16 March 2007

in a warehouse with 200 rats on a sweaty day

from left to right: derek smith, mark batterson, mark stermer

this week (wednesday and thursday) i got to spend a bunch of time with a couple pastors i really respect.

one was troy shaw - pastoring a slammin' church - the oasis church up in loganville, georgia. troy's got a huge vision and from what i'm hearing, the people in loganville are catching it. troy's working on putting a team on the ground in africa with children's cup for a couple weeks this fall, working toward a bigger project there - it's an understatement that i'm excited about that.

i get to go up to the grand opening weekend for their new worship facility in may. can't wait to see the church - not just the building - but the amazing people that have chosen to do life at oasis.

the other pastor i got to hang with this week is mark batterson from national community church. we figured out that we've known each other about a year and a half (we agreed it feels more like 15 years), and in that year and a half i've really seen a lot i respect in him. what got my attention was the cool factor and the innovation he thrives in. but what i've learned since is that he's more than just cool factor. he's got substance to deliver. the cool, the innovation, the technology - for him they are not an end in and of themselves. they are simply a means to the end. the end is the Gospel.

there's so much truth in what he taught at our wednesday night service at healing place church - much of it from his new "you-have-to-read-this-book" book, in a pit with a lion on a snowy day. he said so much i wanna relate here, but i'll give it to you this way. buy the book. read his blog. and check this one point out - he said this in our staff meeting yesterday:

"sometimes we can let the momentum we gain from yesterday's anointing cause us to relax - but we need today's anointing today."

and this:

"i don't want to be someone who is known for being on the cutting edge of yesterday's movement."

ok, so i paraphrased it - he was dishing out truths faster than i could type.

get the book. read his blog. track this guy if you aren't already. i'm gonna try to find my notes from staff meeting and see if i can clean 'em up enough to make a sensible post from. it's great stuff.

so what's the scoop with the title of this post, you ask? ahhh.... well, on the way to the airport in new orleans, we stopped by donaldsonville to check out the dream center (and the new donaldsonville dream center west facility - the elementary school we were given by the city). mark stermer and derek smith (two of the coolest, hardest-working, God-fearing, Jesus-loving, i'm-glad-they're-on-my-team cajun men of God i know) showed mark batterson around and it was really cool.

well, while we were in the warehouse at the east dream center, mark stermer started telling mark batterson about the days following the hurricane, and how rats had invaded the warehouse. literally took over the joint. derek said they got into some vitamins and stuff and apparently bulked themselves up or something because he tried hitting them on the head with a shovel and he said they just looked at him and ran off.

they had to get a three-pronged hoe and stab/gouge/cut the rats. and they were everywhere. he said they were swinging, sweating, like men fighting bees. crazy scene. adrenaline pumping, slashing rats left and right. derek said they counted and piled up 200 dead rats outside and took a picture with 'em. oh, yeah... you know i'm asking for that picture...

that's the kind of man derek is. and mark stermer. sure, the rats weren't lions on a snowy day, but the rats were certainly standing in the way of what God wanted done, and derek and mark chased 'em down in the warehouse on a sweaty day and killed all 200 of them.

maybe we'll start a website called www.chasetherats.com.... hahaha

troy shaw, mark batterson - it was great to see y'all this week. thanks for coming.

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