Around ten years ago I riding with my dad in his truck to go to a music lesson, and like every other time, he had the radio turned on to a local talk radio station. One of the segments that came on was a story of a man who had a life threatening disease that required him to take certain medication every day for the rest of his life. The catch was that the medicine was extremely expensive, costing thousands of dollars for each pill. The radio host then turned the question to the audience to challenge us with the concept of “Ten Thousand Dollar Days.”
Now, before I go any further I want to clarify that I’ve read the books on living out “radical” Christianity, and I understand the arguments against being “radical” in favor of being “ordinary” and so on, but with understanding a certain body of information also requires having your fingers on the pulse of your people, so that you know what truth they need to hear, and what truth they already understand and apply. I grew up in a context that taught the value in doing “all to the glory of God” whether it be mowing the grass, studying for a test, performing a world renowned opera, or attaching faceplates on light switches. Since childhood I have been free from familial pressure to be “awesome” instead my father always encouraged me to strive for faithfulness. There was and still is a significant skepticism of the “celebrity pastor” culture in the closest circle of people who speak into my life.
With all that being said, I still believe there is occasional benefit in challenging people to “make their life count” and whatnot. In that light, I want to share a brief story about a day that I would consider a ten thousand dollar day. It all began with my cell phone alarm clock going off at 6 or 6:30, followed by the daily seven and a half foot leap/descent/organized fall from the top of my triple bunk bed, all while trying to shut off the alarm, where its plugged in on the other side of the room, before it wakes my roommate. Then followed the morning routine of hiking down several flights of stairs to get to the shower room. Then finding something presentable to wear before catching the E train at 7 am north from 23rd to 42nd street, then transferring to the 7 Local train somewhere around Midtown after just missing a sprinting effort to catch the 7 Express train. I resigned myself to a lengthy train ride and settled into 1 Corinthians 6. Thankfully I had plenty of time to get out to my destination: an African American church out near LaGuardia, where I had been asked to speak to a 140 person group on a mission trip, and share a story of God’s grace on our ministry. After speaking, I turned around and took the same 7 and E trains back to our church with twenty or so people from the mission team.
The group worked on stripping and sanding the wood work in the auditorium for several hours, then headed off to their street outreach in the afternoon, while we held our food pantry service here at the church. One of the leaders of the mission team stayed behind and shared his testimony and gave a challenge during our service, then I closed the service by reading from Philippians 1 on Paul’s words regarding partnerships in the gospel. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. . . for your partnership in the gospel.” As soon as our food distribution was done I hopped on my bike and rode down to Union Square, where the team was putting on a street concert and pointing people to our church as the local church they were partnering with. Shortly after arriving and chaining my bike to the fence, the choir director saw me and motioned that I was to come up and speak after one more song.
Now this was the second day in a row we had done this routine at Union Square, and I spoke the previous day, talking about our church and sharing our ministries for the community, but as I walked up to take the mic from the choir director my mind went blank with the thought “What am I gonna say??” and as I looked out at the group of a couple hundred people gathered around, thanking them for coming, I found myself saying that we were Christians and believe the gospel. Then it hit me, “I need to share the gospel.” I knew it was planned for a team member to share her testimony later in the program, but I felt compelled to preach Christ then and there. As I spoke I was amazed at the number of people that continued to hold their cell phones up, videoing the entire thing. After the concert was over a number of people from the crowd immediately walked forward, wanting to talk to mission team members about what they had just seen. I spoke with two or three people before getting on my bike and heading back to the church where a different group was arriving at the church to have an evening session before leaving the city. I got the sound system in working order for their service then went and found some food in the kitchen that could be microwaved, and ate while listening to the service. Then after that we had a small staff meeting, and closed off the evening by walking down to the Hudson River, taking pictures along the Chelsea Piers, and stopping in at our favorite diner at midnight.
Yesterday was what I would call a “Ten Thousand Dollar Day” but equally so is today, my “day off.” I slept in till 9 and have been reading and writing all morning while sitting on my couch.
We were made to work, but just as important as putting in a 16 hour work day is taking a day of quiet stillness. So here I am, enjoying my Ten Thousand Dollar Day of rest.
Andy Woodard completed Bachelors and Masters degrees at Bob Jones University before moving to New York City to serve as Director of Ministry Development at New...
The topic of church planting models has always interested me, since first becoming aware of the topic several years ago during undergrad. There are several models that get a lot of attention among church planters, some of the more prominent ones...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
I recently returned from a trip down south where I spent several days visiting friends and family. It was a wonderful time to reconnect with many people that I hadn’t seen since moving to New York about eight months ago. During the trip, I...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Today began normally enough. The clock ticked forward from 11:59 pm to 12:00 am then 12:01 am. I was on a roll in my studies. Sermon prep was going well in the “investigate” stage – the stage where you read and scribble things...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
There are times in the Christian life where things don’t come so easily spiritually. Some would even say that this is the normative experience for the Christian, meaning that the easy times are the exception to the rule. However, often times...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
This last week here at “the mission” has been fairly routine with the exception that Pastor Bill and Galen both are out of town. Pastor Bill went up to Michigan to participate in a churches missions conference and Galen went to Israel!...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
On Saturday, January 24th we had a work team of almost two hundred students, faculty, and staff from The King’s College come and partner with us in a “Day of Service.” Through the tireless efforts of King’s City Engagement...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
This last week the Lord brought a wonderful group of volunteers from a church in Springfield, Missouri into our ministry. They were on a mission trip to NYC and were working with a man who’s one of the pastor’s of a “sister...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
While I was in a diner on 23rd street I saw Pastor and Mrs. Jones talking with a homeless man that approached them at the light.
Good evening, This last week has been filled with special blessings. We’ve had a number of guests and visitors at the mission. Even now as I write on this Sunday evening, one of my guests is packing his bags in preparation to head home...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
The resolutions of Jonathan Edwards have been something that I have found both challenging and encouraging since I first became aware of them four or five years ago. One of the more poignant methods of bringing his resolutions to bear in my life...[ abbreviated | read entire ]