Worshiping with Ed Stetzer

This past Sunday my best man at my wedding, Russ, and his wife were in town. I was also his best man at his wedding. Neat, huh? We met and worshiped with Ed Stetzer at his church plant Lake Ridge Church which is about a year old. I found out the people was very welcoming. Ed greeted my family and me as we walked in a few minutes late and found our friends. I could refer to him as Dr. Stetzer, but after meeting him I think he’d say “Ed” is just fine. I could be wrong though. He was a very friendly guy who seems to care about people.

We experienced contemporary music, a good solid sermon and the Lord’s Supper. Ed gave all the warnings about who should and should not partake of the Lord’s Supper. I didn’t come with expectations one way or the other on what Ed would say about partaking. I didn’t even know the Lord’s Supper was to be served. I was very glad to hear scriptural admonition that only believers should partake, that we should examine ourselves and no one will judge the other if we are not right to partake on that morning.

Ed’s sermon title was “Finding Personal Peace” noted with scripture reference Romans 5:1-11. He did, however, use more scripture in his sermon. No, I’m not going to comb through his sermon other than to say it was a good message. He did speak about folks coming to Christ merely looking for the benefits of being a Christian explaining that regardless of what “good” things are happening we should have peace with God. Basically, he was saying that when it rains on or the sun shines on the believer our joy is found in Christ Who is our peace. And that we are not to look to the rain or shine in order to establish or validate our faith. Just so no one flames Ed these are my words and observations.

After the service we talked some more and I told Ed that I’m a blogger and we had a laugh about it. He seems to have a nonparticipating love/hate relationship with the blogging world. We touched on some other odds and ends and he couldn’t believe I used the word “missional” which he claimed. Now, if anyone wants to dispute the word let’s throw down in a Life Match where whoever goes out and witnesses to the most people gets to claim it. Okay, never mind it was just a thought.

Before leaving I met Sonny. Sonny did not look like your typical Southern Baptist around these parts. He looks like an old biker dude though not a man of huge stature. He seemed to be a gentle man who didn’t feel welcomed in the church. He told me that he’d done many unmentionable things in his past that he wouldn’t speak of. I told him that that is what is so great about God’s grace which is that no matter how “bad” we’ve been He will receive us. He agreed and admitted he didn’t understand that for the longest time though he does now. My speculation is that he may have been unwelcome by some legalists at some point. Prior to the first Sunday of the church Ed would call and touch base with him reminding him that the first worship service was being held soon. He’s now been there since the church started.

Finally, we had lunch with our friends and then caught the movie Facing the Giants with our regular Sunday School class. It was a very good movie. Granted, it wasn’t a huge budget movie spilling over with special effects, but Jesus Christ was preached and lives in the movie were impacted. I don’t think there was a dry eye at the end. I wish more movies were like this. Go see it!

God bless Ed and his church plant. I hope he can reach more folks like Sonny and just more folks in general with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

SDG,
Mark

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in Culture,Southern Baptist,theology

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MarieP October 3, 2006 at 11:07 am

Mark,

What do you say about Stetzer and his links to the Purpose Driven Church?

http://www.newchurches.com/public/interact/events.php

Marie

2 johnMark October 3, 2006 at 6:08 pm

Close to the same thing I say about Stetzer with Dever at RTS.
http://www.rts.edu/Site/Academics/Degree_programs/Dmin/dmin.aspx

Mark–>

3 excogitatingengineer March 2, 2007 at 8:36 am

Ed is definitely good and keeping someone’s attention. He is a character.

.

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