A Larger Story “Real Church” Time | Ep. 11
Show Notes: An introduction to the book REAL CHURCH – This week we are changing things up a bit by having a little “church service” as Kep Crabb is joined by two of his good friends, Duncan Sprague and James Shelley. Join us this week for a time of worship and conversation about what church has been and what the church could become.
Order Real Church by Larry Crabb: https://store.largerstory.com/collections/featured/products/real-church-does-it-exist-can-i-find-it
Watch the podcast here: https://youtu.be/p0Yljnr3WkA
Kep Crabb: Welcome everybody to the Weekly podcast brought to you by Larger Story called Relational Spirituality where you belong, you become, and you can be known. We’re doing something a little different today as we introduce a book that we’re going to be covering for the next few months for these podcasts. The book is called Real Church, subtitle is “Does It Exist and Can I Find It?”
So, we are going to have what we call kind of a Larger Story church time today. We’re going to do some singing, some talking, some worshiping.
[00:02:37] Kep Crabb: Couple of quick things before we get started here. My dad wrote this book in 2009, actually 2008 is when he wrote this book, Duncan can remember this, but he was right in the middle of drafting the book 66 Love Letters, which I believe is really his kind of Magnum Opus in respect to what he has written.
This book, he had to take a break from writing 66 Love Letters just to clear his mind a little. One of the things that he says in the book is he authored this book out of some of his frustration or disappointment that he has had with church. He used to say, he said this to me all the time, I would love to give up on church, but I can’t because Jesus never did. The book starts really with a question is he says, “Why don’t I like to go to? And I don’t think I’m alone.”
I think there’s a lot of people out there who are disillusioned. Well, I’m joined today by two of my closest friends. I have got James Shelley here, Duncan Sprague here with me.
I really wanted to talk to these two guys specifically about Real Church, what we’re gonna be talking about for the next few months in our podcast because they are in a little bit of a different place now when it comes to where they are in respect to church. Dunc and I have had many conversations about our disillusion with church and disappointment that we have had at times with church. I think James and I have had some of that as well, but James has been involved in his church, his local church now for a decade plus, where it has just been really feeding you. And blessing you in a way that is producing major fruit. And so to get the contrast between these two brothers as we talk about church today a little bit as we introduce this book to you all for this podcast series that’s going to be happening in the second quarter of this 2023 year. I would like to introduce Dunc on this side. Dunc’s been a pastor.
And James is a music leader at his church. And we did some music for you a little bit earlier. You get a chance to see some of that. Guys, thanks for joining me today.
[00:04:34] James Shelley: Good to be here.
[00:04:34] Duncan Sprague: Great to be with you.
[00:04:35] Kep Crabb: You guys have both read the book, and I know you’ve just read it recently and I’ve gone through it again recently too.
What are some of the things that stand out to you in respect to this book? James, why don’t you start as you’ve just recently read this and you are just now getting into kind of reading Larry Crabb a bit these days.
[00:04:49] James Shelley: It’s been a good journey so far. I mean I can see that where Larry was when he wrote the book, and were already past when he wrote it. And, quite honestly, if today’s social media and the things that are going on in this world that I do not know that it’s actually got better, on the churches front. In some ways a lot of things have just spiraled off and done different things over the last10 years with you know, the social media thing. It’s a book that is relevant right now. There are tons of people who are saying the same thing. Is there anything real? The things we see on social media, the things that are broadcast to us that we believe, and we isolate with those things.
Is church even real?
[00:05:46] Kep Crabb: You know, it’s funny because you think about church and has there ever been a golden age of the church? There really hasn’t. No. I listened to my dad talking at one time and he was talking about his mother-in-law, my grandmother, my mother’s mother. She was incredible, great woman, who my dad really enjoyed. Some mother-in-laws, I guess are less than that, but, he enjoyed her. She was a good person. And he said to her, later in her life, and she was an amazingly simple woman, but a good thinker. And he said to her, mother is what he called her, we called her grandmother. has there ever been a time where the church has been thriving or doing better? And she said very kind of matter of factly, plainly, no, it’s always been very hard. And I think that’s what’s happening. And to your point, James, I think it’s getting harder.
I mean, churches now Dunc, you and I talked about this. They are getting smaller. And church is really changing now in some ways.
[00:06:42] Duncan Sprague: With Covid, we had nobody going to church for a short time. And then when they started to come back, you saw that you didn’t have the same crowd that left, wasn’t the same crowd that came back.
I think the statistics, and I could be wrong on this, but there are still about 60 to 70% of the population of the church came back. Some churches are kind of breaking that trend and they’ve actually grew through Covid, and I wonder why that is? What made some churches grow in the middle of all that and others get sifted and, and weeded out?
I think what Larry is saying is even more relevant today because if Covid was anything, it was about the church. We see a global event going on, and I am sure that the headlines of Heaven looked really different than what we were seeing, whether we wear masks or get immunized, those were our headlines. But I think Heaven was saying “Watch what’s happening. Watch what’s happening because the church is going to come alive. I think that’s what Larry really was after. What is the kind of church that I want to go to? There was a, a sifting through covid that those who really wanted and felt a need and grew in a hunger and a thirst for Jesus actually hungered for community.
I think that becomes some of the theme of what Real Church is. It’s not defined by an individual, but by a community of believers coming back. That was the question that Larry asked in this book. What makes a gathering of Christians a church?
[00:08:26] Kep Crabb: And what makes it not a church? That’s where it’s just an activism wing of some sort or whatever you’re for. I mean, if you’re all about missional experience, that’s great, but that’s not necessarily a church. That’s right. He really unpacked some things in this book. What stood out to me as I was reviewing this a little bit today is how the church seems to have been a obstacle in our walk. James probably can’t see this as much because the church he’s involved in is so incredible. It’s just alive in neat ways. But it seems like there’s so many places where the church just seems dead. You and me Dunc, we’ve now been in church together for the last year and a half, or we’ve been in church together for the last 20 some years, but we’re again now part of a small group. That’s what Kimmie and I call our church. That’s kind of what we call church.
James said to me last week when he and I we’re chatting. He said, “don’t give up gathering together.” And I thought, well, are we still gathering together when we meet on Sundays?
And I think we are. We’ve had sometimes where even though we, we’ve got people from Florida and we’ve got people from New York we’re all over the country here, We’ve had some incredible moments. That have been just Spirit filled that I think have been nurturing to my soul.
[00:09:37] Duncan Sprague: Well, the difference is churches become a dialogue instead of a monologue instead of the show that happens up front with us as an audience. And that’s Larry’s question. Are you an audience or are you a community? And that’s the piece that’s happened is we’ve got a community, and this is the piece where I think we have to define what church is.
Years ago, I remember Larry saying that the church is God’s manifest presence here on Earth. It’s Christ’s body alive in this community in our world, where two or three gather in his name, there I will be the manifest presence of Jesus present in this World War two or three.
Gathered together in his name. In some sense, what makes church a church? I think church is a dialogue rather than a monologue, but it’s a community that is trying to push each other towards deeper and deeper formation into the image of Christ.
[00:10:47] Kep Crabb: One of the things that that dad talks about in the book is looking bad in the presence of love. Which is really a slogan that all churches should have. Because you come and you open yourself up and you’re being vulnerable in certain ways or authentic. Open in a that way. Things that are ugly in all of us. But yet God says, come on in you’re welcome.
[00:12:13] Worship: Amen. Oh, your promises are Yes. Amen.
[00:12:23] Kep Crabb: I’ve been to James’s Church, out east here in Colorado several times and had a chance to play in the worship team a few times. It’s just been such a blessing every time. Tell us a little bit about your church,
[00:12:34] James Shelley: bro. You know, it’s, uh, it’s out on the eastern, eastern plains, a little town of Strausburg. Our people started in the basement. It was a basement, two to three people, and it grew. God grew that through these past years into what it is now. And we are just really relying on what he’s doing with us. I feel like our church, we are separating from the pack a little bit is the authentic community and what I said earlier, don’t forsake getting together.
I remember when we opened back up coming out of Covid and the, the first service where we could have more than 50 people. The worship service that we had was so electric because people were. Longing, craving that community Yep. Of being able to rub up against their neighbor and mm-hmm. and do that thing because we were isolated so long, and we’ve talked about how Satan uses everything to isolate us and he tried really big with this covid thing to isolate everybody. That’s why our staff at our church was saying, this is a spiritual thing. It’s a spiritual battle that we’re going through. Our mandated, for our church is, fostering relationships by pointing people to Jesus – up in and out. Our up relationship with God is in relationship with people weekly and our out relationships, you know, people on the outside and monthly, things like that. And it’s just part of that thing of being, being community and being relational with each other.
And what here, for me, lately it’s been, how can I increase my desire or leaning on the Holy Spirit to increase my desire? Like Larry talks about a lot is fostering this or gaining this desire through asking the Holy Spirit to feed this desire to be closer so that the things, all the other things, the blessings become secondary. And we talked about first things and second things, you know, and that’s where I’ve been at the last two years I am finding in that groove of where I’m relying on God to create a desire, to desire him more. And him only. Daily momentarily finding that desire. So that’s kind of where the church is. Larry said in the book, I just want them to know I’m a mess and I come in as a mess and we’re all a mess together. That heart posture so that we turn it over, we turn over Lordship to the Holy Spirit and God, and then we move out of his so that he can work in us. And I think that’s happening in our church at the moment. The guys are starting to take responsibility in where we’re at. And it is just a wonderful movement that’s really going on right now.
[00:15:36] Kep Crabb: That’s a great question. What is the role of the church right now?
What’s going on because I think most of us can agree that we’re on a slippery slope, in respect to where things are going. Certainly, in the states now, you’re obviously more familiar Duncan with the globe in respect to how that works, and I know that the power of the Holy Spirit is on fire in other areas of the world. And that’s not to say that he’s not moving in the United States, iIt just seems that things have gotten so backwards and upside down. And the only way that I’ve been able to even make sense of any of this is that it is spiritual warfare.
And that’s the only way that you can make any sense of what’s happening. How can you make sense of this? Unless you say that we’re being attacked by Satan and the Holy Spirit is on the move. One of the things that dad talks about in the book is he talks about revival. And what does that look like? Now, one of the things that I’ve been really focused on, and you and I’ve chatted about this James quite a bit, is what does it mean to prepare for the second coming? Because the end times have almost been in place since Jesus went back to Heaven.
That was the beginning of the end times, I think. But now they’re coming to a culmination that seems in my own spirit that something is really happening. I am taking my salvation so seriously and how can I influence people that I know and love and want them to know that heaven is real and Jesus is coming.
[00:17:11] Duncan Sprague: I think the passage we’ve been referring to is that Hebrew passage, where it says, “don’t forsake gathering together, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” And it’s what we’re referring to as the day of the Lord.
But the reality is of we’re living here. Right? Because it means everything that is not love gets destroyed. Everything like that heaven will look on as just foolishness that has gone awry. That all gets burnt up, and we call God a consuming fire.
And we oftentimes look at fire as, is it good? Is it bad? Well, what’s it created for? Well, it’s good because it provides light. It also destroys, and we have to get it our grips on it. It’s good news, bad news. When the fire comes, because you sit there and go, okay, I’m ready because there’s a fire inside that can’t be quenched.
Even though everything around is being destroyed, I think we’re right in saying, we need to pay attention. But I think we’ve been in the last days ever since Jesus left and he says, in the last days, I’m going to send my Spirit. I’m going to pour it out. I don’t know if it’s 2000 more years or if we’re 2000 more days. All He says is live as if the day is today
[00:18:43] Kep Crabb: And that’s my point on the whole thing, is having that on the forefront of your mind. It really does change how you live. I mean, if, you know that you were going to die today, or tomorrow, would you pick a fight with your wife? Probably not. You probably wouldn’t watch much TV because you’re not interested in the sports team. You want to make sure you get your kids to, I mean, there’s things that would be reprioritized that are important. Well, if you think that way all the time. And really, Dad did. He talks about heaven in this book so much.
He talks about sin in this book and Satan in this book. And I think that the trick of the devil has been to make himself look like a cartoon character, not be taken seriously. The devil made me do it.
I remember many years ago when Jake, my son, was born, he was a few months old, and we were having his dedication service, at my folk’s house. And my dad’s prayer was, there is someone out there who wants to destroy this baby. Yeah, yeah. And I’m hearing this and getting crazy here and I’m thinking, wow, he really does hate us.
And you can see what he’s trying to do to the church now. In respect to where some of these things are going, what do you all have to say about that?
[00:19:54] James Shelley: Well, it’s the hope for me. It’s the whole parable that Jesus told about the 10 virgins and the ones that didn’t have their lamps with the oil and those that did, I think.
He made it so simple in some ways that we sometimes overlook. We overanalyze some of the things that Jesus told us we’re so simple. To be ready when the bridegroom comes back, be ready. I like what Duncan said earlier, it’s not going to be this, oh, happy day, this thing, because we’re gone in a moment’s notice. We are going to be looking around and not see people we thought were going to be around who say, who called me?
What happens when the Lord says, “I never knew, I never knew you.” That brings the hair up on my neck.
[00:20:41] James Shelley: It’s going to be one of those things where in this day and age, I don’t think you can just focus these days of fire and brimstone teaching in the church
Our pastor doesn’t really do that Our, our pastor is, he does a lot of relational things, and talks a lot about relationship and not only just be between each other, but between us. Our up relationship is where it starts. H
We realized that we can’t do it correctly if it’s not you over me. I have to be the first, but it’s you over me. And that’s where that gets lost here in this world, this, this time we’re in now. It’s amazing what’s happening out there is we have a lot of young couples.
I’m blown away every Sunday. I go out in the lobby and just walk through to go grab a donut or something and to see a couple of my close people that I talk to a lot, and there’s tons of faces that I don’t know. I always say, “What would it be like if everybody showed up at one time?” We literally would have no room.
I’ve seen our staff talk about spreading the gospel or sharing the gospel weekly. Every week. et ends up being a gospel call to come to Christ today, which is a good movement, I think.
[00:22:06] Duncan Sprague: The gospel’s not just good news to get me saved. It’s good news to keep me sanctified and moving in Jesus. Yes, yes. We forget that it’s not a one and done. I love what Larry used to say all the time. He would say, “God didn’t save me just to get me into heaven. He saved me to get more of heaven into me.”
Yes. And what I love about the way you talk about your church, James, is you are using relational terms everywhere. I think with all the missions work that I’ve done, I don’t like the word missional. So, what I end up doing is saying we’re involved in relationships all over the world.
It puts the focus back on every distinct and different people group. When I walk out into a field full Africans, I don’t look like them, I stand out, but somehow, I hold more in common with those believers that are there. I have more in common with them than I do my next-door neighbor that does not know Jesus.
Even though we are both Americans, I know below the water line there’s something that beats or a hunger. There’s a thirst to know God more. There’s also a sense of what this world has to offer will never fully satisfy. That’s the scheme of Satan is always, let me tempt you enough to say this will satisfy. That’s the lie.
But I think any of us, we’re all old enough. I’m not saying we’re old . I’m just saying we’re all old enough to go. We’ve tried enough things to go. Yeah, that’s not gonna. CS Lewis put it best. He says, if you find in yourself a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the best explanation for that desire is that it was created for another world.
That’s it. Amen. That Larry was so hungry for is what’s yet to come. The hope that’s to come rather than the commitments to, and this is where churches, I think get off base trying to make a better life for us now. Being part of church doesn’t make life better. It doesn’t make circumstances better yet that’s what some churches will preach. They’ll say, if you come to Jesus, it gets better now. And I know there’s a few verses that indicate that there’s something that changes, but the real changes at a heart level that something has in me that’s already to go into heaven. He’s given me a new heart.
A new passion and my deepest desire no longer is sin. My deepest desire is to do the will of God. That desire oftentimes gets covered up though by all these programs and projects and things. Next year, will mark 40 years of me having the title of pastor in some capacity. And what I’ve realized is I don’t want to go to church anymore.
I’m tired of going and doing the country club church or the rec center church or whatever form or fashion, the hipster church. What I do want to be a part of is a community that is intimately involved in each other to where instead of I’ve got a toothache. I don’t want to go to the dentist.
Well, wouldn’t the dentist be good? Yeah, but it’ll be uncomfortable and stuff. I just don’t want to go. That’s what we do at church so much. If I go to church, it’s going to be uncomfortable, but it’s actually going to be a place of healing. If it were a place where I could bring my pains. That’s what Larry was going after is there a longing that all of us, all the whole of creation along with us is in the travails of birth pains, and that’s what is going on. That’s the Romans 8 piece. We, along with all of creation, are in the travails of the birth pains of the children of God.
We’re all being born and there’s a birthday coming up. That’s what the day of the Lord is, is when the nursery gets full because everybody has been born again. Uh, into their final home, their final hope. But we think that it’s all about this life. And Larry was always saying, no, it’s not the birth to the grave. There’s a larger story going on.
[00:26:30] James Shelley: It is one of those things where I’ve been mulling over what real church? Real church. If the building is not the church. Ot programs and things and ministries are not the church. Who is the church? We are the church.
And what better place to start being real. Being real here because that’s where Jesus didn’t go to a building every day. No. He walked, he traveled and wherever he was, was church. You know, it’s that whole thing. So that is where, as I’m reading Larry’s ideas, what is it?
It’s starting to become; can I be real? And being real beads, like you just said, coming in and, and not necessarily having to say, well, here’s all my mess. Boom. Lay it all down. No, no. But know that in the smaller groups and the relationships that you formed, yes. They built small groups.
Things open up. That’s where you go deeper. You become more vulnerable. Not with the whole church. But in a smaller group. With a select group of people.
[00:27:38] Kep Crabb: It’s funny, Dunc, you said to me one time, and it goes along with what James just said, that there’s so many people that are in Christian ministry or whatever it may be, and they say, “we’re too edgy, we’re too, we’re, we’re too much for the church. So, we are going to do our things outside of the church.
And dad’s attitude was then, I’m not going to be a part of that. Because everything that we’re doing, has to be centrally in the church. We are the church. That’s where the deepest works happens. Dad’s biggest question was always, where does real change occur?
That’s right. And real change occurs, he would say. The simple answer, which of course when you unpack it is very un-simple. But when you see Jesus’s face. That’s when change really occurs. And I’ve seen that. I’ve seen that since you and I’ve met. I’ve seen that in you all along as well.
But, I’ve seen it in you so much, and I’ve just been so proud of you. And even in the podcast we did that we have notshown yet, that the people who are watching will get a chance to know your story a little bit after this, but how the Lord just grabbed hold of your life.
And He said, “I’m going to start to use you, James.” And you said, okay. And that’s what is most Impressive/exciting because if you’re not doing it through the church, and this would be my dad’s position, I believe. I think Dunc would agree, it is not something that has that value.
Someone told me one time that if you’re not doing something that affects the souls of people or the word of God, you’re not doing anything that has eternal value. That’s right. And so that’s what we want to do, especially here at Larger story. And as we get together in church, what does it mean to connect with people in a way that is only possible because you have the Holy Spirit.
[00:29:19] James Shelley: And how can we tap into that generation that doesn’t know about this? That’s the question. My kids are already grown and out of the house. I ponder sometimes of why some of my kids. Aren’t really into going to church. And then I look back when I was their age, I wasn’t into going to church either.
I had my back turned, but there was a time that I just felt he was always there. He never left me, he never forsaked me, never judged me for that. But there was a time when it all came back. And he called me back. That’s where I think that the, to be real, the real church, what is church?
It exists. You must find that group of people who are broken. YRealize they’re a mess, humbled, and have this desire to become closer to God that all other things should just fall away because we’re trusting him completely in Him, in God.
[00:30:14] Kep Crabb: I just love that, bro. And I mean, what I’ve seen and how the church has influenced you.
I like to think that I’ve been a part of that sometime and you’ve influenced me and you know. It’s just been so neat to see how the church is designed the way that God designed it. You’re an example of that. That is refreshing and encouraging.
You talk about how we take this to people like your kids, my kids. Some of your kids are married, one of my kids is married, you know, and everybody is out of the house. We are official empty-nesters.
But how do we impact that generation of kids? This is important. And it is critical. Yeah. It’s, it’s kind of pivotal in respect to how change really happen?
[00:31:01] Duncan Sprague: And here’s the hard part. We’re all dads who want to save our kids. And we can’t save anyone. We have to sit and go, okay, Jesus, they’re yours.
Until he’s desperate enough to say, I need you. He’s going to say, I don’t need him. They say my folks may have been weak, they may have, uh, not been as strong as I am, and that’s every prodigal. So the hard part is saying, okay, I got to rip up my job description as a father and say I will wait with God on the front porch for prodigal to come home.
Here’s what I trust now. I trust in the fact that they’re going to go out and try to make things make sense. They’re going to try to find fulfillment in all the same ways that the three of us did. And they’re going to maketheir choices. We hope that they learn some from our lessons, But the reality is they must go and make their own mistakes.
Where else could I turn for life? That’s where the hard part right now is to bite my lip, bite my tongue. And sit and say, “Father, you are the father of them. I’ll speak when they ask but let me at those moments speak only what You say yes and not my side pieces that I want to add to the story.
[00:32:24] James Shelley: Yeah. Good stuff. Yeah, it’s just amazing here with my middle child. She’s connected in, but as of late, she’s been out there, you know, adulting by herself. So when you’re out there doing that and you don’t have a, love interest and you build these walls around yourself.
Because you’re out there by yourself, you’re out there grinding, and I’ve realized that, hey, if I’m talking about relationships, I need to offer them up. Say, Lord, please, I lift them up to you. But let them know, that I’m here. I’m the one that’s not going to leave you or forsake you either.
That’s right. And I think, if we we’re talking to people that we don’t even know and we start fostering those relationships, it’s the same way. I want you to know that like, God never forsake me. I’m going to try my best not to leave your Forsake you. Yo lead them along in discipleship.
And you know, honestly, I’m moving into eldership. In the church because I’ve been there a long time. It’s a natural progression, I think it’s just a natural thing where I told the staff when they brought this to me about the elder. Regardless of, all this other stuff, I’m still just a leader in the church based on the fact that I’ve been here a long time. And that’s part of the reason people look at you that way? Big change was before there was a lot of box checking for me, I was doing the worship team, so check. Worship check. And I was doing that and we had a special series that happened that brought to light that I was lukewarm.
To use a bit of Christianese, you know? I was that lukewarm person that, and God says, I would rather you be hot or cold. And I wasn’t, I was lukewarm, and I remember what he says he’s going to spew. So that changed me. It changed my course and it’s one degree of separation from where I was at, but in the long run, that one degree separat.
is a big gap. Yeah, it you That’s right. In a whole different place with even one degree. So if we can think of that one degree mm-hmm. of separation, the people we know and the relationships we know if we can bump ’em off course a little bit cuz Satan does that. Yeah. He tries to bump us off course every day.
You’re in a good spot and he’ll bump you, he’ll nudge you to try to get you off course.
[00:34:41] Duncan Sprague: He’s got a willing participant in my flesh. That’s where I love the fact that Larry concentrated. He goes, the devil’s going to be there whether we like it or, what, I can’t do anything about his attacks, but I can do something about the battle that’s going on inside of me.
Yes. The flesh and spirit battle. Yes. And he would always put that as the, the piece that we have the most control on. That’s the, I think it’s, uh, either first Peter two 11, beloved as aliens and strangers. So he reminds us of where we belong as aliens and strangers. Flee the fleshly lust, which wage war against your enemy.
The real battle is the one that’s going on inside of me. There’s fleshly desire. Prestige, pedigree, performance, all those different things that wage war against my soul. The humility to say, God, not my will, but yours, because your way is always better.
I have to be convinced every day. It’s not just when Satan is overt in that I go, oh yeah, I resisted the devil, and he’ll flee. But it’s, when he kind of sits back and says, oh, he’ll
[00:35:56] James Shelley: I think we’ve got to get off to a great start on this podcast of defining where real church can happen, or where real church really is, it’s with us right here in the spot.
When two or three or more are gathered, it’s, it’s a great stepping or a jump off point to the next series of podcasts. Yeah, it’ll be great. I think so.
[00:36:18] Kep Crabb: This has been fun. I mean, it’s fun to, to talk with you guys and see what the Lord’s doing. So before we wrap it up here, I do want to say, if you have not gotten a copy of your book, go to www.largerstory.com and order a copy.
We will send it to you right away. It’s a great read and it’s a, an important. Um, so as we wrap, is there anything else you guys wanna say?
[00:36:37] James Shelley: Man, I just dig the chance to be, uh, doing a podcast with you guys. It’s been a while and I’m glad that we’re now and that we’re all together.
Because I remember when we first met up, we were, we were buds, but we were far apart. We were all in our own little separate things and now we are, we’re much closer in proximity. Yeah. Because where we are, we were really locked in on our, on our faith walk and that’s, that’s exciting part for me. Well, it’s long overdue.
[00:37:03] Duncan Sprague: I think you just touched on what exactly God wants for church make us. Yeah. Um, that’s the way Jesus answered. That’s the way he prayed for us. As like father and I are what? Yeah. He says, father, might they, those who come after might they display the oneness that you and I have by their oneness with each other.
And all you’ve said is our. Our concentric individuality has come together and it’s not uniformity, but there’s unity as we come together where we go, oh yeah, you too, me too. Your father’s like that. No way. Yeah. So that’s, that’s where I go. That’s where you sit there and go, God. cars is a revival.
Relationally. Yes. Not just institutionally relational revival. .So that’s where the relational revolution that Larry was always talking about. Always talked about that.
[00:37:55] Kep Crabb: What great place to, to wrap this. Thanks for joining us. Hey, James. As we get ready to, to close, can I just get you to close this in a word of prayer?
[00:38:02] Duncan Sprague: Absolutely.
[00:38:03] James Shelley: All right. Uh, father, we just realize how holy you are. Uh, we just wanna just, hallow, be your name. Like you taught us how to pray, Lord, we’re just thankful that you, you give us the things that we need and the moments that we need them. We thank you for this opportunity to, to study this book.
We just, we just are, are so thankful that we got to know Larry in some fashion and how you used him Lord to. Even affect us still. The ripple that he caused Yes, ma’am. So many years ago is, is still rippling, it’s still rippling out. Father, just increase our desires, increase our want for you to keep the first things first as we’ve used as a cliche.
And, we just want to revel in your Honor, because it’s all about you, and we just love you so much, and thank you for all that you are doing for us. It’s in Your mighty name I pray.
[00:39:02] Kep Crabb: Amen. Thank y’all for joining us today. Join us every Tuesday for a new podcast with Larger Story on relational spirituality, where you belong, you’re known, and you get a chance to become.
James Shelley’s Bio:
James Shelley by day, is a product manager at Denver Hardwood Company, and has been actively serving in his home church as leader on the worship team for over a decade. James and Kep met in late
1998, they quickly became fast friends and brothers in Christ, and have played in a band together, led worship at each other’s churches, for nearly 25 years. He is proud to have know Larry, and is excited to see Larger Story grow. James and his wife Brandy have been married for 28 years and reside in a small town on the eastern plains outside the Denver metro area. They enjoy spending time together at Lake McConaughy in Nebraska in the summertime and are avid Denver Nuggets fans!
Duncan Sprague’s Bio:
Originally from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Duncan Sprague grew up in the rugged mountains and river breaks of Northern Idaho. There, in his late teens, he became a committed Christ-follower.
Duncan completed an undergraduate degree in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University in Portland, OR. Throughout the 80s he served in multiple pastoral positions and regularly led summer mission teams overseas, where he met his wife. Duncan and Angie were married in 1990 and spent their early years of marriage on staff at Multnomah before moving to Denver in 1994. Both worked at Colorado Christian University while Duncan completed a master’s degree and internship in Biblical Counseling. After graduate school, Duncan spent several years in the technology industry, creating online curriculum. In 2001, Duncan returned to full-time ministry.
Today, Duncan is an itinerate, bi-vocational pastor and missionary serving with several ministries,
including Cadence International (Alumni Pastor) and International Christian Ministries (Bible Teacher, Trainer & Trip Leader). He regularly travels domestically and internationally to teach, preach and train local leaders and believers. Duncan brings a shepherd’s heart for spiritual formation and years of cross-cultural experience to everything he does. Duncan and Angie have four adult children.