UPDATE: Check out internetmonk.com for transcript/ audio of the memorial service.
Services were held this afternoon for the Internet Monk Michael Spencer. The Internet has abounded this week with articles of tribute and expressions of sympathy for the family. David Head and Bill Haynes both did excellent jobs. David has a remarkable understanding of how Spencer’s ministry reaches a worldwide audience through his blog, and Bill did exactly what Michael asked him to; he preached the Gospel.
Michael Spencer’s life was about sharing the Gospel, and not just in the pulpit. It’s easy to preach the Gospel on Sunday morning to a room full of believers. But Jesus told us to live out the Gospel every day of the week, and showed us how. It’s a very practical Gospel, not just a spoken one. The Samaritan woman at the well didn’t need to fill out a decision card. She needed the Savior to offer her living water. That’s what Spencer tried to do and teach others to do as well, in the pulpit but also the classroom, the athletic field and the Internet. He saw the need for 100 churches to be built in India, not one massive one down the street.
It was Gandhi that said he liked our Christ but did not like our Christians. Spencer understood that a lot of people had been hurt by the church. We were reminded today that he had the opportunity several times to show grace to those kinds of people. When his book Mere Churchianity comes out in September, he may have another chance to step on some toes. We were also reminded today that he sometimes got in trouble. The Gospel is offensive to some, and boldly telling the truth can be to others.
The final services had a lot to do with the Gospel and grace, and a lot of laughter as well. I’ve never heard so many references to the Internet or blogging during a funeral. And to the fans of Internetmonk that were hoping the service would be recorded, an attempt was made that proved unsuccessful. To make a long story short it just didn’t work out. Thanks to Mike Mercer and some other guys, the vision of Internetmonk will continue. My wife and I had the opportunity to meet Mike and his wife Gail. I am looking forward to what comes next. All this week Internetmonk.com has re-posted classic iMonk articles from the archives. Some of them deal with the subject of death, and how he felt about it. What happens next? We mourn his death and celebrate his life. We celebrate life. We pray for his family and each other. We heal – God heals us. And oh yeah; keep sharing that Gospel.