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Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Intimate Sonship
I had the privilege of preaching Good Friday this year in Houstson. Chris Tomlin and I co-led Good Friday at the Pavilion in The Woodlands, the Church where we served together in ministry some years ago. It was such a blessing to be part of this.

The Gospel is getting simpler and simpler for me. This is interesting in that I work in a place where theology gets ever more complex. For me it comes down to two basic realities: Intimate Sonship and Extravagant Friendship. Intimate sonship (or daughterhood) provides identity. Extravagant friendship is the mission. Authentic identity comes from being related to God as a son or daughter. Authentic ministry comes only through self-giving relationships with others. To attempt ministry without authentic identity is to unwittingly serve yourself.

To receive identity as a gift-- this is grace. When Jesus was baptized, the Father spoke over him these words, "This is my Son, my beloved, with him I am well pleased." It's interesting that this word came before Jesus did anything; at the beginning of his ministry. That's where it must begin with us. This is what I am learning. The way of the cross is the journey from slavery to sonship to friendship. More on this to come.

At the Good Friday service, Chris and I launched a brand new song-- one we wrote together back in January. The song is called Uncreated One. I'll offer the lyrics here soon. I think it will be a real fruit of our friendship.


posted by John David Walt | at 3/29/2005 09:20:00 PM



Blogger Michel said...


There is nothing simple about the concepts you raise here, they are quite deep. Friendships are dynamic and changing, our relationship to our parents change and move over time. We ebb and we flow... and all the while the only thing that can remain consistent is our declaration that despite it all we will be friends/family. Even this though, in a fallen world, ebbs and flows.

8:38 PM EST  
Blogger Mark said...


You said, "To attempt ministry without authentic identity is to unwittingly serve yourself."

There is so much truth that could be unpacked in this statement. I just spent a week on vacation, and in a sense stepped out of my Christian community here at Asbury.

I am growing into the reality that the more I find my true identity in the Father, the more I am able to hear beyond words. I had incredible conversations with so many folks around me this past week. A Disillusioned former Catholic longing for community, a recovering alcoholic who fishes alone, but longs for a fishing buddy. My sister-in-law, who finds herself practically a single parent with very few friends, yet she at 30 has already lived the American dream – she and her husband both own successful businesses, but perhaps at the expense of family.

My intimate friendship with the Father is giving me an ability to articulate the gospel to others in friendship. By living out the reality of a life radically changed by the love of the Father. In finding the freedom to be me, I am finding an ability to let others be...to hear and to love, to challenge others, to be vulnerable to share my life with them. This is the heart of ministry - friendship with the Father bringing authentic identity, so that in turn we can free others to that place.


10:07 AM EST  
Blogger JohnDeere said...

great insights here--- mark you are becoming quite the writer.

9:14 PM EST  
Anonymous JP said...

You're making me jealous with the talk of co-writing with Tomlin...I'd love to pass some lyrics on to ya'll...deep calling to deep, bro'. Drop me a line when you can...you said you wanted to talk about psalm.

2:27 PM EDT  
Blogger InProcess said...

"To attempt ministry without authentic identity is to unwittingly serve yourself."

I have been in full time ministry for a year and some months now. I sat in a counselors office yesterday with one simple cry. "I don't know who I am." And when you work in a field where everybody has oppinoin of who you are it's hard to walk in your own shoes with pride. I have not been effective in my ministry because I have stopped being effective at being me.

Who am I? I am a daughter of the King...I am trying to remember what is to believe that.

10:14 AM EDT  

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