What do you do when God surprises you?

Our focus at Southview throughout much of 2014 has been titled “Change the Story.”  We believe God has changed our stories individually and as a church, and we believe He has called us to be story changers in our community and in our world.  If we take the time to look, we can see the hand of God at work in our lives, changing our stories from despair to hope, from pain to healing, from being outcasts to finding a home with a God who loves us.

Last week, our worship pastor gave me a heads up on something that was frankly a new experience for us.  One of our former Chrysalis interns posted a clip called “How to Play Oceans on the Drums” from one of our services three or four years ago on YouTube, and it was discovered by Carlos Whittaker, a speaker, musician, and worship leader.  Carlos put it on his YouTube channel, and as of this morning, it has more than a million hits – you might have seen it shared on your Facebook or Twitter feed!  It has been featured in stories on the Huffington Post, Relevant Magazine, the Blaze, E!’s The Soup, the New York Daily News, MetalInsider, and even all the way in Australia.  The clip features one of our drummers, Trevell, who’s been a part of our worship team for three years or so.  Trevell, like all of us, has experiences in his life of brokenness and rejection by others, and when he came to Southview he told us how he finally felt like he was wanted and loved.  That’s what the church should be – a place for EVERYONE to call home, where they know they are loved by their Heavenly Father and by fellow followers of Jesus.

Yesterday Trevell shared his response to all the internet attention, and he shared part of his story.  You can check that out here.

We’re blown away at seeing what God can do with a story like Trevell’s – and lest you think otherwise, God can change your story too.  We see it happen all the time at Southview, and we give God the glory for what He does in changing lives, one at a time. Jesus was all about loving the unlovable, and we all know the church hasn’t always gotten that right over the last two thousand years – not by a long shot.  We’re trying to change that.  We see that Jesus paid the most attention to the “outsiders,” not the people you and I might think of as “normal,” and we want to be like Jesus.  That’s radical love.  That’s the church.

One of my favorite quotes from the posts linked above was from MetalInsider – “We’re also not all that familiar with church, but if we lived anywhere near the one where this drummer performed, that might have to change.”  I believe the church should be a place like that, where every life matters, where love is lived out and passion for God and for people is evident.  I’m so incredibly grateful to serve a church like that.


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