#12: Exposing the Matrix

After 10 years of Forefront we’ve now done over 120 message series. Thought it might be fun and interesting to share with you my top twenty.

Borrowed this series from Andy Stanley (who is a preacher in Atlanta). That guy is ridiculously smart. He takes incredibly deep concepts and makes them startlingly simple. Every time I’ve listened to him I’m like, “Oh. Wow. I’ve never looked at it like that before. Oh, wow. It’s so simple. Okay, that will change my life.”

This series was about the unseen spiritual world and how our lives are wrapped up in it and we don’t even realize it. But if we only did, it would change everything.

I think this was one of the better and smarter series I’ve done. Part of that is because of being able to “borrow” (some would say “steal” but c’mon, let’s be generous!) ideas from Andy Stanley. But another reason was because of Toby. Toby was a guy in graduate school in Virginia Beach who started attending Forefront and then did an internship with us for a couple of years. Toby is approximately the smartest person I’ve gotten to be around. Toby is now a missionary in China and God is using him in a powerful way.

Anyway, Toby was an intern at the time of this series and I usually have someone read my messages before I preach them, to make sure they make sense and see how they can get better. These sermons started out smart, but after Toby read them they got way smarter. Probably my favorite illustration of all time was in this series, and it came from Toby.

I also loved the set we created for this series. We had like 20 TV’s, on different levels, covering our stage, all with the green matrix “code” going across them. It was hot.

A last, and worst, note about this series. A couple of years ago my laptop was stolen right out of our church office. At that point, I was in the habit of backing up my files onto our server every couple months. Finally I bought a new computer and put all my files from the server onto it. Over time I would realize different things that were missing, files I hadn’t yet backed up onto the server and so were now gone. This Exposing the Matrix series was one of those files. It’s gone forever. I have to go now. I am crying real tears.

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