Written by Eagle Rock Vineyard Pastor Steve McLean
Two weeks ago we hosted an event with several other churches we have been blessed to come into relationship with here in Eastern Idaho, and with a man I consider to be a rare gem in the body of Christ. We are so thankful for the work God’s Spirit is doing within the body of Christ in Eastern Idaho and for these churches who humbly come not to be served, but to serve one another and our communities.
Dan Mohler is truly a rare breed within the body of Christ, which in one respect blesses me and saddens me in another. It was encouraging to see how easily the gospel could be lived out in our daily lives but unfortunate that more Christians are not doing it. Getting the chance to know this man at a more personal level was both a treat and a challenge. You see, Dan is one of those rare gems in the Kingdom of God who both knows the word and, more importantly, lives the word in his daily life. From the very first time I heard him on YouTube, I knew he had a very firm grasp of the word and was a dynamic speaker. But as you get to know him more personally you find out that what we often consider to be “relevant” credentials for “doing” ministry; i.e. honors, certificates, and degrees, etc., you quickly discover that he has absolutely none of these criteria we like to put on people before they are seen as approved by the church to do the work of the gospel.
Dan has no advanced education, no public speaking training, no theological training (in the formal sense) and no pedigree that might predispose him to a life of formal ministry. What he does have is an authentic relationship with Jesus. Despite never having marketed his ministry in any way, the Lord continues to grow it (600 invites this year alone in the US and 150 internationally). Many can build a ministry through clever marketing campaigns, television and radio spots, large conferences and highly refined and skilled musicians playing the latest “sound.” But to grow a ministry solely out of relationship and obedience to the Lord, even when it looks contrary to the world’s idea of what a successful marketing campaign should look like, is striking in how counterintuitive it seems to the natural mind when you see it with your own eyes.
How many ministries have you brought in that would not let you pay for any part of their travel or accommodations but would prefer to stay with you, the pastor and your family, even if it meant sleeping on the couch, for the sake of building a relationship with you? Not to overgeneralize, but in my experience, bringing in a “big” name ministry often comes with a list of conditions which typically includes separate hotel accommodations, green room, minimum attendance requirements, venue size, etc. Dan was clear that he did not expect an offering to be taken, or a cover charge applied for those who wanted to attend, to make sure he at least covered the costs of his visit. He came with one goal, “to pour myself out and leave a deposit” and that is precisely what he did. That is a rather remarkable attitude if you think about it, especially in our culture that revolves around ME getting MINE.
I have been excited to watch people’s lives begin to transform as they learn the gospel is not a gospel of THEM, but the gospel of HIM. We are learning that Jesus was the pattern and if He came to lay his life down for others, how can we do any less than take up our crosses and actually follow Him? The main takeaway I had from that weekend is that when I wake up every morning, I no longer have to wake up to what others owe me or must do for me, but for what I can do for others because of what HE has done in me. As I learn to die to my “SELF” and put on the new nature which is the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, I can live with no expectations of what anyone else “owes” me. I realize that my life was already fulfilled in Him and there is nothing anyone owes me that will “make me more complete” than I already am in Him. I believe if we learn to Love God and Love people as Jesus loved us, that is sacrificially, He will work through us to bring transformation to our city and region one submitted soul at a time. God is not looking for a bunch of “confessing” Christians who are public wonders but private blunders, he is looking for a people who will humble themselves before Him and allow Him to transform them in such a way that our public and private personas are ultimately a reflection of Him. Few things cause more damage than confessing Christians who call Jesus savior but make everything else in their lives “LORD.” The Lord is preparing a bride who is spotless and above reproach, not because of our own good works or our own righteousness, but because we have allowed His righteousness to transform us.
It has been said, God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called provided we respond to his call.