There’s something cool about an old theater: concrete walls and floors, old ghetto paintings everywhere, secret passageways and dungeon-like lairs, and of course the vintage vibe that that all creates. That all describes the El Rey Theater where Jenn led worship and I taught last night for Calvary Albuquerque’s college group, Renovate.

I love teaching anywhere I get a chance – I’ve taught at school Bible clubs, youth groups, winter retreats, main sanctuaries, conferences, class rooms, and even a girls’ small group meeting in a home. I’ve had plenty of opportunities. However, out of them all, I can think of a few favorites:

Of course one of my favorites is my church family in Clarksville. I love the building that we transformed from a smelly old office building with broken-down bathrooms and peeling wallpaper. Most of all, I love my church family that meets there. God has done a great work there and I can only imagine what He has up His sleeve for the future. If you haven’t checked it out, you need to.

Out of all the places I’ve gotten to teach, however, one of my very favorites is Renovate. I feel like I should have to pay to teach there…and I don’t normally volunteer to pay! They used to meet at the Lobo Theater, another theater in downtown Albuquerque where Mars Hill Church now meets. Now, however, they meet at the El Rey. Sure, the Lobo Theater had bathrooms with doors on them and floors without holes in them, and modern uncreepy artwork, but the El Rey was super cool. The main reason it’s so cool is because of the unique way that God moves there. The building really doesn’t matter – it’s the people who make it incredible. They love to worship and they love to hear the Word of God. With that combination, God is guaranteed to do amazing things. He certainly did last night as we studied through Acts 5. It was one of my favorite messages that I’ve taught so far in our Wednesday night study through Acts at Awaken (you can download it HERE if you’d like). God moved powerfully last night as we looked at these incredible men of God who weren’t scared to lay it all on the line for Him. They lived radically:

Persecution? Perfect!

Whips? Wonderful!

Prison? PARTY!!

The verse that always stands out the most to me is Acts 5:29. As the disciples stand trial for defying Jewish authority and illegally speaking the name of Christ, they tell their Jewish opposition, “…We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Imagine if we lived by that anthem! Look at what God did with a handful of men and women who lived by that motto and imagine what God could do in our generation if we lived that same way. That was the challenge and people responded! It’s always exciting to see people walk to the front of the room in front of hundreds of others and proclaim their commitment to Christ.

If you’re interested in listening to or watching the teaching from Renovate, check the service archive on their website. It will also be up in our service archive within the next couple of days.

The Land of Enchantment certainly was enchanting but we’re ready to head home. As I sit here in the Albuquerque airport with my 3 beautiful girls, my prayer is that last night was not just another fun night with a bunch of college students, but that God revolutionized lives, and because of that, will continue to revolutionize a college, a city, and a generation.

Renovate, thanks for having us.

Clarksville, we can’t wait to be back home. See you soon.