We have a friend who we often refer to as the Forrest Gump of Christianity. Not because he's slow, he isn't remotely. But because he knows the strangest and widest assortment of people on the planet.
When we first met him, we were at a church conference in Dallas. Almost twenty years ago. Our new friend had just moved to the U.S., after having played an active role in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. He was almost flat broke, as I remember. Yet, the next day he was off to have lunch with Hilary Clinton. (I don't often talk about my one degree of separation from the Secretary of State. GRIN) Later this friend would be the executive producer on the two Live Worship projects Imbi & I did for Maranatha! Music.
But it isn't MdP I want to introduce you to. It's one of his closest friends. Someone who has had a profound impact on me since we first met in 1996. And even though this man happens to be one of South Africa's finest drummers, that impact is not percussive. (My kids are groaning at that horrid pun.)
Lloyd has been a professional drummer (which he continues to be), a pastor/church leader and the sales manager for a Harley dealership in Jo'burg – after he left "professional pastoring". He's also a gifted thinker/writer and a new blogger worth reading.
His blog is called, The Faithful Skeptic and I love it's tag line, "exhausted from trying always to be right, I have opted towards just trying to be honest."
Oh. His full name is Lloyd Martin – married to the equally gifted Libbi – they are the parents of three fabulous kids.
Let me point you at Lloyd's rather important post, "I Wonder Why?". It fits well with my upcoming series, The Celebrity-Driven Church.
In the church we spend great amounts of money, many other resources and lots of personal energy trying to gather as many as possible to come to us and then to secure their ongoing attendance. We have ‘membership classes’, ‘orientation groups’, ‘enrollment’ and ‘data capture’ forms that we get people to fill in and return, we initiate ministry, function, or activity groups of all types and try get as many as possible involved in doing things in and for the local church. Yet the way I read the bible it seems clear to me that Jesus never did any of these things. He tended to keep moving and mostly seemed to discourage people from following him physically rather than enticing them to join his entourage. Instead of going to where it was obvious that more people would be he did the opposite. When expected to zig, he seemed to zag.
I wonder why?
(Note that the picture was taken by Imbi, in poor lighting conditions from a great distance back in 2004. And Vic provides us with a one degree of separation to Nelson Mandela – who is far cooler than Hils.)