We Challenge

WE CHALLENGE ourselves, and each other to get out of our comfort zone and do hard things. We believe that God uses any struggle and adversity we face to sharpen us, grow us, make us stronger and take us to new places we can’t get to from our couches.

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    - We are Crossroads.
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    A group of Jesus lovers
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    who are more interested in being real
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    than looking good.
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    We believe the church is called to love God
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    and our neighbors.
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    No memberships or secret handshakes required.
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    We strive to do what we see Jesus do.
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    We run to the lost, the hurting, the hungry,
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    to those who are asking questions and seeking truth.
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    We will do anything short of sin
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    to reach our friends and neighbors.
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    We believe that everyone has a seat at God's table.
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    We go outside our walls
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    to serve the forgotten and marginalized.
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    We believe we are called to be
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    the hands and feet of Jesus on earth.
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    We laugh as often as possible.
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    The world wants to beat us down and leave us helpless.
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    Laughter is our way of saying no to despair and yes to joy.
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    We don't take ourselves too seriously.
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    We believe God has a sense of humor
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    and that farts are funny.
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    We challenge ourselves and each other
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    to get out of our comfort zone and do hard things.
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    We believe that God uses any struggle
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    and adversity we face to sharpen us,
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    grow us, make us stronger,
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    and take us to new places we can't get to from our couches.
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    We sacrifice everything for the cause
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    to go the way of Jesus.
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    We believe everything we have is from God and for God.
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    So we give our time, talents and money.
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    We choose to die empty.
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    We endure through any struggle we face.
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    Jesus overcame the world,
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    so when things get hard, we push through.
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    When we get knocked down, we get back up again.
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    Yesterday, today, tomorrow we will follow wherever God leads.
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    We are Crossroads. This is us.
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    - Hey, how's it going? I'm Andy and welcome to Crossroads.
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    As a church, we do those things, we run, we laugh.
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    And this week we're talking about how we challenge.
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    We're not okay to stay stuck in the same old rut.
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    And when we challenge the status quo and each other,
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    we grow closer to God and to other people.
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    Now, it would be hard to be at Crossroads
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    for any length of time and not be challenged.
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    Actually, one example of this was when
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    I first started hanging around Crossroads. I didn't have a car.
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    My car actually didn't work
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    and my motorcycle was all I had
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    and it was getting cold. It was mid December.
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    My motorcycle broke down right outside Crossroads
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    and a friend, Josh,
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    who you often see drumming around here, came out.
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    He said, "Hey, do you need help?"
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    I said, "No, no, no, I'm good. I got it."
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    And he just looked at me. He said, "No, you're not good.
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    Your motorcycle doesn't work
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    and it's getting late and it's freezing outside.
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    Let me help you." He just called me out.
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    He said, "I think you're bad at asking for
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    and receiving help," and he was 100% right.
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    He called me out on my stuff and I'm a better man for it.
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    And that is one example of about 5000 where
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    people and this place have challenged me for my good.
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    So one thing that I'm going to challenge you
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    to do right now is to not skip
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    the next part of the service, the worship part.
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    It's actually critical to us connecting with God
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    and getting closer to Him.
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    It's 15 minutes that we focus our attention on God
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    and say things to Him and about Him
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    that we might not be able to do otherwise.
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    So don't skip it, even if you just listen
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    and don't sing, that's okay.
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    Just think about these words and what they mean for your life.
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    God's with us. He's a strong tower, a firm foundation.
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    - Those words are easier to read
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    than believe and put into action.
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    But I want to take Jesus at His word,
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    so I don't want to let my current circumstances
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    determine what's possible for God.
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    But I want to let God determine what's possible
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    for my current circumstances
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    so no matter what I face, I stand in sync with these words.
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    It's what I choose to say now.
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    - God, we thank You that You are the kind of God
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    who can do miraculous things.
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    You've done them and You still continue to do them today.
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    We thank You that You are more than able,
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    You are capable. You are strong. You are our God.
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    We pray all this in Your Son's name. Amen.
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    - Crossroads has about 1000 things going on all the time.
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    It's a big place that runs after a lot of great things.
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    And as always, I want to let you know that
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    the absolute best way to keep up to speed
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    is by downloading the Crossroads Anywhere app.
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    It has great stuff to help you grow with God
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    and on your own and with other people.
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    And once you create a profile, you can have
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    instant access to not just great content
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    but great opportunities for you to serve,
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    connect, grow and more.
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    So whether you attend one of our nine physical locations
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    or are a part of the Anywhere Community
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    meeting in homes, bars, coffee shops,
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    dorm rooms all over the world, the app is the best way
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    to stay up to date with what's happening around you.
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    And one of the things that you actually see in there
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    that I want to highlight is the online night of prayer.
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    Now, around here, we believe that prayer works.
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    It changes things in ways that are hard to explain
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    but undeniable.
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    There's also this part of prayer that's called prophecy.
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    It's where someone listens to God on your behalf
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    to strengthen and encourage you.
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    That's actually what we have our prayer team doing
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    in these online night of prayer just for you,
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    to hear from God about the challenges
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    right where you're at, the things that you need right now.
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    You can head to Crossroads.net/anywhere
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    to sign up for online night of prayer.
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    Around here we are all about being challenged.
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    It's just who we are.
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    And one of the ways that we challenge ourselves
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    and get outside of our comfort zone is with camps.
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    Camps are built to challenge you in the best possible way,
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    and you'll grow closer to God and with other people.
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    Just this past weekend, we wrapped up Woman Camp,
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    which I hear was an incredible time for over 1700 women.
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    Now we've got Man Camp coming up,
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    The Getaway for 18 to 24 year olds, Veterans' Camp,
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    and even a special weekend getaway for health care
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    professionals just to receive some of the care
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    and the investment that they give
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    to the rest of us all year long.
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    For these and more, head to Crossroads.net/camps
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    for more information.
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    Now, around here, we like to be challenged
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    and to challenge each other, to run after new things
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    because we believe that God does extraordinary things
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    with normal, everyday people.
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    That just, man, that changes the world.
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    And I want you to hear some of the stories
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    of normal people being challenged
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    to go to a new place with God right now.
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    - One of the things around big churches
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    and places that are attractive and fun
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    is one of the indictments oftentimes is
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    that place doesn't challenge people,
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    that place doesn't go deep,
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    that place doesn't do the thing that's unpopular. Right?
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    What makes -- that's in our DNA,
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    challenge is in Crossroads' DNA.
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    Why is that? Why is that important to us?
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    - I think about, you know,
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    one of our seven hills is growth, right?
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    And I think about anything in my life that
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    I can say I've either gained mastery in
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    or I'm gaining mastery in, it's only come with challenge.
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    You know? It's only come with somebody
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    who's maybe a couple steps ahead who's saying,
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    "Great, you think this is where you need to be?
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    Now I want to push you here or I want to guide you here."
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    And I think that's true spiritually.
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    I think that, you know, there's more of God
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    to be uncovered and we can't get to it
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    if we're averse to challenge.
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    And I would just say, you know, some of
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    the most powerful transformative moments in my life
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    at Crossroads and in my relationship with Jesus
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    have come because someone loved me enough
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    to challenge me to go beyond where I was.
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    - I remember volunteer challenges we've done too
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    where we said, "Hey, if you're brand new, awesome,
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    this message is not for you.
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    If you've been around for a while
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    and you're just planning on never doing anything
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    and occupying a seat in the auditorium, we need your seat."
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    We want people who want to contribute
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    and who are up for challenge.
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    And that's, you know,
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    you make some friends, you make some enemies.
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    But I think that that's what Jesus did.
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    Jesus was not a guy who shied away from challenge whatsoever.
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    - Well, I think it also happens relationally.
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    So if you're in community and in a group,
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    part of our DNA and that we have trained people
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    who are part of this community to do
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    is challenge one another.
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    So I remember being in a group in someone's living room
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    on the east side of Cincinnati when I was in college
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    and going through what does it mean
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    to actually believe Jesus is Lord of my life?
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    And if I say that out loud, what does that mean?
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    And this person, the leader of this group,
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    who's a few years older than me, said,
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    "Well, it means like you're going to have to change
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    some of your habits so that He actually -- like you, submit."
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    And at the time I was like, "Well, I get drunk
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    probably at least three nights a week with my friends.
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    And I have relationships that
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    are totally unhealthy with other guys."
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    And I'm like, "Okay, if you're telling me that
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    if I say this out loud with my mouth right now,
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    I'm going to have to change some of what I do?"
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    He's like, "Yes. So you need to actually consider
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    if you want to say it out loud."
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    And that came right from Scripture,
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    which was believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord
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    and confess it with your mouth.
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    And so I was challenged in someone's living room.
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    And that changed, that shifted my life
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    on a whole different trajectory in my 20s
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    and it came in relationship
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    that often happens in groups around here.
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    - Good stuff. Hey, great to be with everybody today.
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    We are in the midst of a series called This is Us,
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    trying to help people understand
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    a bit more about Crossroads, but not really.
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    What we're talking about are some of the things
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    that Jesus calls all people to do who gather together
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    who form a church.
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    And so these are things that the Church of Jesus
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    have practiced for thousands of years,
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    things that Jesus did.
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    And there are things that we're trying to be
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    really clear on here as well, especially since
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    we've been in an unbelievable growth here the last year or so.
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    We just have a lot of people who are going like,
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    "Wait, why is this place do this?
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    Why does it not do that?"
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    So we're kind of killing two birds with one stone.
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    And today I'm going to kind of kill two birds with one stone.
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    I'm going to talk about two things that are separate
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    but very, very related.
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    We're going to talk about challenge,
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    how Jesus challenges us
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    and how we have to be comfortable with challenge.
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    And I'm going to talk about manhood.
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    What do those two things have to do with each other?
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    Well, you're going to have to hang in there
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    because I'll tell you in just a moment.
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    Let's pray before I do anything else.
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    God, I'm thankful for our morning
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    and I'm thankful for transcendent ideas
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    and not just the ideas You give us,
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    but the way that You have loved us,
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    the way You have modeled things for us that blow us away.
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    You are good and You're gracious.
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    And I pray You'd help me to communicate that today
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    and that You will be pleased by what is said
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    as your people go to a new place.
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    Enable that to happen. I pray these things
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    according to the character and identity of Jesus. Amen.
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    So we have nothing that's building to an ask.
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    We have no ask for you in the midst of this series.
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    We're not building to something.
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    No, this is just let's get rooted on who Jesus is,
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    who He wants us to be, and see what that might mean
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    for the for the rest of our life
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    and for our church's future.
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    We're going to get intense today, just so you know.
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    We're going to get intense. I know you don't like it.
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    I know you don't like it.
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    I know you've come here just to waste your time.
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    But we're going to have some intense things here today.
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    So I thought maybe we'd start with just something
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    a little low key. Just some storybook time.
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    Yeah, some storybook time.
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    I like storybooks where there's, like, pictures.
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    I like books that have pictures.
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    It means I can read less and I can look at pretty cool things.
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    So let me read you just a nice little story.
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    Which story do I want to read? Okay, let's do this one.
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    Here we go. Are you ready to sit back and, ahh. Here we go.
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    Sounds like good life, doesn't it? Yeah.
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    That actually does sound like a good life
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    to a lot of men who really don't want to be challenged.
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    A lot of us don't want to be challenged.
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    If we're going to grow and get closer to God,
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    if we're going to understand being in a group of people
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    who name Him as their God, which every church should be doing,
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    these things that we're talking about,
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    Crossroads may be doing them in a way
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    that might be different than some churches,
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    but if you don't like this, you have to find out
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    how you can possibly live without this because you cannot,
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    as I'm going to mention today, you cannot
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    whether you're a man or whether you're a woman,
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    you cannot follow Jesus without embracing challenge,
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    without being open to being challenged.
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    Jesus was a challenging guy. There's no way around it.
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    He was incredibly challenging.
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    He was also very fun, as Chuck talked about
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    really, really well last week.
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    He is also very light hearted, very friendship oriented.
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    All that's true. And He's very challenging.
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    In our American lexicon of sayings that we have
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    we have grown numb to these sayings that came from Him
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    and ignore how really challenging they are.
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    Like, love your neighbor as yourself.
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    Got any annoying neighbors?
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    That's really, really challenging.
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    "Pray for those who persecute you," Jesus says. Geeze.
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    Turn the other cheek, meaning don't get even.
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    Take the insult. Ugh, geez. Really?
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    How about this one? Go the extra mile.
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    That was from Jesus saying when a Roman conscripts you
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    and force you to carry his pack a mile,
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    show him that you care for him and he doesn't own you
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    and go the extra mile, take a harder task for yourself.
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    These are incredibly challenging things
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    that we don't even see as challenging because
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    we've become numb to the spiritual overtones of them.
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    One of the most respected New Testament scholars today,
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    N.T. Wright, he puts it this way:
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    I don't think we see Jesus as He is because
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    we soften His words and we don't see the challenge in them
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    and we ignore them. Let me just give you a few.
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    I could -- I had so many I was going to give you today,
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    but I'm just going to give you a few.
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    Let's look at them, ad I could give
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    a whole sermon on each one of these. I'm not.
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    I'm just going to give us the kind of 30,000 foot view
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    for us to look at that and say, geesh, like, wow.
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    Here's one Mark 10:17:
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    They guy's trying to compliment him,
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    "Good teacher, amazing teacher."
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    And Jesus says, "Why do you call me good?
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    No one's good except God alone,"
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    meaning I'm not just a good teacher, I'm actually God.
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    Wow. Okay.
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    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
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    Ten commandments, That's what you've got to do.
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    The guy says, "Teacher, all these I've kept from my youth."
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    Since I was a boy. Ten Commandments, I got them nailed.
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    What else you got for me? Because I'm in. Here it is.
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    Jesus looking at him, loved him, and said to him.
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    Before we read the rest, he's going to give him
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    some very challenging words,
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    it always comes from a place of love.
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    He loved him and he challenges him.
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    So you think you're real great because you go to church
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    and obey the Ten Commandments. Great. Okay.
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    Let's try this, everything you have, liquidate all of it.
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    Liquidate all of it and give it to the poor.
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    And then you're good to go. Just come follow me.
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    That way you don't have anything else
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    distracting you to follow me.
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    Of course, the guy doesn't want to do that.
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    He gives it up and walks away.
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    Let's look at another one. Jesus says in Luke 9:23:
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    It's hard for us to hear this verse because
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    we think of crosses we think of jewelry,
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    we think of a sign of Christianity.
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    When Jesus said this, he hadn't been crucified on a cross.
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    When he said this, they heard it for what he was intending,
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    and that was a cross was a means of execution.
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    Jesus is saying, "You need to follow me
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    to the point where you're ready to die.
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    In fact, be so willing to be die
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    and be dishonored by people and to not be liked by people
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    you actually carry along with you your own cross."
  • 00:36:42
    In other words, he would say today, "Carry with you
  • 00:36:44
    your own lethal injection. Think of your life as nothing.
  • 00:36:48
    Your life means nothing as it relates to me.
  • 00:36:51
    Be ready to give it up at a moment's notice." Geesh.
  • 00:36:55
    One more. Let's just do, just do one more.
  • 00:36:58
    Let's do -- I think I skipped the one I want to do.
  • 00:37:01
    Let's do -- Let's do Luke 21:16:
  • 00:37:18
    That's right, you will be hated.
  • 00:37:20
    Jesus says, "Man, hatred is coming your way,
  • 00:37:24
    people not liking you, people not wanting to be around you."
  • 00:37:27
    These are unbelievably challenging statements,
  • 00:37:29
    and I don't have the time to even give a cursory overview
  • 00:37:32
    of all of these things.
  • 00:37:33
    It causes me to be really sober minded
  • 00:37:36
    and get freaked out a little bit.
  • 00:37:37
    I sometimes think to myself, "Gosh, if Jesus came
  • 00:37:41
    and started a church today.
  • 00:37:45
    Say He started one where we have physical locations.
  • 00:37:47
    If He started a church in Lexington,
  • 00:37:49
    if He started a church in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus,
  • 00:37:53
    would he put Crossroads out of business?"
  • 00:37:58
    Out of business. Arguably, yes.
  • 00:38:03
    The greatest teacher ever, greatest teacher ever
  • 00:38:06
    is going to beat us hands down whoever's teaching
  • 00:38:08
    better than any, highest moral fiber and character ever.
  • 00:38:13
    It's going to be way higher than me on my best day, way higher.
  • 00:38:17
    Yeah, there's never going to be any any scandal
  • 00:38:19
    in the church in terms of morality.
  • 00:38:21
    If they had a healing and prayer service,
  • 00:38:23
    you'd want to go to His instead of one at Crossroads.
  • 00:38:26
    That's for darn sure. Right?
  • 00:38:28
    You're going to go that one.
  • 00:38:32
    And yet I wonder, I go, "I don't know, man. Because He ticked
  • 00:38:36
    people off and challenged people
  • 00:38:38
    and chased people away all the time."
  • 00:38:42
    I actually think sometimes, I think a church I lead
  • 00:38:44
    and start it might be bigger than Jesus'
  • 00:38:46
    because I don't challenge like Him.
  • 00:38:49
    I want people to like me.
  • 00:38:53
    He was regularly telling people things
  • 00:38:55
    people did not want to hear
  • 00:38:57
    and they were walking away, like this rich young ruler.
  • 00:38:59
    He could have easily had him like,
  • 00:39:00
    "Hey, let me work with you on that,
  • 00:39:02
    because we really could need some help
  • 00:39:03
    and all of the expenses we have and you being on our team
  • 00:39:06
    bringing your resources would be really great."
  • 00:39:08
    "No, no, no, sell everything you have
  • 00:39:09
    and leave and give to the poor.
  • 00:39:11
    Oh, you don't want do that? Then fine, leave."
  • 00:39:14
    He was regularly chasing people away,
  • 00:39:17
    or should I rather say challenging people away.
  • 00:39:20
    And I'm really, really challenged by this.
  • 00:39:24
    He absolutely was humorous. He was incredibly loving.
  • 00:39:27
    He was incredibly fun to be around.
  • 00:39:29
    I believe all that, and time and time and time again
  • 00:39:33
    He said things no one wanted to hear that were true
  • 00:39:36
    and caused people to go, "I can't handle it.
  • 00:39:38
    I'm out of here. I'm out of here."
  • 00:39:42
    I'm not like Him. I'm not as good as He is.
  • 00:39:49
    When we look at so much of the history of Crossroads,
  • 00:39:52
    so much of what is misunderstood about Crossroads,
  • 00:39:56
    there's so much of the difficult times about Crossroads
  • 00:39:58
    many of those things traced to us desiring
  • 00:40:02
    to honor the heart of Jesus and challenge.
  • 00:40:05
    Not just getting bigger and bigger and growing more,
  • 00:40:07
    but actually challenging and doing and saying things
  • 00:40:10
    that we know cut against the grain of where people are.
  • 00:40:13
    Years and years and years ago,
  • 00:40:15
    when we took our first Go Trip, it was called Go Mamelodi.
  • 00:40:18
    We went over to South Africa and we really felt a need
  • 00:40:20
    to go there because we were challenged to engage
  • 00:40:25
    in the AIDS crisis that was in South Africa.
  • 00:40:28
    This was a very controversial thing way back in 1990
  • 00:40:33
    or whatever it was, way 2001, whatever.
  • 00:40:36
    Way, way, way, way back when, because there was,
  • 00:40:38
    you know, a good bit of people in churches,
  • 00:40:41
    in churches, and there still are today who believe that
  • 00:40:44
    the Aids crisis was God's method to punish people who were gay.
  • 00:40:48
    It was His wrath and His plague on people who were gay.
  • 00:40:57
    So if you had compassion for someone who had AIDS
  • 00:41:02
    or was gay, you were somehow not understanding the will of God.
  • 00:41:07
    Weird, weird, twisted time.
  • 00:41:09
    I had -- the last church I came from,
  • 00:41:11
    I was on staff there and I led an adult Sunday school,
  • 00:41:15
    Christian education in the morning.
  • 00:41:17
    I would lead it and have a bunch of people come in.
  • 00:41:20
    And this one guy left this other church
  • 00:41:22
    and he left it because they had said this thing
  • 00:41:26
    that AIDS was God's wrath on homosexuals.
  • 00:41:29
    And he raised his hand and said, "What about, what,
  • 00:41:32
    what what about people who get AIDS
  • 00:41:36
    and haven't had sex with somebody of the same sex
  • 00:41:39
    or got it not because they were having sex
  • 00:41:41
    with somebody they weren't married to because
  • 00:41:43
    people would go out and they would have sex
  • 00:41:45
    with various partners, then come in
  • 00:41:46
    and have sex with their spouse
  • 00:41:48
    and then they would get the AIDS, all that stuff."
  • 00:41:50
    And they said, "It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter.
  • 00:41:52
    It's God's judgment and it comes on all of us,
  • 00:41:54
    even if we haven't done it."
  • 00:41:55
    And he left that church promptly.
  • 00:41:57
    Why did Steve leave that church?
  • 00:41:59
    Because he had a blood transfusion and he had AIDS.
  • 00:42:04
    And he was just getting whittled down to nothing
  • 00:42:07
    right before my eyes.
  • 00:42:10
    Challenging doesn't mean you're a jerk.
  • 00:42:13
    Challenging doesn't mean
  • 00:42:14
    you just say things that are offensive.
  • 00:42:16
    But when we decided to do that, it was challenging
  • 00:42:19
    and a lot of folks didn't like it.
  • 00:42:21
    We built the largest privately funded AIDS hospice
  • 00:42:24
    as far as we realize or know in the history of South Africa,
  • 00:42:28
    funded it, built it and everything,
  • 00:42:29
    and then it failed miserably. That's another story.
  • 00:42:32
    That's another story.
  • 00:42:33
    But we were challenged by this, and we decided
  • 00:42:36
    to challenge this because Jesus challenged us.
  • 00:42:41
    Sexuality, we're going to have we're going to have
  • 00:42:43
    a series on sex at some point this year.
  • 00:42:46
    And I'll tell you what's going to happen.
  • 00:42:48
    All these growth problems we've been having,
  • 00:42:50
    those growth problems are going to go away.
  • 00:42:51
    They're going to be gone. They're going to be gone.
  • 00:42:56
    Church is going to decrease in size.
  • 00:42:58
    It's going to be painful
  • 00:43:00
    and it's going to be wonderful at the same time.
  • 00:43:02
    One thing I've learned about sex, no matter who you are,
  • 00:43:05
    all you want to hear about sex is
  • 00:43:06
    whatever you're doing right now is great by God.
  • 00:43:08
    That's all. That's all we want to hear about sex.
  • 00:43:10
    That your beliefs are the right beliefs,
  • 00:43:12
    your actions are the right actions.
  • 00:43:13
    And when we see what the Bible says, very few of us
  • 00:43:17
    want to be challenged in that area.
  • 00:43:19
    But we feel like we need to do this from time to time
  • 00:43:22
    because we need to be like Jesus, who said things
  • 00:43:25
    that people didn't want to hear.
  • 00:43:27
    No matter what you're doing right now,
  • 00:43:30
    no matter what you're doing right now,
  • 00:43:32
    Jesus loves you as you are right now.
  • 00:43:34
    Right now as you are He loves you right now
  • 00:43:38
    and He loves you too much to allow you
  • 00:43:41
    to stay where you are right now.
  • 00:43:44
    He challenges us
  • 00:43:46
    because He wants us to become more like Him.
  • 00:43:47
    He wants us to move and that's always the more difficult place.
  • 00:43:51
    Race, gosh, how many times have we taken our shots on race?
  • 00:43:56
    We don't -- we don't do it right. We don't say it right.
  • 00:44:00
    If you if you talk about race, it's not said in the right way.
  • 00:44:02
    You said too much. We're not doing the right thing.
  • 00:44:05
    And yet we still do, we still talk about the truth
  • 00:44:10
    that races in our country are not together.
  • 00:44:12
    We are not right.
  • 00:44:14
    And there's truths that are still painful,
  • 00:44:16
    like someone who looks like me is going to have
  • 00:44:18
    an easier time starting off in our culture
  • 00:44:21
    than somebody who has darker skin than me.
  • 00:44:23
    There's an advantage to being white.
  • 00:44:25
    And whenever we talk about this,
  • 00:44:27
    doesn't mean I should feel guilty for being white.
  • 00:44:29
    It just means I should have compassion and heart
  • 00:44:32
    and understanding and want to work towards
  • 00:44:34
    giving opportunities to people
  • 00:44:35
    that doesn't come as easy for them.
  • 00:44:36
    And Chuck and I've talked about this a lot, Chuck Mingo,
  • 00:44:39
    in case you don't know him, he's black.
  • 00:44:40
    I don't know if you noticed that or not,
  • 00:44:42
    but he's black and I'm white.
  • 00:44:43
    And we've talked about how if we never talked about race,
  • 00:44:46
    would Crossroads be larger than it is right now?
  • 00:44:49
    Because every -- Yes, a woman says, "Yes, yes, it would"
  • 00:44:53
    because everyone gets upset all the time.
  • 00:44:54
    It's hard. It's difficult.
  • 00:44:56
    We talk about it a lot.
  • 00:44:57
    We don't talk about a lot, but we talk a lot about
  • 00:45:00
    when we challenge, very few people,
  • 00:45:03
    people who say they know God, by the way,
  • 00:45:08
    are up for being challenged.
  • 00:45:09
    I'm not even talking about things like parenting
  • 00:45:12
    or all sorts of stuff.
  • 00:45:13
    This is a safe place for everybody. Everybody.
  • 00:45:17
    This Crossroads is a safe place and it has to be safe
  • 00:45:19
    to hear a very unsafe message,
  • 00:45:23
    the message that Jesus loves you.
  • 00:45:26
    The message that Jesus wants to facilitate you to grow
  • 00:45:30
    to become somebody you aren't right now.
  • 00:45:33
    He doesn't just affirm what you think
  • 00:45:35
    and what you want to believe and what you do right now,
  • 00:45:37
    He wants to make you more like Him, and that is His love.
  • 00:45:42
    That's how He challenges us.
  • 00:45:46
    We have a big investment in camps.
  • 00:45:49
    We like doing camping.
  • 00:45:51
    Part of why we do camping is because it's challenging
  • 00:45:54
    because we don't like it.
  • 00:45:55
    We'd rather be in resort than outside.
  • 00:45:58
    But in case you want to be like Jesus,
  • 00:45:59
    I don't know about this, Jesus camped.
  • 00:46:06
    Well, I guess I want to be like Jesus,
  • 00:46:08
    but I don't really want to do what He did.
  • 00:46:09
    I don't. I don't want to do it.
  • 00:46:11
    For the better part of three years, he was camping
  • 00:46:13
    without high tech gear.
  • 00:46:17
    There's something that happens as we see Woman Camp,
  • 00:46:19
    which by the way, was last weekend. It was amazing.
  • 00:46:22
    How many of us went to it? [cheers]
  • 00:46:24
    Some day you ladies are gonna invite me to Woman Camp.
  • 00:46:26
    I don't know why you haven't so far.
  • 00:46:27
    You have no part of me there.
  • 00:46:29
    I want to go someday, but you haven't had me there,
  • 00:46:31
    so I just celebrate from afar how great it is.
  • 00:46:34
    The highest Woman Camp we ever had.
  • 00:46:37
    1500 women went, 90 baptisms took place.
  • 00:46:42
    Women having fun, women worshiping,
  • 00:46:45
    women breaking free from issues they've had,
  • 00:46:47
    bonding with one another in a challenging environment.
  • 00:46:50
    One woman says this, she says:
  • 00:47:16
  • 00:47:20
    It's so good. So great. Man Camp is coming up a couple of weeks.
  • 00:47:23
    A couple more days to sign up, guys.
  • 00:47:25
    You'll pay more right now than you would have
  • 00:47:27
    two months ago or so,
  • 00:47:29
    but it could change your life because it's challenging.
  • 00:47:31
    You're going to meet God and have an opportunity
  • 00:47:33
    to meet God in a way that you're not going to
  • 00:47:35
    in a comfortable environment because God challenges us
  • 00:47:37
    and meets us and laughs with us.
  • 00:47:40
    Speaking of men, let's talk about challenge and men.
  • 00:47:43
    We've talked about this series and thought, you know,
  • 00:47:45
    there's so many rumors and misperceptions
  • 00:47:47
    that go around around men at Crossroads.
  • 00:47:50
    I hear from people say, "All Crossroads cares about is men,
  • 00:47:52
    all Crossroads cares about."
  • 00:47:54
    And I got to tell you, I don't understand it.
  • 00:47:56
    I talk with a woman about this just this last week.
  • 00:47:59
    She said, "I don't. I don't understand it either."
  • 00:48:01
    She said, "I've never been in a church
  • 00:48:03
    that believes in the Bible and has more women in leadership
  • 00:48:07
    than Crossroads and has more people,
  • 00:48:09
    more times women speaking on stage
  • 00:48:11
    and has opportunities for women.
  • 00:48:14
    We don't spend more on women's ministry
  • 00:48:15
    or on men's ministries than women's ministries.
  • 00:48:17
    It's confusing. I bdon't understand it."
  • 00:48:20
    So I want to try to explain it a little bit today
  • 00:48:23
    because it ties into this challenge piece.
  • 00:48:27
    Women are obviously hurting.
  • 00:48:29
    It's hard to be a woman in America, very, very hard.
  • 00:48:32
    Hard to be a woman in corporate America, very, very hard.
  • 00:48:35
    It's hard to deal with the things in the home
  • 00:48:39
    and the disproportionate amount of single moms in our country.
  • 00:48:41
    It's hard. It's very, very hard.
  • 00:48:43
    Women deserve massive amounts of compassion
  • 00:48:46
    because they are living a challenged life. Really.
  • 00:48:48
    Yeah, I get some amen for that.
  • 00:48:51
    And what we need to do is we need to expand
  • 00:48:53
    our compassion bucket for more,
  • 00:48:55
    not give women less compassion, but expand the bucket
  • 00:48:58
    and give more people compassion, like men.
  • 00:49:03
    Men are four times more likely than women to commit suicide.
  • 00:49:07
    Men are three times more likely than women
  • 00:49:09
    to have a mental illness.
  • 00:49:11
    Men are two times more likely than women to have a DUI
  • 00:49:14
    or a chemical abuse related incident than women.
  • 00:49:17
    Men are not well, and I believe
  • 00:49:21
    the compassion of Jesus should expand for everybody,
  • 00:49:25
    should have compassion for all folks.
  • 00:49:28
    And churches do not do a good job
  • 00:49:32
    having compassion for men or reaching men.
  • 00:49:34
    Last statistic I saw was 70% of church attendance
  • 00:49:37
    in America are women, 70% are women, 30% are men.
  • 00:49:40
    I think it's more like 80/20, actually.
  • 00:49:43
    The reason, there's a bunch of reasons for that.
  • 00:49:45
    I think one of the reasons is we do a better job
  • 00:49:47
    speaking to women than we do to men.
  • 00:49:49
    We do a better job having sort of communal,
  • 00:49:53
    just heartwarming sharing experiences.
  • 00:49:55
    We do that really better in a church setting
  • 00:49:58
    than we do mobilizing men for a mission to do something.
  • 00:50:01
    For whatever the reasons are, the American church
  • 00:50:03
    is doing a really, really bad job reaching men,
  • 00:50:06
    developing men, and everybody is losing. Everybody.
  • 00:50:12
    One of the questions I have for God is why is it
  • 00:50:14
    I know so many good godly women,
  • 00:50:16
    but so few godly men who are available for them?
  • 00:50:19
    Why? I don't -- When I meet a godly man,
  • 00:50:22
    he pretty much has options.
  • 00:50:24
    But I don't see good women who have a lot of options.
  • 00:50:27
    What's going on here? Where is the --
  • 00:50:31
    Where's the void in our culture?
  • 00:50:33
    The Me Too movement existed for a reason,
  • 00:50:36
    because men are not well and they're doing harmful
  • 00:50:39
    and bad things to women.
  • 00:50:44
    So we have a heart for that. We have a heart.
  • 00:50:46
    We have a heart for men and we have a heart for women.
  • 00:50:49
    And we want to pour resources in and structure a church
  • 00:50:54
    that might be more apt to reach a man
  • 00:50:56
    where he may not go into another church
  • 00:50:58
    to be reached through that church.
  • 00:51:00
    It's a deep commitment that we have here.
  • 00:51:02
    It's important here.
  • 00:51:04
    When my daughter was born, my first, my eldest daughter,
  • 00:51:08
    she was born, I looked at her and was really amazing
  • 00:51:10
    because the first verse I ever saw that I had my own DNA
  • 00:51:13
    because I'm adopted. It's beautiful.
  • 00:51:15
    Like, wow, my own DNA and someone.
  • 00:51:17
    And then my second child was born, my son.
  • 00:51:19
    They took my son, they put him on a little table
  • 00:51:22
    and they put him on this little table when he came out of Lib,
  • 00:51:25
    put him there and I went over, "Oh, my God."
  • 00:51:27
    Held his little hand and looked down at him,
  • 00:51:29
    holding his hand, and then he sent a stream of urine
  • 00:51:32
    up in the air, it landed on my arm
  • 00:51:35
    and dribbled all the way down my arm.
  • 00:51:38
    And I thought to myself, I said, "Yeah,
  • 00:51:41
    this could be an omen."
  • 00:51:45
    I thought, "If I don't get a hold of this little guy,
  • 00:51:48
    he's going to piss all over me
  • 00:51:50
    just like I pissed all over my dad."
  • 00:51:56
    There is such a thing as a 15 year old man
  • 00:51:58
    and there's such a thing as a 45 year old boy.
  • 00:52:01
    It has nothing to do with what hobbies you like,
  • 00:52:04
    if you drive a truck,
  • 00:52:05
    it has nothing to do with your income level.
  • 00:52:07
    It has to do with certain marks of a man.
  • 00:52:10
    And I realized I've seen enough men hurt women.
  • 00:52:12
    I don't know what it is, but men have a power to hurt
  • 00:52:15
    more so than women. They just do.
  • 00:52:17
    A dad's words, for whatever reason, hurt a child
  • 00:52:20
    more than the mom says the same thing.
  • 00:52:22
    We know that, we have scars generally
  • 00:52:24
    from what our dad said to us or didn't say to us.
  • 00:52:26
    We don't like this, by the way, as dads,
  • 00:52:28
    we don't like that, but it is.
  • 00:52:30
    We know that men have the ability to hurt somebody,
  • 00:52:32
    and we do.
  • 00:52:33
    That's why the whole Me Too movement has taken off,
  • 00:52:36
    because you've got boys in business
  • 00:52:38
    who take advantage of women.
  • 00:52:40
    When you have a boy, you have a grave responsibility.
  • 00:52:45
    Do you have a dog? Dogs are great.
  • 00:52:48
    I don't understand those of you, though,
  • 00:52:49
    who have, like, Chihuahuas. I don't understand it.
  • 00:52:52
    Chihuahuas or those wiener dogs or whatever, I don't get it.
  • 00:52:58
    Like, I just I'd rather have a cat
  • 00:53:02
    because it'd be easier to take care of, right?
  • 00:53:04
    But you know, if you have that dog,
  • 00:53:05
    that's fine. No problem.
  • 00:53:06
    And truth is, I've never seen a nice Chihuahua.
  • 00:53:10
    No, seriously, have you? They're like, [snarling sounds]
  • 00:53:13
    Someone's always holding them. [snarling]
  • 00:53:17
    And, you know, it's okay because it's not a powerful being
  • 00:53:22
    and it's really not going to hurt anybody.
  • 00:53:25
    When you have a boy, when God gives you a boy, newborn boy,
  • 00:53:30
    you have before you a puppy rottweiler,
  • 00:53:35
    a puppy German shepherd, a pup.
  • 00:53:37
    If that boy doesn't get raised right,
  • 00:53:39
    someone's going to get hurt.
  • 00:53:42
    And so I realized that I've got to do
  • 00:53:45
    something different for my son.
  • 00:53:48
    So I just started researching things and doing things.
  • 00:53:52
    And that led to a book that I wrote a while ago
  • 00:53:56
    called The Five Marks of a Man.
  • 00:53:57
    And it led to Man Camp and led us to having a heart
  • 00:54:01
    for men in our normal day to day ministry.
  • 00:54:03
    And I found that there's five things, by the way,
  • 00:54:05
    the five things that separate boys from men. Five, five.
  • 00:54:10
    And I'm going to tell them to you,
  • 00:54:12
    but I got to tell you this just on the QT.
  • 00:54:14
    Don't tell my publisher this.
  • 00:54:18
    All these things are also able to be done by women.
  • 00:54:22
    I know, I know, I know it's marketing. It's marketing.
  • 00:54:25
    So all these marks can be marks of a woman as well.
  • 00:54:28
    But these are the push points.
  • 00:54:30
    Every man you know that you respect
  • 00:54:32
    has all five of these things.
  • 00:54:33
    Every man who's a hero of the faith that's in the Bible
  • 00:54:35
    has all five of these things.
  • 00:54:36
    We may be weaker in 1 or 2 of them, but we embrace them,
  • 00:54:39
    say, "This is where I'm going." Here we go.
  • 00:54:41
    Now, as I tell you these five things,
  • 00:54:43
    let me just tell you, ladies, this is a talk
  • 00:54:46
    I've given to NFL teams in locker rooms.
  • 00:54:49
    I've given this talk on university campuses and fraternities.
  • 00:54:53
    I've given this talk to different groups of men.
  • 00:54:55
    Let me just say this, this information,
  • 00:54:58
    you should have this information for every person you date.
  • 00:55:04
    This is your scorecard.
  • 00:55:07
    You do not want to date a boy.
  • 00:55:09
    And let me tell you, my experience is
  • 00:55:12
    girlfriends do not grow boys into men. They never do.
  • 00:55:15
    If you're dating a boy right now, he will always be a boy.
  • 00:55:18
    Or if he becomes a man, it won't be because he's dating you.
  • 00:55:21
    Something else will intercede for him to become a man.
  • 00:55:25
    I'm doing this to help you.
  • 00:55:27
    I'm telling you, I don't want you to have a broken heart
  • 00:55:29
    because you've gotten too deep in with a boy
  • 00:55:32
    who's never going to be able to meet your needs,
  • 00:55:34
    who's never going to lay down his life for you,
  • 00:55:36
    who's never going to be strong for you.
  • 00:55:38
    These five things, not necessarily in order,
  • 00:55:40
    here they are.
  • 00:55:41
    One of them is this: Men have a vision and boys live day to day.
  • 00:55:45
    Men say there's something out here that I'm going after
  • 00:55:48
    that I don't have right now, a college degree,
  • 00:55:51
    a business to start, a marriage,
  • 00:55:53
    I'm going to be in a journey to sobriety and recovery.
  • 00:56:00
    There's something out there I don't have, I see it,
  • 00:56:02
    I want it, and what's between here in that vision
  • 00:56:05
    is time and difficulty.
  • 00:56:08
    Time and difficulty, that's what it is.
  • 00:56:11
    It is a challenge to have a vision.
  • 00:56:14
    I'm not talking about a daydream.
  • 00:56:15
    Everyone has a dream.
  • 00:56:16
    That's a daydream if it doesn't challenge you
  • 00:56:19
    to do things you don't want to do over periods of time
  • 00:56:22
    until you actually attain it.
  • 00:56:24
    A boy will never have a vision.
  • 00:56:25
    A boy just wants to have a good day.
  • 00:56:27
    Boys wants to have an easy day.
  • 00:56:29
    It's got to be a nice day. It's got to be a good day, too.
  • 00:56:31
    No challenge today. No, I just need to have a good, easy day.
  • 00:56:35
    But a man has a vision, which means he embraces challenge.
  • 00:56:38
    I have a whole talk to each one of these.
  • 00:56:40
    I'm not, just a broad overview.
  • 00:56:42
    Second one, men are protectors and boys are predators.
  • 00:56:48
    Boys take, take, take, take, take, take, take, take.
  • 00:56:54
    I took for my dad entirely.
  • 00:56:55
    Didn't have a rule I didn't break,
  • 00:56:58
    didn't have a car I didn't wreck,
  • 00:57:00
    didn't have a curfew I didn't violate,
  • 00:57:03
    didn't have any money around the house
  • 00:57:05
    I didn't steal at some point.
  • 00:57:06
    I took, took, took, took.
  • 00:57:10
    That's what boys do, they take, take, take.
  • 00:57:12
    They don't add value, they don't sacrifice, they don't protect.
  • 00:57:16
    Men protect.
  • 00:57:19
    For 100 years, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission
  • 00:57:23
    did a study based on a century of records
  • 00:57:26
    about what happens when people get mugged
  • 00:57:28
    or they get violently accosted on the street.
  • 00:57:31
    And they looked at this and they realized that
  • 00:57:34
    the spontaneous rescues of strangers
  • 00:57:37
    were done 90% of the time by men.
  • 00:57:41
    90% of the time it was a man who stepped in
  • 00:57:43
    to help somebody who was being accosted.
  • 00:57:45
    And unfortunately, 1 in 5 were killed in the attempt.
  • 00:57:50
    This is a dream for a true man.
  • 00:57:52
    I'd love to -- I'd love to die for somebody.
  • 00:57:55
    I'd love to die for a noble cause.
  • 00:57:57
    This is a true dream for men.
  • 00:57:59
    Boys are, like, "Why? Why would you do that?"
  • 00:58:02
    Boys just take. They wouldn't give up their life.
  • 00:58:04
    Jesus is the ultimate man, He lays down His life.
  • 00:58:07
    It was a challenge to Him.
  • 00:58:08
    All the ancient gods,
  • 00:58:10
    they'll tell you you have child sacrifice.
  • 00:58:12
    Jesus though, He lays down His life,
  • 00:58:14
    as the child of God He sacrifices Himself.
  • 00:58:17
    The child of God, out of love for you and I,
  • 00:58:19
    He lays down his life for us
  • 00:58:20
    so we don't have to lay down our life for all of eternity.
  • 00:58:23
    We can be with God right now.
  • 00:58:26
    Three: men work and boys play.
  • 00:58:28
    Now I like to play. We play a lot of Crossroads.
  • 00:58:31
    Play as good. Play is revenge for work. It is.
  • 00:58:36
    I put money towards play. Play is good, play is good.
  • 00:58:38
    But I don't live for play. Men don't live for play.
  • 00:58:41
    Men work. Boys play.
  • 00:58:43
    Men don't look forward to retiring.
  • 00:58:47
    Men are not looking forward to that,
  • 00:58:50
    if that is interpreted as I'm looking forward
  • 00:58:52
    to not working anymore.
  • 00:58:55
    Now there's gonna come a day where you're going
  • 00:58:57
    to maybe have to retire, you're going to be too old
  • 00:58:59
    to hit the basic requirements of your job,
  • 00:59:00
    or corporate America is going to want somebody younger in
  • 00:59:03
    or you're not going have the same energy.
  • 00:59:04
    That may happen sometime.
  • 00:59:05
    But the idea that a 20 some year old
  • 00:59:08
    would have a goal to not work is crazy. Crazy.
  • 00:59:13
    That was a goal of mine to retire at age 55.
  • 00:59:16
    I had that goal in my early 20s.
  • 00:59:18
    Why? Because my early 20s I was a boy.
  • 00:59:21
    Adam and Eve are in the garden
  • 00:59:23
    and they're working before sin comes into the world.
  • 00:59:26
    We work. Work isn't a curse. Fruitless work is a curse.
  • 00:59:33
    I turn today 58. It's my birthday today, 58.
  • 00:59:36
    [cheers & applause] Yeah. Crazy.
  • 00:59:38
    I only bring it up to say I feel like I'm just starting.
  • 00:59:42
    I honestly do.
  • 00:59:43
    I feel like I'm just starting to figure out life.
  • 00:59:45
    I feel like I'm just starting to get traction.
  • 00:59:47
    So I've recently said, "I think I'm going to go
  • 00:59:49
    to my position if I can still do it to 70."
  • 00:59:52
    New goal, 70, put it out there because I don't --
  • 00:59:55
    I'm not trying to escape and just play more.
  • 01:00:00
    Men work, even if they're not getting a paycheck,
  • 01:00:02
    they get up in the morning, "How do I add value to my kids?
  • 01:00:05
    How do I add value to my grandkids?
  • 01:00:06
    How do I have value to my communities?"
  • 01:00:08
    Men work, boys play.
  • 01:00:10
    Fourth: Men are team players, boys want to be MVP.
  • 01:00:15
    Boys want to be all time quarterback.
  • 01:00:17
    Boys want the perfect job for them
  • 01:00:18
    and they want everyone to see how great they are.
  • 01:00:20
    Men are team players.
  • 01:00:22
    Jesus assimilated, amassed a team around Him
  • 01:00:26
    known as the 12 Disciples.
  • 01:00:28
    Jesus was in a team known as the Trinity:
  • 01:00:30
    God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
  • 01:00:33
    Because young males are hurting,
  • 01:00:35
    so also are young females hurting.
  • 01:00:38
    I talked to young males on the college campus.
  • 01:00:40
    One of my things I do is I encourage them,
  • 01:00:42
    Hey, just talk to a girl. Just try talking.
  • 01:00:47
    Not texting. You talk to her.
  • 01:00:49
    You can own this campus because no one talks to women anymore.
  • 01:00:52
    I'm serious. Like, you can go way high above your level.
  • 01:00:55
    I'm telling you, dudes talk.
  • 01:00:57
    But they're so lacking self confidence
  • 01:01:02
    and they don't know how to talk.
  • 01:01:03
    And then when they do start learning how to talk to a woman
  • 01:01:06
    and actually have a conversation
  • 01:01:08
    instead of breaking up with her on text
  • 01:01:10
    or only having text messages, actually just talking to her,
  • 01:01:12
    they were so hesitant to ask a person to marry us.
  • 01:01:16
    We keep pushing off marriage
  • 01:01:18
    later and later and later and later.
  • 01:01:19
    Why is that? Because we don't see that marriage is about team
  • 01:01:24
    and young males don't embrace team.
  • 01:01:27
    We don't embrace a relationship
  • 01:01:29
    where there's mutual submission on the team.
  • 01:01:32
    The truth of the matter is, as a man, I tell guys,
  • 01:01:35
    as a man, your life will not go next level
  • 01:01:37
    until you get a teammate who won't leave you.
  • 01:01:41
    A spouse doubles your impact,
  • 01:01:44
    unless you get married to a boy,
  • 01:01:46
    then he cuts it in half. Serious about that.
  • 01:01:49
    A spouse either doubles your impact or cuts it in half.
  • 01:01:52
    But it is a beautiful and amazing thing,
  • 01:01:53
    but we're not embracing marriage in our culture anymore
  • 01:01:56
    because we're increasingly spiritually immature
  • 01:01:58
    and we don't want to lay our life down for somebody else.
  • 01:02:01
    Jesus says this:
  • 01:02:16
    The way is hard.
  • 01:02:17
    We are a church that does hard things.
  • 01:02:19
    We do hard things.
  • 01:02:21
    I want to live a life where I do hard things,
  • 01:02:23
    where I want to embrace being challenged.
  • 01:02:26
    And Jesus says the gateway to heaven,
  • 01:02:29
    the gateway to His life, the gateway to the Kingdom is small.
  • 01:02:32
    Why is that?
  • 01:02:33
    Is it because God is trying to make it uncomfortable
  • 01:02:35
    and very few, He doesn't want a lot of people there?
  • 01:02:37
    No, it's that not that many people are going there,
  • 01:02:40
    so there doesn't need to be a big gate.
  • 01:02:41
    There's not a lot of people going the way of God,
  • 01:02:43
    so why have a big gate?
  • 01:02:45
    All you need is a little opening.
  • 01:02:47
    Tell you what, if you're going to follow God,
  • 01:02:49
    if you're going to be about His ways,
  • 01:02:51
    get used to being in the minority.
  • 01:02:53
    You will not be approved of the popular masses.
  • 01:02:58
    You won't, which is the fifth mark,
  • 01:02:59
    men take a minority position,
  • 01:03:01
    boys always have to be in the majority.
  • 01:03:04
    Boys always need everyone to approve of them.
  • 01:03:06
    They need to be right in line with what everyone is thinking.
  • 01:03:09
    Me too. Me too. All that kind of stuff.
  • 01:03:11
    But men are alone, many times there's not many of us,
  • 01:03:16
    or if I just take out the men thing, people of faith
  • 01:03:20
    feel like they're alone because you're in the minority.
  • 01:03:23
    As Jesus said, you are in the minority,
  • 01:03:26
    that's why it's a small gates.
  • 01:03:27
    Wide path to destruction, very wide, wide wide
  • 01:03:30
    because everyone's going there.
  • 01:03:33
    Part of why you might be attracted to come to
  • 01:03:35
    a Crossroads location or any church location, right?
  • 01:03:39
    It's because even though inside of a gathering of Crossroads,
  • 01:03:43
    you're going to have people who don't want challenge
  • 01:03:46
    and who are going to be gone next week
  • 01:03:47
    or are going to be gone right now if I said something
  • 01:03:49
    that didn't match up with their view,
  • 01:03:51
    even though that's going to happen and even though
  • 01:03:53
    we have in our rooms every week
  • 01:03:54
    and that's why we started the church,
  • 01:03:56
    people who are seekers who are not saying, "I believe this."
  • 01:03:59
    They're saying, "Maybe I could believe this,
  • 01:04:01
    but I want to figure out."
  • 01:04:03
    Even though we have those folks of people,
  • 01:04:05
    we come into a room, one of our rooms like this
  • 01:04:08
    and we go, "Oh. I'm not the only one
  • 01:04:13
    because I feel like the only one out there.
  • 01:04:16
    I feel like I'm an alien out there,"
  • 01:04:18
    which the Bible does call us aliens, by the way.
  • 01:04:20
    "I feel like I'm -- But I come here like, Oh, okay,
  • 01:04:23
    there's others like me.
  • 01:04:25
    Oh, I might be in the minority,
  • 01:04:27
    but God always is ultimately the majority. Always."
  • 01:04:31
    And I'm reminded of that right here, right now.
  • 01:04:36
    I live in Cincinnati, my hometown, love Cincinnati.
  • 01:04:39
    And one of the things about Cincinnati
  • 01:04:41
    that's kind of unique, if you didn't know this.
  • 01:04:43
    We have pigeons in Cincinnati,
  • 01:04:45
    but not as many as you might think.
  • 01:04:47
    Pigeons are a real nuisance, a real problem in cities.
  • 01:04:50
    Pigeons are like boys. They flock in masses.
  • 01:04:56
    Come in out of nowhere. They flock in masses.
  • 01:04:58
    They stay low and they peck the stuff up.
  • 01:05:00
    They don't have any high reaching goals.
  • 01:05:02
    They stay, they make a lot of noise
  • 01:05:04
    and they leave and they poop all over everybody, you know?
  • 01:05:07
    "I'm gone. See ya." They poop all over and they're gone.
  • 01:05:10
    That's the boys are like. That's what unfaithful people are like.
  • 01:05:13
    They're just, you know, they're like pigeons.
  • 01:05:14
    And then there's birds of prey
  • 01:05:17
    who are always in the minority.
  • 01:05:18
    The reason Cincinnati doesn't have more pigeons
  • 01:05:21
    is because we also have falcons.
  • 01:05:23
    I saw one of those eating one day down at
  • 01:05:26
    the Metropolitan Club a number of years ago,
  • 01:05:28
    and there was the peregrine falcons, like, awesome.
  • 01:05:31
    Started looking into them and there's a bit of dispute
  • 01:05:33
    about how these falcons got to Cincinnati.
  • 01:05:36
    Were they intentionally introduced
  • 01:05:37
    to knock down the pigeon population?
  • 01:05:40
    Because that's exactly what happened,
  • 01:05:41
    or were they part of a restoration plan
  • 01:05:45
    or do they just happen to get here and they're --
  • 01:05:48
    I don't know why it is, but all I know is
  • 01:05:50
    those in Cincinnati love the falcons
  • 01:05:52
    because we have less pigeons.
  • 01:05:54
    No one's ever excited about pigeons.
  • 01:05:56
    This is the way it is if you're going to be
  • 01:05:58
    a faithful person, a person who takes challenge,
  • 01:06:01
    if you're going to be a man,
  • 01:06:02
    you're going to always be above the fray.
  • 01:06:05
    You're going to be,
  • 01:06:06
    you're always going to be in the minority.
  • 01:06:07
    And when you go toe to toe with a pigeon, you will always win.
  • 01:06:11
    A faithful, God-fearing man coming against the boy,
  • 01:06:15
    no matter how much money he has,
  • 01:06:16
    no matter how many muscles he has,
  • 01:06:18
    no matter what his inch bicep is, you will always
  • 01:06:20
    have a power to your life that a boy will never understand.
  • 01:06:25
    The falcon, the falcon attitude.
  • 01:06:29
    In two weeks Alli is going to talk about
  • 01:06:31
    a women's study that she's offering.
  • 01:06:33
    She's going to talk about that in two weeks.
  • 01:06:35
    Right now, just one little teaser.
  • 01:06:37
    I've got a book coming out that's a field guide
  • 01:06:38
    to help you on these marks, if you're a man.
  • 01:06:40
    It's a thing that you can use, you can use with friends
  • 01:06:42
    that's going to come out and we're going to start
  • 01:06:44
    men's groups for five weeks.
  • 01:06:46
    I'm going to be there the first week
  • 01:06:47
    and I'm going to give plaques,
  • 01:06:49
    like these wooden plaques and stuff.
  • 01:06:50
    It's going to be pretty cool thing.
  • 01:06:52
    I'd like you as a man to get connected to maybe to a team.
  • 01:06:55
    We want to get you in group, so look for those,
  • 01:06:58
    sign up for those. That should be good.
  • 01:07:00
    Okay, here's my last thing. Last thing.
  • 01:07:04
    I was doing some, I was in my mind, cycling through
  • 01:07:07
    all the people I knew that have left Crossroads
  • 01:07:10
    over the last 28 years, and it's painful to me. It is.
  • 01:07:13
    I was adopted and so therefore when someone leaves,
  • 01:07:16
    I feel like you're abandoning me.
  • 01:07:18
    Abandonment is a big issue.
  • 01:07:20
    And I think about some of those folks and a lot of people
  • 01:07:22
    have left for good and understandable reasons.
  • 01:07:25
    And a lot of just kind of has bothered me.
  • 01:07:28
    I look back at this one guy.
  • 01:07:30
    I remember he just, he just, I don't know.
  • 01:07:32
    He just -- He never quite got it.
  • 01:07:35
    And he went to another church, a guy who I know,
  • 01:07:37
    good church, really, really good guy.
  • 01:07:39
    And he came back and said, "Yeah," he said,
  • 01:07:41
    "He does, man, every time I go, it's just a nice service.
  • 01:07:45
    Every time it's a nice." That's exactly what he said,
  • 01:07:48
    "A nice, it's a nice service. He does a nice job."
  • 01:07:53
    [cringes] Did anybody ever say Jesus was nice?
  • 01:07:59
    No. He was unrealistic, actually,
  • 01:08:03
    He was demanding actually. He was incredible loving,
  • 01:08:06
    incredibly nurturing and incredibly compassionate.
  • 01:08:11
    And He also was very direct and very, very challenging.
  • 01:08:17
    That's what you're going to get when you're here.
  • 01:08:19
    You don't want to be around people,
  • 01:08:20
    you don't want to be around people
  • 01:08:22
    who all they want is affirmation.
  • 01:08:23
    You don't want that.
  • 01:08:24
    You don't want to be around people
  • 01:08:26
    who just want to sit and get.
  • 01:08:27
    "I want to come in. I want to sit and I want to get.
  • 01:08:29
    I want to sit and I want to get some teaching.
  • 01:08:31
    I want to sit and get some worship and hold hands
  • 01:08:33
    and do a little Kumbaya singing.
  • 01:08:35
    I want to sit and I want to get some affirmation.
  • 01:08:37
    Just tell me that I'm right and everybody out there is wrong.
  • 01:08:39
    I want to sit and get.
  • 01:08:40
    I want to sit and I want to get."
  • 01:08:42
    No, what you need is be able to come to a place
  • 01:08:44
    where you can sit and you can stand and you can pray
  • 01:08:47
    and you can move because Jesus is challenging you
  • 01:08:51
    to be the people He's calling you to be.
  • 01:08:54
    He's calling you to a higher level
  • 01:08:58
    and we can only go to a higher level
  • 01:09:01
    if we see Him as challenger and we come to a place like this
  • 01:09:05
    that hopefully every once in a while
  • 01:09:07
    just challenge our socks off
  • 01:09:09
    even when we don't like it, but we need it.
  • 01:09:13
    God, I'm thankful for how You've been
  • 01:09:15
    so patient with me as a boy over the years.
  • 01:09:18
    I'm thankful for how You have given us
  • 01:09:20
    the just opportunities that have been before us
  • 01:09:23
    to do those things and to keep seeing new opportunities.
  • 01:09:28
    God, all of us, all of us have weathered
  • 01:09:30
    under a challenge you've given us,
  • 01:09:32
    and we don't want to look back.
  • 01:09:34
    We want to look in the future. We want to go forward.
  • 01:09:37
    We give you our future and we accept the challenge
  • 01:09:40
    You've given us to be a woman, to be a man in Your image.
  • 01:09:44
    And we pray these things
  • 01:09:46
    according to the name of Jesus. Amen.
  • 01:09:51
    - You know, when you're just getting to know someone,
  • 01:09:53
    you're like trying to see, "Do I like this person?
  • 01:09:56
    Do I want to be their friend
  • 01:09:57
    or do I want to go on a second or third date?"
  • 01:09:59
    That's kind of how it is with church, right?
  • 01:10:01
    Now as we've been going through the series
  • 01:10:03
    and you learn more about Crossroads, maybe you're like,
  • 01:10:06
    "Yeah, I like this place."
  • 01:10:07
    If that's the case, then get connected with us.
  • 01:10:09
    If you're near one of our physical sites,
  • 01:10:11
    try going to the next step and coming in person on the weekend.
  • 01:10:15
    And if you're not near a physical location,
  • 01:10:17
    we'd love for you to join us in the Anywhere home.
  • 01:10:21
    It's a place to do way more than just watch the service,
  • 01:10:23
    but to be a part of the community that is Crossroads,
  • 01:10:26
    to stay connected with your church,
  • 01:10:28
    to meet other great people all over the world,
  • 01:10:30
    to get prayer and plenty more.
  • 01:10:32
    Head to Crossroads.net/Anywhere
  • 01:10:34
    and click on Anywhere home.
  • 01:10:37
    Hey, you don't want to miss next week on Crossroads
  • 01:10:39
    we're talking about how we sacrifice.

Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend-Follow Up! This is the group part of the Bible Challenge, so your questions are based on specific Bible passages from the weekend message. Each week, your group will discover what God might be saying to you, and how you can respond through a group discussion.

  1. When was the last time you faced a situation that seemed impossible? Describe the situation and how you responded.

  2. What stood out to you most from the message?

  3. What are some things that you find challenging?

  4. How have the challenges you faced changed or shaped you into who you are now?

  5. What’s an area of your life, or a relationship, or a situation that is stagnant and could use some challenge or movement?

  6. Is it easy or hard for you to step into the role of “challenger”? Why?

  7. Embracing challenge means getting out of our comfort zone. What’s a comfort zone you’ve been sitting in for a while that you can step out of this week?

  8. Let’s end with prayer. You can say something like, “Jesus, thank you for challenging us to grow. Thank you for being real with us about what it takes. Give us the courage to step out of our comfort zones into the challenges you have for us. Amen.”

More from the Weekend

Bonus Questions! Check these out if you’re on a roll and want to go a little deeper.

  • How would your life change if you were quick to embrace challenges?
  • Which one of the challenges Jesus gives in scripture resonates most with you? If you need a few examples, check out these verses: Mark 10:17-22; Luke 9:23; Luke 21:6; John 14:6; John 15:18-21.

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(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

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Got it! Enjoy your discussion.

Oct 1, 2023 1 hr 10 mins 45 sec

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