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The First Problem Jesus Asks Us to Solve

Daniel Jergensen

Daniel Jergensen

Church Planter, Durango Vineyard
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Jesus was the greatest problem solver in human history. The problems he solved were obviously spiritual, but many times also physical, social, economic, sexual, and political. A main question for us to ask is, what problems has Jesus invited me to solve?

We moved to Durango, Colorado five years ago with the goal of starting a Vineyard church. Naturally, we had all sorts of problems we were excited to solve like setting a launch date, finding a meeting space, fundraising, and gathering a core team. We had a 90-day plan, a 6-month plan, and a 2-year plan.

Frankly, it is laughable to look back at these plans because I was missing the key problem God was first inviting me to solve.

Father Keating, a Roman Catholic monk, described the spiritual journey as the “process of dismantling the monumental illusion that God is distant or absent.” I think this is the key problem for us to solve; to answer, is God here with me today?

Just as each human is searching for God’s presence, so is each community.

Just as each human is searching for God’s presence, so is each community.

I made a terrible assumption when I moved to Durango. I figured I already knew how to find how God was working here. I seemed to know how to do that in the last place that I lived, so why not here? I had to learn that the best way to contextualize God’s love for a city is to start contextualizing it for ourselves.

Here are some questions that help me to think about this concept as we learn how to live with kingdom rhythm in our cities:

Have you learned how to rest? What is your sabbath rhythm? What is your vacation rhythm?  When do you go off to find solitude? Are you stressed out like everyone else? Are you always busy, unable to say yes to moments where the Lord breaks in? Is your life sustainable? Is your marriage thriving? Are you the parent to your kids that you want to be?

Do you have close friendships with people that are life-giving? Do you have a few people to share deeply with, to walk through your inner pain and tension with God? When life is hard, do you “hole up” or call someone to walk through it with you?

Have you learned how to be productive, finding value in how you use your time without finding your identity in your work? Have you found contentment within your city’s hustle and bustle? Have you found a stable place to live? Is this city your “home”? Are your finances in a healthy place?

Are you salt and light in your community interactions? Do you have margin for interruptions at schools, grocery stores, festivals, parks, and on your front porch? Have you learned how to share faith with your neighbors? Can you speak the “language” of your city? Have you wept with those who weep and laughed with those who laugh?

When I can find God’s presence in my daily rhythms, I can invite those within my sphere of influence to do the same. I have found the answers to these questions a way to measure this.

Here is my recommendation: slow down and invite God into these questions. God is with you… today.   

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DJ Jergensen is the lead pastor and founder of Durango Vineyard Church. He and his wife Vanessa and their two girls, Ingrid and Lucy, moved to Durango in the summer of 2013 to start the church. It has been a wild ride full of joy, surprises, and challenges, but DJ and his family have fallen in love with Durango and couldn’t imagine themselves anywhere else. Prior to coming to Durango, DJ was a youth pastor for 9 years at Canyon View Vineyard Church in Grand Junction. And before that, he attended Taylor University, where he surrendered his life to Jesus and met his beautiful wife, Vanessa. They love the outdoors, the seasons, people, and the sunshine. To learn more about the Durango Vineyard go to www.durangovineyard.com.

 

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