Spinning In and Spinning Out


When I was a kid, one of my favorite rides at Magic Mountain in Valencia, California was Spin Out. It was located right across from the Goldrusher and near the Jet Stream. (Unfortunately, it’s no longer there today).

I still remember the feelings of anticipation as we waited in the fairly short line to go on the ride. You could actually look down inside to see people spinning before it was your turn to go on the ride. Often I hoped as I waited that no one got sick and threw up before we got in. Of course, I also hoped that I wouldn’t throw up when it was my turn to go in. (Fortunately, I never did.)

One of the funnest parts as you stood against the wall and the room began to spin was the amazing feeling that you were being held against the wall as the floor dropped out from under you. My brother and I would first try lifting our arms and legs, and then we’d try to adjust the position of our bodies on the wall. We normally enjoyed climbing as high as we could up the wall.

Here’s a basic description from Wikipedia:

…a large, upright barrel, rotated at 33 revolutions per minute. The rotation of the barrel creates a centrifugal force equivalent to almost 3g. Once the barrel has attained full speed, the floor is retracted, leaving the riders stuck to the wall of the drum. At the end of the ride cycle, the drum slows down and gravity takes over. The riders slide down the wall slowly.

When I think of this concept of “spinning out” today – it’s a great picture of how I envision the spread of Christianity. The Christian movement spun outward from the center of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and rose again from the dead. He sent His followers to take the message of the cross together in community with other Christians to make disciples who make disciples of all nations.

We understand that centrifugal force is “the apparent force that draws a rotating body away from the center of rotation.” While every Christian is drawn inward to Christ as the center, at the same time there must be a force that rotates every Christian outward with the gospel message!

Unfortunately, a lot of Christians seem to enjoy spinning inward to Christ while avoiding spinning outward.

Both are necessary. We are drawn closer and deeper to Christ while at the same time we are drawn away from where we are to reach others.

For Reflection:

How are you spinning your life toward the center with Christ?

How are you spinning your life outward to disciple others far from Christ?

Today’s Missional Challenge

Remember that we must be drawing closer to Christ while spinning outward with the message of the Cross.

I guess this is somewhat like a yoyo – spinning in and spinning out.

Are you?

Author

Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
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