If you have ever been to a drag race you have seen an area called the burnout box. This is the area of the drag strip where you spin your tires in order to generate heat in them for better traction. The tires will get so hot that smoke will begin to come off of them, thus the term “burnout”. You enter the burnout box in preparation for the race. I believe we live our lives inside a spiritual box that God wants us to come out of and join the race. It’s a box where God preps us for the race ahead.
If you were raised in church in the South you probably have some expectations of what it looks like to be a “church goer”. You attend services at a given time and place, usually Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the typical scenario I just described but there was something missing for me. It seemed like a routine and duty more than an integral part of my life. Some years ago I became dissatisfied with this status quo of what it looked like to go to church. I discovered something alarming; my entire spiritual life revolved around those meetings. I had very few relationships outside the church I was attending. Somewhere during this season of disenchantment I heard an interesting sermon preached from the text of 1 Chronicles 4:9-10…
There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 NLT
I began to pray for opportunities to expand my spiritual life (territory) beyond those three meetings a week. I had no clue how God would accomplish this. Whatever I did I wanted to use the talents and interests God had given me in a new and unique way.
Those of you that know me also know I have a passion for all forms of cars and racing. I’ve followed racing since around 1969 and fell in love with my first car before I ever obtained it. I honed my mechanical skills out of necessity in order to keep my cars on the road. It always seemed natural to talk about cars and racing to even strangers. These were things I was passionate about. Then suddenly it happened…God brought a friend into my life who didn’t attend church but loved cars and racing. The wheels in my head started turning as I tried to think of a way to invite this friend to attend church with me. A typical invite wouldn’t do because he had already determined that he felt church had little to offer him. I had an idea, not an earth shattering revelation but just a notion. What if I could combine cars and church/? What if I brought the realm of the secular onto the grounds of the sacred? What if I had a car show at church?
And that’s how it all began. A life lived outside the spiritual box of three church services a week. With the help of some good friends we had that first car show and people came. The race was on! That car show turned into a ministry opportunity to hold a chapel service at the Chattanooga World of Wheels auto show. That chapel service turned into a passion for public speaking and reaching those far from God. That passion for those far from God ignited into Journey Church and expanded to the ministry of Chaos Management and meeting people in the midst of their daily trials and turmoil. Now I’m excited to say that things have come full circle.
I’m always excited about what’s coming next and here it is; we are bringing cars and motorcycles to Journey Church. On April 29th we will be holding our first meet and it will be open to all cars and motorcycles. This will be an opportunity for the folks at Journey to mingle with those in the community. This isn’t one of those boring shows where you sit around all day to see if someone has deemed your pride and joy worthy of a $5 plastic trophy. This will simply be an evening where we all meet in the parking lot and show off those mechanical marvels that we are passionate about. No discrimination here; it doesn’t have to be worthy of winning a show or of any particular vintage, make, or model. Just show up and enjoy the company of some like minded people.
More details coming soon but we plan to do this every month that has 5 Saturdays between April and October. This year that translates to April 30, July 30, and October 29. I’ll need help planning, organizing, and promoting this event. If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of just let me know. If you are really excited and just can’t wait till the next time you see me shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook. Maybe this will be the start of a new journey outside the box for you too!
Associate Pastor and Chief Motorhead