This past week many of us from ministry world paused to remember the life of Mike Yaconelli who went to heaven 10 years ago. I credit Mike for introducing me to the adventure of Christ. I first met Mike in my early 20’s when I was new to youth ministry and trying to learn everything I could about how to do the job “right.” I was young and dumb. My faith was focused on serving Jesus and showing youth the joy of serving. There was nothing wrong with that. It was just a limited view of the great adventure.
I first met Mike at a small training event in Minneapolis. He messed me up. He introduced me to a Jesus who is wild, dangerous, adventurous, merciful, and unpredictable. He introduced me to a Jesus who looks at the mess of our lives and says, “I want you.” Mike says, “Jesus didn’t come to make you nice.” I was trying to be nice. In his book, Dangerous Wonder, Mike summarized it beautifully.
The Jesus of the New Testament was a long way from dull–crying one minute and knocking over tables the next; showing courageous compassion to a fallen victim on day and cursing hypocrites the next; blasting the Pharisees on day for having such a narrow view of adultery, then on the next day forgiving a women caught in adultery…
Jesus was a dangerous man–dangerous to the power structure, dangerous to the church, dangerous to the crowds that followed him.
Shouldn’t followers of Christ also be dangerous? Shouldn’t everyone be awe and dazzled by Christians? Shouldn’t Christians be known by the fire in their souls, wild-eyed gratitude in their faces, the twinkle in their eyes and a holy mischief in their demeanor? Shouldn’t Christianity be considered dangerous–unpredictable, threatening the status quo, living outside the lines, uncontrollable, fearless, wild beyond categorization or definition?
I instantly wanted that for my life and my faith. I wanted that for the youth in my ministry. I wanted that for every Christian. I still consider myself on a great adventure, but I think I have lost a little of the wonder, a little of the awe. Remembering Mike this week has brought back the wonder and awe. Now, how do I share that with others? Will you join me in saying yes to the great adventure?
How is your wonder and awe? Do you need some more? Are you overflowing and sharing it with others? Where do you see God’s wonder and awe? How are you going to be intentional in your great adventure? What inspires your adventure? Leave a comment and tell me about it. We can encourage each other.