church. It might be gospel driven church leadership might not be in sin. It might be a good church. But if they're you know, full of fifty five to eight year olds that are good people in your heavy young family, and you just don't connect that just might not be where God has you. So I don't think those are bad reasons. You wanna connect to your community. You should spend the time getting to the people to see if you can connect. And, and I think those are valid reasons if someone is prayerfully, considered that and said, yeah, I just don't feel like I belong here because of this, I think those are godly reasons to leave. So what do you think are ungodly reasons? Well reasons that is a big, can you want to open their? I think that majority again, what I just explained. I think are few and far between right? Fortunately, most people don't leave churches for good reasons, they don't care about theology. Most of them aren't are looking for those things are digging deep enough to see if the leadership is, is usually the leadership is just assume that they're godly because they're leaders. They're not digging. They're leaving for reasons that are much more superficial than that. And the best way to summarize that or put that under an umbrella of batteries to leave is just our world view of the church. I think that people come into church with a world view of what the church should be to them. And because the church in and of itself, doesn't meet that expectation. They're down the road. So in the American culture, the view is really salvation and Sunday morning. That's what it's about. I mean if you'd ask your average person they would say, get got saved now go to church. It really doesn't get a whole lot deeper than that, there might be some indirect relationships that come from that. But really, that's basically where it lies. It really should be salvation leads to a long term commitment, that looks like fulfilling the great commission, which is making disciples. That make disciples. That's what the church should be looking at salvation, obviously part of it. But then that's just the starting point for most they're coming in saying in the American culture, what can the church do for me? I've gotten saved. I've got that nice free gift now I wanna come in and I want to be comfortable. I want you to meet my needs to make me happy so that I can feel good about myself and be inspired every week to encourage to go on. And there should be that component in there. But that's just the start the reality is most people in our society. Don't understand the role of the church. So their expectation when they leave our well that, that I didn't want to hear that. How dare they asked me that or how dare they get into my life, or that church is getting a little too close to me? I'm going to move on. I have a problem with this. I'm gonna move on instead of seeing it, as you know, this is a process where we are. We're called to fulfill the great commission and we need the church to do that. God gave us the church. Jesus loved the church. It's there for us. So when you have that perspective, you see it, as a family as kind of a marriage where you're married to the church. It's, it's Jesus's vehicle to fulfill the great commission when you know that you deal with things just like you, we get in a fight with your wife. You don't just we're done. I'm walking out the door. Now you work through it. And when you work through those things, that's when you grow deeper and most people just don't have that same view of the church, they don't want people telling them what they should do based on truth. They don't really want accountability in their life. They don't want them telling them about finances, or how they should spend their time when the. Is that's a part of discipleship. Somebody's got to say the hard things to you. We just don't want the church to do that. And so when people when we as the church, when we say things people don't wanna hear oftentimes, their expectation of what my job is was just broken, and then they're going to leave, so there's a lot of it. That's just scratching the surface, but I think that has a lot to do with it. So I think it's kinda funny too is our culture. Right. We're so inundated with social media through Facebook through Instagram or Twitter through all this stuff Snapchat, now making its rounds. So my thing is, is that when they wanna put their whole life out online, but then when they're called out on that. Do you think that also causes people really to kind of push back and go, wait a second? Your to close like you're again just building on what you're saying. Yeah it's a two edged sword. There's a glass house that social media creates even in the work world. You can't, you know, bosses now we'll check people's Facebook pages to see what kind of person. Is this really that just came for an interview and people, I think are, are well aware of that now in churches the same way people don't really trust the church. And there's a lot of good reasons to not trust certain people. But again, the route the route issue is do do you know that Jesus loved the church and he gave us the church? And if that's the truth, we should be willing to fight for it and, and help be a part of the solution, not just a part of the problem, and that was why we got new church planning is we said, yeah, there are issues within that church. But instead of just being the one that leaves or the one that, you know, criticizes, I'm gonna try and be a part of the solution. I'm gonna try and help again if there, rescind issues that's a Trump card. The first things we said, I would walk for, for those issues if gospels not being preached if their sin not being dealt with I would walk. But if it's smaller issues like worship style different things arguments disagreements, that person looked at me funny. They didn't say hi to me like if you're not willing to work through. Those things you should be you should be because Jesus gave us the church. And when you work through them, just like any good family. You're you have to work hard to have a family that loves you and support you that is healthy, you, it takes work doesn't happen. And I don't think that picture of family is, is really what our culture portrays as the church, and when those two things come together it changes everything it really does. So leading into another point. How does disappointments disagreements in? Discouragement play into a role of someone leaving in your mind disappointments, discouragements, they all have to do with expectations are is the church meeting their expectation people's feelings. Get hurt all the time leaders get feelings, get hurt you have to have healthy expectations. And again, I think it's good to just I, I like to go back to God's word, but I know most people's reference that are coming to church and fortunately, it's not God's word it's our culture. It's I wanna I wanna have this standard of life. I wanna live this way, I want people to see me this way and disappointment usually comes in the fact that if I if you speak truth, sometimes that shatters that ego, or shatters that expectation when you see the real not the Facebook family, but the real family when you really see that, you're, you have to learn to deal with the disappointment that may be the mess. You've made of. Your life. Are you willing to deal with that disappointment and say, I'm going to our gods? God, that restores and these people love me and they wanna help restore me. But if, if it's just about pointing fingers, it's pretty tough to deal with disappointment or discouragment. If you think that their motives are bad. I think that, you know, that's kind of a root issue there. So it's tough. It's hard to see people walk away because of I, I'd call them petty issues. I know they're not petty to the people that are feeling them. They feel like they're big deal. But in the big picture, there resolvable and, and people should be willing to work through that kind of stuff. So Cording to Fox News. So we'll just take that as a as a viable source, perhaps, maybe others would disagree with that. But according to Fox News, there are five reasons why people leave church. Do you agree or disagree with these in why? Here's here's number one. We tell people that the bible is basic for Christianity. Rephrase that one more time. Okay. We tell people that the bible is the basic for Christianity. And this is a reason as to why people leave. Yeah. You have to have lists with within your church. You have to have non-negotiables and negotiate deals. And I always say you have to have hills, you're willing to die on heels, you're not willing to die on and to me, the of scripture is a hill. I'm willing to die on. So if the thing is people need to know that right up front. I think part of the reason that people leave churches as they don't do their homework. They don't even know what their negotiators are non-negotiables really are other than the fact that they want to be inspired every week or entertained, or, you know challenge. You know challenge typically not we don't really want to be challenged. You wanna be inspired wanna leave happy and stoked and excited for our week and the line, kind of gets blurred there. So I think that that's a common one. That is not not addressed enough. Do you dig do you find out what said church really teaches? Do they value God's word in that way? They also believe that suffering disproves the existence of God. Again. I'm I'm really struggling with this list. It's not my list for the record. Well, if suffering disproves the existence of God, then you need to throw the whole bible out because that's pretty much from from beginning chances to revelation very. There's a lot of stuff and God allows is important distinction. God doesn't cause a lot of things to happen. But he allows a lot of things to happen. He allows a lot of things to happen in our lives because he's more concerned with our growth than he is our comfort again. That's not a popular concept to preach on Sunday morning. He's does not care if you're comfortable, it's not health, wealth and prosperity, its growth and discipleship. And sometimes he allows us to go through hard things. So, yeah. Again, if that's an expectation, it's just not a biblical one. So building on that they had a bad experience, which for whatever reason maybe there is an abuse situation, which there has been, you know, through the years in different churches and, and maybe leader disappointed or whatever so, yeah, you've got a everyone has bad experiences in their family in their friendships in their workplace churches. No different. You're gonna people there. You're gonna have bad experiences. Again, you have to be able to gauge whether or not these are hills, you're gonna die on or not. Or you gonna walk over these issues. Is this bad experience based on unresolved sin that won't be dealt with is as bad experience based on the fact that the churches in preaching gospel, then that bad experience should be one, you walk away from, but outside of that, that leaves a myriad of things that you could be dealing with that you should you should work through if you care enough about Jesus church? You should be willing to walk through those things. But I get it. I understand it. Bad experiences are all usually lumped into one basket, which means I'm out if I'm not happy, right. I mean, we can take that to extreme, you know, when you go to a restaurant, yet, bad service, you're never going to go back there again. You know, because they didn't make your hamburger the right way or whatever, whatever. I mean you just we can do that with preaching. I'm not preaching. Yeah. Like if we have someone speak for me. I've heard that in the past radio. I'm gone. I have someone else speak. There was a new couple that week and they they'll never come back because they didn't get to hear me. It's not about me, if that one experience on Sunday morning, made their decision as to whether or not they were going to attend. It's understandable. It's just not biblical. It's nothing. I don't sympathize or even empathize. I'm just it's not my job. My job is to tell you, what God's word says, I kind of have to leave feelings out of it. So, you know, I definitely understand it. I just I just have to say that it's just not biblical. Sure. We're bad at making people feel welcome. That's true. I think for most, I think people in this is the I think, Pete, some churches, get a bad rap of being colder or impersonal, and there are those out there. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But there are some churches who were just so busy with their Sunday morning ministry that they forget to care for people they forget to stop. And you know, this is trying to give people the benefit of the doubt, which is not typically my ammo. So I'm really trying to extend this to give some grace here to say, I have to remind our people in our church is known, and I very proud of this known to be very loving and welcoming when people come in, but we work hard for that. We're always making sure we're communicating. Hey, don't get. So caught up in what you're doing that. You forget doing a good job is a good. Good thing. But if it means you sacrificed talking with people or making them feel, welcome, then it's offer, not it really is. So, yeah, I get that. So we made it a Greek word for the word church building, and the Greek word. I'm going to spell it because I'm my Greek isn't as good as it used to be E. K K. L E, S A, if you want to try to talk echinacea. There you go. Now that I hear it I can say it echinacea. We made up a word for church building. That's the that's the reason. Yeah. Apparently we just make up random words in Greek. Yeah. Again, just it's just not biblical, right? It's it sounds nice. It's not biblical when living on Maui. We had people that the idea, we don't really need to be in a building. I was at the beach a lot into kite, surfing, and different things. So I was down there a lot talking to the guys on the beach when we were starting to church there. And, and that was one of the things they said, oh, my church is it's in the out there, too, in the ocean like, yeah, that's nice. It's not biblical. It's nice. Sounds great. But it's just not biblical. Jesus gave us. The church gather at church leaders, a gathering of people. He gave us that because it is hard to do this on our own. You can't do it on our own. We have to have that, and I think there was a popular movement within the church in the last fifteen years or so this home church model, or, or just the idea that we don't need the established church at all that we're just love Jesus. And we're just out there doing our thing that sounds nice in. It's romantic kind of idea to, to be out there and be kind of a renegade for the. Lord. It's just not biblical again. It always comes back to. Okay, that's nice. But what is God's word say about that? There's a reason why he gave us a church because we can't do it on our own. We have people that balance out our personalities. We have to learn to work with people. We clash with in the church, just like you do at work. You don't come to church and it's not this utopia community where everyone gets along. Underneath the main reasons to leave. There are a lot of reasons to work through in stay. So, you know, I think that you have to always have a foundation. The problem is, as most believers, most Christians in church when really pinned down to why they leave are not basing it based on scripture, they're basing it on feeling emotion, and what they want, and that's human nature. But that's why God gave us his word so we didn't have to guess so that we didn't have to go off of how we feel so speaking feelings. I mean, you've got it up a few times, our feelings facts in your mind. No should should someone be governed by their feelings. Absolutely not. You have to take your feelings, and then check them, you know, everything should be checked against God's word. How am I feeling? And the better question to ask, is not, how am I feeling? But why am I feeling this way? And then say, oh, it's because of this, and what is God's word say about that. This is why we preach so often about knowing his word. It's not about checking boxes because God likes it when we read his word it's about being equipped to handle life, if we don't know God's word, we're not going to be able to navigate through all of the feelings that life does throw at us. So, yeah. I think it's very important that, that we check our feelings to God's word. So how does it feel for you as a pastor? I know we just talked about feelings. But but what does that have on you as a pastor? When you find out, somebody is leaving, could you maybe speak about that? Do you have any personal maybe not personal names or anything like that? But, but do you have any personal experience with? I think we're we're human in. I think we experience all the feelings that come with that. I'd like to say that over the years. My feelings have been narrowed down more to disappointment rather than anger when you're young you mad that they're leaving. Oh, how could they do that? Don't they care? They don't get it. So anger really immaturity leads to I think a better emotion, which is just disappointment and, and being a little bit sad. I think that's okay. Anytime someone misses the Mark we're going to be disappointed and gonna be sad. When people make poor choices and, and the view of a pastor really needs to be like a shepherd or a coach in. And when I see those that were wanting to follow like those are our children. When I see them making poor choices I'm gonna I'm gonna feel bad feel bad about it. We've had people in the last year leave that shouldn't have left, they should have stayed in work through it. And we've had other people eat one moved. They moved out of state, and they're doing different things or call two different things. We have a couple that might go. He called into a different ministry right now, that will take them to a different part of town like great. That's awesome. We'll pray for you. You know, that kind of thing, but we've had the people leave over to me issues that they should have stayed to work through because it's not because we need them to be there. It's because I know that when you do stick it out, and you work through it, you're always stronger for it and real growth happens. When you face your first time in a church where you have to decide am I going to work through this or not. That's where God often really does some awesome things. We have to be willing to do that. So, yeah, when I see payment people making bad choices. Yeah. It's disappointing. You pray firm and you hope that you leave it the door open enough that they know that they can come back. There's been people where I've been like. And I'll be the first one to tell them because we always communicate when people go if we can if we can communicate with them. We will we want them to know that. Hey, you're always welcome to come back. You know, you're always walking even if we don't agree with the decision you're making. We think you should wear through it. We. Understand. That's where you're at right now, we wanna leave the door open, so they can come back. So do you think do you think divorce has a has a part to play in why people leave churches so much? Because as a society, we're so quick to divorce. We're so quick to leave a relationship or so quick to break up with somebody. I mean, how often do we have to change our status? I mean, the younger probably do this more so than you, and I, but, you know, we changed our status from you in a relationship too complicated to single again. You know, whatever do you think that has a part to play in it at all? I think it plays a role for sure. I mean, we just don't we don't even know what the word commitment means anymore, and their biblical commitments that we are that, that did God wants us to make in order to grow, and be Elvy. And we're pretty loose with that. We're willing to say up, you can really see, when, when people lip service is one thing real commitment is, is seeing when things get difficult, and are they is it really your family. And I've had other leaders come to me, and this is one of the things that it's hard for new leaders understand that someone will leave, and they will they will communicate how could they leave? We like family that I loved I spent time with them then. I don't talk to me now it's like and how he's have to communicate. They didn't see it the way you see it. They didn't see you is family. They just saw it as a place. They went to church, you because you see it in the godly way you saw them as a part of your family. And now they left you. But you can't get mad if you if you understand that they didn't have that same perspective. They didn't see it as family. They just saw it as a place. They went for an hour on Sunday. And, and that makes it easy for people to leave when there isn't commitment there. So I definitely think it plays a role for sure. Okay, last question, Kirk. So we're going to pretend for moment, you're at QWest field. I know that's a wonderful place for you to go so Mariners. I mean you wanna go Safeco. We can go save. Go centurylink. Oh, sorry. Centurylink. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah. All right. Like I said, Westfield. Why did I say quest feel as it used to be called back in the day, I think it was quest kingdom back in the back and then to? Okay. All right. We're gonna get down a road that I probably don't want to go down, but, but CenturyLink field. Okay. Okay. But I'm you could fact check me. I'm sure when it was first named it was field. I don't think you're right. But okay factor me, I'm just saying. All right. We're gonna argue about that one, we're gonna get along year just getting. We love each other. We really do. So pretend for a second that you're at the fifty yard line of CenturyLink field. It is packed like it would be for a Seahawks game. Right. And you're at the center of that field. What would you say to this statement? When I asked you, what would you say to everyone in their presuming -ly? We're going to -ssume that they're, they're all these people are there, because for whatever reason they've left church in some way. Maybe they've been disappointed. They've been hurt. They've been whatever but you have this great opportunity. But what is it? Eighty thousand plus at CenturyLink field. I think I mean I could be wrong on that, too. I don't know capacity, but, but we'll say like ninety plus all right. So you got ninety plus people there that are, that are struggling with this idea of. I'm gonna leave. I've laughed. I've been hurt. I've been whatever what would you say to them in that moment? Go hawks after that, after that, if okay. Boy, it sounds. Kinda contrite in. Stupid to say, but I honestly the root of it, I would really say he's a God knows best. God knows best and people need to trust that God knows best. He established the church for reason, and because of that it's worth fighting for it's worth working through it's worth fighting for that doesn't mean every specific church. You have to stay at I mean, the church in general, if you do move on its work, make sure you find a place you can plug in. It's worth fighting for Jesus gave us his church. He loves his church, and he knows best even if you've been hurt, and I've been hurting leadership many times doesn't mean I walk away from the church beans, people or hurtful, God's intention for the church is good. And I think that we need to trust that he established the church, and he knows what's best for us. Even if people along the way hurt us, he knows what's best. Don't give up on the church. And I think that's the most important thing. You can nickel and dime and talk about specifics different areas of church all day long. But in generally speaking, I think that's what we need to understand all of us have hurts in there. Some are in different areas summer. You know. You know. Some are leadership level hurts. Some are just I didn't feel welcome. They're kinda hurts. So whatever level, it's at the answer is still the same God wants you in the church in h and he wants you to fight for it and commit to it, and he wants you to do, so because he knows what's best for you. He knows that. That's what you need to thrive. You need the church. This idea that we can make it on our own just is not accurate. We can't make it on her own. That's why he gave us the church. So I'm gonna give you a closing and then we're going to play the game because games are fun. Right. That sounds awesome. So you're closing thought, what what is upward doing that? Maybe separates you guys from say, other ministries, do you want to speak to that at all? Well, I mean, I think discipleship is keys number one. We're, we're a community that has it. We like to say we don't just have discipleship or the, the phrase discipleship on the front of our bulletin. We have a plan for it a strategic plan for discipleship. So if you sit down with us and say, what does that look like we can actually tell you what that looks like in back with scripture, and we have leaders that are trained in disciple in you from an infant or a baby to mature adult that makes disciples? There's a process for that. So that's, that's definitely one that's key. But the other side, and I think it's vitally important too, is we think we get it socially. We love to have fun together. We love to eat together. That's something that's lost in the church. The word potluck has really been killed. I love a good potluck. I love ring. Fatima good potline. You don't know what he's talking about. You got to check that out. Google does not do a potluck Justice, by the way. So if you Google that right now, you're you're missing it. You really. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Hospitalized is a spiritual gift for reason. Yeah. And I think we've kinda minimize that, and I it's, it's one thing to be intellectual and, and be smart and care for people and disciple people. It's another to do life with them. And I think we're trying to marry those two together where we say, hey, we're a church that eats. We love anything. We do have an excuse to, to throw a party in eat together, we go for it, and I think it's it sounds to some people, it sounds like it's not an important thing. It absolutely is important. It's important that people understand community in foods, a big part of that, you, it's represented in scripture that there would be a wedding feast, and the illustrations used oftentimes that people would gather together, and eat together. So we're trying to be a little old school with that, and culturally. It's, it's kind of been done away with we, we cater a lot of things. I just think yeah. Once in a while it's good to cater. But man throw a potluck. Get people to, to bring food and eat double, dander and. We do that a lot. Our entire summer is actually barbecue. So we'll do most of June outside the outdoor amphitheater behind there and we and we barbecue every week and we have a special drink every week that we do it's just ways to celebrate Jesus in a different way. It's to show you know, you're important in whenever something important going on, there's usually food represented, and we think the church should bring that back. So it's a marrying of real social components with, with the strategic godly plans for discipleship. We're trying to do both and I think so far, so good. I know it's not the popular way. It's not like we're going to bring in fifty new people every week, it's one family at a time kind of mindset because you have to get people that are willing to, to submit to that kind of church. So we're not a Sunday church if you come we're going to get to know you, but it's working, we're growing we're stable, we're healthy. And DNA set now we're really just putting walls up on that. What does that look like? Now. We build and grow. You know, beyond one hundred people. What, what does that look like? So that's kind of where we're at its church. It's exciting fun place to be if somebody was seeking like man, what you're describing. I've never encountered before anything like that. What would be your best advice to them on that? Well, do your homework. Number one, don't just like don't take my word for it. I really, really recommend that if it sounds appealing to be a part of people that eat together colts together to that's shouldn't be the only reason, you know, the Mormons are really good at throwing a party. That should not be why you go. So before you look at anything that looks attractive to you do your homework. Find out what they believe what the teach ask hard questions. Make sure your non-negotiables are set then once they're set and, you know, you're in a healthy environment, then, then enjoy the process of growing together, and working through things together and in calling it your family. So, yeah, I think do you. Your homeworks number one. Don't be lured in by a gimmick. We always say, we're not trying to gimmick people in when we offer food, or do different things that are fun. We just want people show that it is a part of a part of family that we want them want to be there. But we're also very clear that we want to back everything with scripture, I don't if it's if it's an opinion I will tell you, it's my opinion. But if it's not, I'll, you know, don't shoot the messenger. It's in God's word, we're going to communicate it and do so boldly. So, yeah, people I think should do a better job of, of understanding what their church believes and getting to know their leadership. Are they trustworthy is there things that you see there that don't look right? You've got to trust that when something doesn't look. Right. It's probably because something's not, right? You know. So valid point component vowed point. Okay. So here's our game. There is a diet in here today. Awesome. Sorry no Seahawks Cup buddy. Sorry. Got a hold that. This North Carolina. Didn't they lose you were going to bring that up? I blocked that out block that out everybody likes to be beaten on my heels. So we're gonna have you roll the die. And then from there. We have a fun question to ask you just to kind of close the show at one voice. So here we go. Hear it not necessarily. But very he rolled a one. This is fun. I like one. Here's question, number one, as we play a game called senseless because it's really just nonsense, but it's involving your sentence. So here we go. How do others see you? That's a terrible question. That's an amazing question. I love it. How do other see you? How does other c Kirk? The twenty year old Kirk or the forty year old Kirk both. I mean I don't know. You. There in your shoes. So you, you tell me how you see the twenty year old Kirk, I would say, how people saw me was a, a really driven leader put his he's put his foot in his mouth, because I knew truth. But I didn't know what a handle it very correctly. I think the forty year old Kirk. I've learned some some temperance and I still speak, boldly, but I do so. While valuing community in relationship and friendship. I would like to see that say that people would say that. I'm a bold leader, but I care and I am a real person, and I love a genuinely love hanging out with people. I love having people over community fills me up. It doesn't empty me. I don't need to get away to the mountains because I've been so sucked out by the church. The church actually fills me up. So I would hope that there'd be a balance there, that people would see a bold leader that loves people, and I think that early Kirk was kind of a bold leader. I didn't really understand people. You can speak truth and have it be very hurtful. If you don't care for people, so, yeah, that, that would be my desire. That would be my hope and so far. So good. I haven't driven away mass amounts of people. So must be doing something right? Yeah, absolutely. Kirk. I was like to remind people when, when we walk in other people's shoes, we really do. Get a different perspective on life. It's kind of how we like to in the show and so- Kirk. I just want to say thank you for giving me a few moments today to kind of dig into kind of how you view people leaving the churches. Specially from a pastoral perspective and last chance Sunday mornings. You're meeting, where again, eat lone pine, cool elementary school. We, it does not look like a school. When you come in there, and we've got pretty dialed in. It's really fun. It's cool. It's a great facility. It's an updated. And, and it's just honestly, we never had anyone say I wish we had a building and we want to have a building. But man, we're really enjoying our time there. It's a fun place. And if someone wanted to reach out to the church or know, more about the church, or maybe how to get in touch with you, do you want to provide any of that. Sure. Yeah. Face upward dot org. Okay. And if you go to face upward dot org, you can hear online, all our servants or online or series. We're doing two years in Luke walking through that and ways to get involved. Home groups all that stuff is on our website, what we believe, is, which is important is on there. So, yeah. And we have a Facebook page to, and yeah, if you look up upward Churchill Medford, you'll find it saw some great Malinche does in the show as well. So again, thank you so much, Kirk, we appreciate it. And this, of course, has been other people's shoes, and we look forward to future episodes. Thank you again.

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