Axiom is Kensington’s singles ministry and this past weekend they had their annual retreat which kicks off their ministry season each year. Two weeks ago this retreat wasn’t even on my radar; I didn’t know it was happening. But then I got a frantic e-mail from Chris Zarbaugh who asked if we could meet ASAP. It turns out he was supposed to teach at the retreat but double-booked himself by accident (a long, funny story). He asked if I would step in and be the lead teacher.
When he told me my initial reaction was “no way” because it would be crazy to say “yes.” Saying yes would mean writing four sermons in two weeks, plus trying to get my normal job done, plus we had a list of things to do for our church plant as well. But God sometimes calls us to do crazy things, doesn’t he?
Remember the story of Gideon in chapter 7 of the book of Judges? God told him 32,000 men were too many to fight against the Midianites. So God widdled the number down to 10,000 soldiers and if that wasn’t crazy enough, God decided 300 soldiers would be the perfect number. Crazy, right? Except God was in it. And with God the illogical quickly becomes logical.
After talking it over with Kellie and praying, we decided this was a Gideon-moment for us. It didn’t make sense but we felt we had to say “yes” knowing it was going to severly complicate our lives for the next two weeks. One of the reasons we felt we had to do it is Kensington’s singles ministry played a huge part in our lives as we both attended it for years. It provided a great alternative to the bar on Friday nights. It was a safe place to meet people without it being a meat market. It was a way to connect with others who shared your same value system. And it’s where we met…at the dessert table at their annual progressive dinner…a dinner both of us almost didn’t attend (another cool God story).
So we spent this past weekend at Axiom’s Mission:Possible retreat. We met so many amazing people who are joining God in His work to make His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And many of the things they are doing are crazy, at least they would be crazy if God wasn’t in them. One woman is flying out to Germany in a couple weeks to intern with an organization whose mission is to liberate young girls who are victims of human trafficking that end up as sex slaves. Another guy and gal I talked with serve the homeless in Detroit every Saturday with what they have named the Homeless BBQ. That’s just the tip of a very cool iceberg of what modern day Gideons at Axiom are doing.
We were so blessed to be part of the retreat. God showed up in so many ways. I have never gotten choked up so many times while preaching. The worship wasn’t just about singing songs; it was about encountering God. I heard from a number of folks who “went deep” in their small groups and shared stuff they are struggling with.
And to think we almost missed it. We could have said “no” to God and declined Axiom’s invitation. And we probably would have had an okay weekend if we did that. Instead, because we said “yes” when it didn’t make sense to say yes, we experienced God all weekend long.