Of course, you are always invited to join us in Prague at one of our gatherings of our church plant, TaCesta, but I thought it would be fun to give you a feel of our gatherings via video. I just didn’t want to just share what our gatherings look like but I thought it would be fun for you to here from Saša, our lead pastor, as he shared a bit about my work and my role within our church. I hope you enjoy it. If you would like to help Míša, my fiancee and soon-to-be wife, continue to make a difference in Prague, Czech and Europe through our work with TaCesta, CLICK HERE, and join us today! Enjoy the video!
This year, 2013, has been a full, full year! It was a year, that some big things happened in this crazy life of mine! I still can’t wrap my mind around it all! I did, however, want to share a little of that change with you, by sharing an article with you. If you have been paying attention I’ve switched organizations, TEAM), and that means God has finally after all these years (read about my heart for church planting from years past here) allowed me to be part of church planting with a amazing group of people, whom make our community TaCesta (which means “The Journey” or “The Way”). As I said, I wanted you to read more about TaCesta and this church planting opportunity, recently TEAM did a great article about our efforts, here a short excerpt, click the link below to read the whole article!
“Unrivaled in its day as the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, Prague was called the “Mother of Cities.” The city flourished during the Roman, Gothic, and Renaissance periods, and is the birthplace of priest and philosopher Jan Hus, a forerunner of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.
Yet somehow, the people of Prague and the Czech Republic are some of the most atheistic in the world. Polls peg as many as 89 percent of Prague’s 1.3 million people as non-religious.
“Czech has a rich spiritual heritage, but unfortunately that is pretty much gone,” says Zach Harrod, a TEAM missionary serving in Prague. Centuries of religious and political battles, followed by decades of Soviet domination, have left the Czech people suspicious of organized religion and outside influences. They tend to be private about any religious and political beliefs – if they believe anything at all.”
I’ve mentioned it before, but my staff team here is reading Tim Chester’s You Can Change and it has been very challenging and good for me at the same time. God has used it to convict me and at the same time encourage me! I highly recommend it, you should get it like yesterday! Anyway, this morning as I was reading I was once again challenged and sat at my desk contemplating much. See I just finished the chapter on living in community and helping one another take steps of changing as we live out the Gospel in community. There is just so much to share with you, this is why you have to go buy the book and read it, but I did want to share a quote/thought with you, that is actually in the book and on Chester’s blog too!
It’s about churches and churches being safe places for messy people – like you and me. Yes I said it, like you and me! You’re a mess! So am I! But that is beautiful because God’s grace, love and work is in the midst of our messiness is more than enough! (One of the first places I was challenged by the mess I am was from the book Messy Spirituality by the late Mike Yaconelli. It’s another good read!) Anyway, I could go on and on, but here is the quote from Chester’s blog:
One alternative is to be a church in which there is a lot of pretending; in which people have problems, but in which the culture does not allow people to be open about them. Churches like this are very neat and respectable. But I know I would rather be in a messy church! Mess reflects, I think, a culture of grace. We pretend because either we do not trust God’s grace for ourselves or we do not trust other people to show us grace. (from post entitled, A messy church or a pretending church)
So what type of church are going to? What type of church do you gravitate too? Do you gravitate to churches that “are neat and respectable?” Why do you gravitate to a church like this? For anonymity, so that people don’t see your messiness? Fight it! Be real. Do community in truth and love. Know that God’s grace is indeed sufficient! May we be transformed by the Word of God, but also by the beautiful mess of community that He has provided for us…
A couple of years ago, my friend Mike Gunn, of Harambee Church in Renton, WA, mentioned that they were sending a guy (Aaron Youngren) to Chicago with A29 to plant a new church, The Line. Immediately I got excited. “Why?” Because I love Chicago, often times I claim it as home, when I am introduced to people overseas. (I know, I know, I was merely born it what is today a suburb of Chicago, and I have a WI driver’s license and etc. I know, I know…) Seeing guys who are going on mission into urban centers to infiltrate the city with the Gospel gets me fired up. I also mentioned it to a friend, Andrew Lisi, who was moving up to the Chicagoland area to go to seminary, and the rest is history. Lisi and Aaron got connected and I’ve been following the birth of this new church in the “2nd City” for sometime via their blogs, twitter and etc. It’s been fun to pray for them and watch God do this from a distance. I would encourage you to check out what they are doing and pray for them and the city of Chicago. More over pray for all the men and women (guys like Reid Monaghan, who’s planting in Jersey!) all over the world that are trusting God to plant churches amongst people.
I got to see a few of the 9 minute vid spots from “The Nines” on Wednesday (9/9/09), but not all of them. They are starting to circulate around the web. Here are a couple I really appreciated:
If you have found any more out there, leave a comment and let us know where! Thanks.
Two Sundays ago I had the opportunity to preach at my church here in Prague, Faith Community Church, and it was a HUGE blessing! My dear friend, Mark, and I tag teamed to do a mini-series, Blessed to be a Blessing. I finished it up with a talk from Jeremiah 29:4-7, entitled Blessing the City. After a couple of weeks, it’s online. CLICK HERE to listen to it online (once it loads in the quicktime player you can click the upside down triangle in the lower right hand corner and click “Save as Source” to save it to your computer.) or click the podcast logo below. I hope you enjoy the talk and you go out into your city to be a blessing!
Recently, I just put up my most recent sermon preached at Faith Community Church here in Prague. We have been working through 1 Peter for the last couple months and my stud of a pastor, Phil, gave me a couple sermons! It is a blessing to have an avenue to continue to work on and grow in one of my giftings. Thanks Phil. Anyway, you can click on the podcast logo above or the podcast dude below to subscribe to my podcasts (or you can click here to listen/watch the content online), which consist of the zhtvs you see here on the blog and also little bonuses from time to time. Plus who wouldn’t want to take zach harrod around in their iPod? Haha… That could have sounded really arrogant or very odd. Well, enjoy the talk and have a great Tuesday.