Joel: But, no one could have even heard the vision had it not been for the worship [service]. We’ve got this worship that…I could get up and cough and people would hear from God. I say that to say that if it’s something from God, your spirits have to be open to what God is saying.  It’s something that He births in the lives of people while I’m just talking, and it comes out different than I imagined it because He’s working in the lives of people.

 

Eva Marie: Absolutely.

 

Vernon: The unique thing about it, whether you look at the worship as a whole, or the preaching—and it is the ideal. Joel preaches from the ideal, not the quiet desperation that many people feel, not the--you know--lament over “this is who we are and wouldn’t it be great if we could change.” These are all realities and they’re a part of the culture and the fabric of our world, it’s a fallen world, and we—everybody—

 

Eva Marie: And some people are called to that ministry.

 

Vernon: Absolutely.

 

Eva Marie: And it works for them.

 

Vernon: It works for them. It’s not a Pollyanna approach--you know--that we just try to pretend like it’s not going on. We’re well aware of it. Faced it this morning when I got out of bed, it’s a fallen world. But Joel has always preached from…the best picture of it for me in Scripture when John gets the revelation and Jesus says to him, “Come up here and I’ll show you what must take place after this.”

 

Well, it’s always kinda how I’ve heard Joel’s sermons. It is that sense of “come up here and I’ll show you what is to take place.” I think that was the growing sense that we had throughout those ten years as we looked at those topics.

 

Eva Marie: I came in on the topic of faith. I remember the first sermon I ever heard Joel preach. It had to do with when you, Joel, went for a run one day, went to the pool to lay down, and a cat came and got up on your chest. You remember that?

 

Joel (laughing): I do.

 

Eva Marie: My husband and I were just cracking up laughing, and when we left my husband said, “I think we have finally found our church home.” Because of this worship thing, and I do want to go back to that, I want to go back to praise and worship because when I speak to people I say there’s two things you gotta know about Northland. 1) There’s a worship team that just won’t quit, and 2) we’ve got a pastor who is able to draw in people. And, Joel, they do listen to you, and you encourage us to come up. Like you were just saying, come up here. When I speak to women’s groups, I reiterate that when we pray, God doesn’t come down to us; we go up to Him, and we gotta learn to get into that throne room. You know, instead of huddling down here in the masses.