Thursday, September 15, 2016
For me, my journey to Radiant Church started over 15 years ago. Three years before that, I had taken off to Colorado Springs, leaving the nest, beginning my adult years and what would become some of the most challenging adventures of my life. Someday, I'll share more about those, but for now I won't bore you.
The summer of 2001, I took a trip to stay with family in southern California (I promise I'm getting somewhere with all these dates and years). While there, I visited Rockharbor's church campus in Costa Mesa and that one Sunday morning, my life was radically impacted. Even though I had gone to church all my life (I was a pastor's kid), just finished 3 years of being an intern staff member at a mega church, yet I discerned what it was I'd been missing those last few years. Humility. The presence of humility embodied by the staff, worship leaders and members of the congregation was, almost, physically tangible. Even thinking on this memory brings back the emotion that flooded over me in that moment.
At that point in time, I'd already enjoyed a several year, close friendship with Christ, but sitting in that service I knew that humility wasn't as prevalent in my life as it should have been. There was a persistent need to surround myself with those who would call me to a greater measure. Reject religion and lead in love. My vacillation at that time, was either to take the job for the senior pastor's assistant (one of a couple) or help David and Renata Perkins start this group of radical, praying youth, suddenly became clear as day. The Perkins radiated this desire to lay-down their lives, to lead as servants, not looking to be served. Clearly, I needed more of what they could teach me. My time spent building Desperation and the Furnace was priceless and for many reasons it was difficult when my day to day could no longer be spent serving with the Perkins and the quality staff.
Fast forward many ordinary days, to life after 7 years in KC with a husband, three kids and friendships that had already moved and gone or just passed beyond their season. We'd been restless for awhile. Should we move? Is there a job change? We loved our church 30 miles away in Olathe, but in the 7 years we had still not been able to invest as we knew we were capable of doing. Had we hit our ceiling here? For a few weeks, we even toyed with the crazy idea of buying a Tea House in another state and becoming small business owners. Instead, God built me a church. Well not exactly a literal, physical church, but the Perkins, who in obedience because of vision and a God-sized dream, were going to move to Kansas City.
These last few months, we've experienced community with the Radiant 'dream team' that we did not realize we had been longing for in recent years. It's similar to that moment over 15 years ago, awe-struck with the presence of humility, then feeling alive for the first time in a long time. What a gift it is to serve, again, alongside such quality people and friends who are excited about loving this city, in word and deed.
No church is perfect, as it's run by imperfect humans in need of a Savior and full of people who are in the same state of being. So, please hear me when I strongly encourage you to serve well where the Lord already has you, but if you've been desiring something different, or in need of a safe place to find healing and community, it would be a joy to see you on any Sunday morning service. You won't find religion, but can come hear the Perkins journey to Radiant and experience for yourself the genuine love and humility that a group of people, from all over this country, have gathered together to share with this city.
P.S. I've been working on a few projects in my 'spare time' and I look forward to sharing them with you in the near future! Two 'offical' blogs and a book re-write are my newest projects in this coming year. Thanks for taking the time to read!