Michael Simone, senior pastor of Spring Branch Community Church in Virginia Beach, was invited to build a well in the heat of a dry-cracked Africa. In spite of protests from others who claimed that there would only be water at the baseline of a layer of granite in the ground, he went.
Simone shared his story of building a well with the Regent University community at its weekly University Chapel service on Wednesday, April 15.
“How big is your God?” he asked. “Really, how big is He? Are you living life full of stories to tell late into the night? What are you doing that’s going to last forever?”
For Simone, living with a “big God” is living an “inside-out” and “upside-down” life in the name of Christ. It means living according to the Gospel – and living in a perspective that’s greater than himself.
“Jesus, in his parables and in his teachings, always pointed to something down the road – something beyond our lifetimes,” explained Simone.
He also said that the New Testament is not a “do it by yourself” book, but a book pointing to all of His followers. In other words, living life according to God’s will doesn’t happen on an individual level. It happens in communities.
And although he said he’s thankful for the influx of Christian universities and churches, he has a few concerns of how these entities make Christ-followers a little too comfortable and safe.
“We’ve got an account of music and phrases: ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and ‘God is faithful.’ Then we go to our Sunday school classes, to our easy Christianity that doesn’t demand much from us. But if we do that, we’re missing the point.”
Simone turned to Luke 6, where Christ teaches at the synagogue, instructing his listeners to love their enemies and taking care not to judge others.
“If we spent the rest of our lives living out like Christ says to in Luke 6, maybe our lives would look a little more like that,” said Simone.
Simone reflected back on his time in Africa: Ten minutes before his team was to leave for the airport, they struck water with the well. Because of their faith, they were able to do what others had deemed impossible.
“God does amazing things when you give it all away,” said Simone.
Learn more about Regent University’s Campus Ministries.