I have just had a pretty cool moment this evening. Through a random link to a blog I had never been to, I found a link to an interview with Paul Young. It is Steve Brown from Key Life Ministries that is conducting the interview. I've got to know Paul pretty well over the past couple years. But the interview, that is well worth the time to listen to even though I have heard a lot of this story already, wasn't the thing that struck me this evening. It was Steve Brown. I haven't heard from Steve for probably 20 years and one of the last times I heard him on the radio was during the season I was feeling the leading of the Spirit to leave the traditional organized expression of Church that I had grown up with. I will avoid going into the long story about making the decision to leave, but what happened that day while driving in the car felt like another nudge from the Spirit.
Steve Brown said during that broadcast that he had become convinced that the best thing to do was to just close it all down. He was talking about the Sunday morning service. What he said was that it needed to be closed down for a year or longer and then to come back after a few years and whoever was still walking with God (without all the organized religious props) would be a good group of people to build a community with. Now what he was saying about coming back and starting it back up in a few years didn't resonate with me at all but the sense that something was wrong, terribly wrong did. Me and my wife went ahead and walked away from what we had always known. My wife is a preacher's kid and this was really difficult and scary for her. To see her today, 20 years later is pretty cool watching what God is doing in her life in setting her free. But that's not what this post is about.
We left, but I had no idea what Steve Brown had been doing in his life. I still don't in actuality but I love what this guy is talking about in this interview with Paul. Steve might still be leading an organized congregation and that is just fine with me, because it's not about the box. It's about freedom and part of that freedom is the freedom from religion and the way of thinking that goes along with it. Steve seems to be running full steam with that freedom in mind. It was just really fun for me 20 years later to hear him so excited about what is happening around a story that has been a great encouragement and challenge to me and a part of my healing and even more so hearing him talk about this dear brother Paul Young. It all feels so connected.