So what does Sam Powell Ministries do?
Have you ever been told that God hates you for who you are?
Have you ever believed that God couldn't love someone like you?
Have you ever wondered how you can be reconciled to God?
Have you ever heard why it was necessary for Jesus to die as an outcast, accursed criminal in order for you to be drawn to God?
Have you ever heard that "marriage is hard work and you just have to slog through it" for the glory of God, of course...
Have you ever thought that the Christian life is just too demanding, too hard, too painful...?
Do you believe that God is your enemy? Do you believe that you are not loveable? Do you believe that Christ died for others, but probably not you?
I get it. I was like that too. I was brought up in the Reformed tradition. I was trained from youth in the creeds and confessions of the church.
I was ordained in the Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS).
And church was always a time to be someone else. To always watch what you said, or what you wore, or even where you sat. Always on edge, and always just on the periphery of the "acceptable people". It was exhausting.
And then I learned that Jesus came that we might learn to rest. He came to seek people just like me because he loved me and considered me a pearl of great price.
And I learned that Jesus made me just the way that I am, with my gifts and abilities and experiences and that he died so that I might be fully human and fully alive.
And I desperately want all of you - the whole world! - to find that same freedom and that same rest.
Have you learned to rest? Have you learned to accept and even love the way that God made you?
Are you too afraid to speak to your church leaders?
So many are afraid of being shamed, not believed, or even charged with an offense and cast out.
I get that too.
I am an ex-pastor. I was trained in classical theology. I preached regularly until hatred and contempt drove me from the church I was born and raised in. You can read some of my story here. Some very ugly things have happened in churches lately, as so many of you know.
So what do I do? I am not a licensed therapist. I don't diagnose or treat mental illnesses or disorders.
I am a pastor without a charge -
And I point you to Christ. Over and over. I show you what lengths God went to to reconcile with you. I listen. I grieve. I rejoice. I stop and see you, when the rest of the world rushes by.
If you know abuse, oppression, assault, mistreatment.,..
If you know what it is to be trapped in a narrow place without an escape,
Come to Jesus and rest. We'll meet him outside the camp together.
That is what I do. I shepherd the ones who have been scattered by their shepherds.
I shepherd the outcast sheep and bring them to Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep.