Yesterday I was thoroughly blessed to have dinner with my friend Aaron Eshelman, whom I haven't seen since I lived with him a decade ago. Now serving at a church in Iowa, we talked down Michigan Avenue, through Starbucks, & into Gino's East deep-dish over 4 hours or so. Here's what I walked away from our time together with:
1) I love Aaron & I miss him & I'm excited about how God is shaping him & using him for eternal work
2) I totally agree with Aaron that whatever this new flavor of church is called, it doesn't change the same ol' basic human needs-of-the-heart that move people to embrace Jesus Christ & the entire life He offers. It's the same human heart, the same gospel, & the same miracle of redemption that happens when the two meet.
New emphases, different terminology, more books... just the same old car with a new paint job & parked in a different spot. But the center of all of it... the molten core of faith & life & ministry remains the same. It is the immovable mountain. It is the horizon-capped sea. It is the desperate heart & the strong God & the love story of their coming together. It is the lonely heart & the new-community joining in family & in mission. It is what matters & what works & what the gates of hell cannot take away.
I would rather have one centered, humble, loving, heart-wise Aaron Eshelman on my team than one hundred so-called "revolutionary" or "radical" emergers. Once again, I rejoice for "the saints who are on the earth who are my delight" (Psalm 16:3).