Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This Kind...

Leaders all want to be unique. We all want to make our specific stamp on the world. We desire for people to see that we are different and are doing a significant work.

The problem lies when a leader is trying to produce something unique in their organization through works that do not match up with their private life. I recently posted a blog called, "Is your private life inspiring." I went into great detail about our private lives and our walk with God.

In the gospels, Jesus has a man approach him and the man is upset that his disciples could not cast a demon out of his son. The disciples are perplexed also. Then Jesus says, "This kind only comes out by prayer and fasting..." Now, we can have twelve theologians and preachers tell us twelve different opinions. I want to share with you, not what I think Jesus meant, but I want to share the story behind the story.

The disciples had seen Jesus working miracles. They had done some themselves. But they had not caught on to Jesus' prayer and fasting life. They had not caught on to the behind the scenes.

Here is the point: Stop trying to do something unique. Stop being so engulfed with what you are doing. Start becoming unique. You will never produce something that is antithetical to your personal seeking of God.

The disciples hit a personal empass. They tried to produce something unique without a unique devotional life.

I will hit this empass, you will hit this empass, those you work with and minister to will hit this empass.

Jesus literally was saying, "Boys, your personal seeking of me is not unique enough to handle this. Your old ways of prayer, devotions and fasting are too small."

Maybe you have hit an empass recently. Maybe you have hit up against something that your "winging it" and not seeking God could handle in the past. THIS KIND.... requires you step your game up or step out of the way.

Are you ready to start a movement?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Learning New Languages- "Missional"

Krissy and Kyle Missionary have raised the funds. Their home church has a budget for their world missionary endeavor. They are learning the language of the tribe they will be working with in another country. Their church is so proud of these missionaries and they hope that one day maybe they could work on the mission field too like Krissy and Kyle. They realize they have not been called by God to be a missionary, so they are to stay here in their town and work and support missionaries.

Leaders who start movements realize that everyone is called to be a missionary. They realize their city, job, home and personal friends are a mission field. They take time to learn their language of their culture and minister accordingly.

Their is a big problem with people today, especially Christians. It is self-centeredness. We go into our jobs like lazy slobs, ready to get off and go home the moment we go in. We complain with our co-workers and gossip just like they do. Our personal friends are for our personal pleasure. We go to a church or get education or information to make us feel good, but we miss the point of life.

The point is this: We are called, especially if you are Christians, to add value to everyone we are around. Our jobs are a mission field to share love, grace, mercy and the gospel. Our friends are people who need to be prayed for and fasted for. They need to be listened to and ministered to.

The term missionary is a term that should be done away with. We are all missionaries. If we put the prayer, time, money and effort into reaching our neighbors as we did Africa or the Middle East, the world would be changed. We should be missional communities that exist to minister to our community. We are all sent by God to bless and add value to our circles of influence.

Sure, go overseas, feed some kids and play kick ball with them. But please don't come back and forget that you are always a missionary. Everyday is an endeavor.

Learn the language of your community. Be involved in helping your community and seeing the needs of it.

Read Acts Chapter 2. "They all spoke the language of their communities." Realize that each one heard them in their own tongue.
That generation revolutionized their world. We need that mindset to return!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Constantly Consistent

Constant Habit of Consistency

Baseball great Willie Mayes once said, "Anybody can be good one time, the great ones are consistent at being good- all the time."

I don't have the most experience in ministry, I am a "young buck" to the older ones, but I do know this: People watch for consistency before anything else.

That is one principle we can take from the Apostle Paul's life from 2,000 years ago. Whether you believe in biblical principles or not, you cannot overlook that this one man changed the course of history forever.

As I was reading in 2nd Corinthians this morning I noticed that even though Paul was discouraged, the people he ministered to did not appreciate him and his life was continually in danger, he was still very consistent.

Now, here is your question: Do people around you see a consistency or "flightiness?" My good friend Keith Rowell and I like to call people who are not consistent- "shady."

Here is the point: Uncommon men do daily what common men do occassionally.

What you do daily you will be permanently. You do not decide your future. You decide your habits and your habits decide your future.

I recently sat with a young man on the 5th week of our mentoring sessions. I asked him how he had changed his habits. He had not. I asked him how his spiritual formation had been coming. I said, "Have you started journaling yet?" He said, "No, I am still praying at the same time, the same way when we first started these meetings."

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine. Don't be great for 4 years of college and then become a sluggard. Don't get guilty and then read for 5 hours one week.

Be constantly consistent.

Destroying the Root of Bitterness- AUDIO Link

Message on the Root of Bitterness at a church I used to youth pastor at in Georgia, Celebration Outreach Center.
This coincides with the blog I wrote a while back.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shaking Off the Snakes

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
Whoever made that statement did not serve as a pastor. They probably worked in the back of an office stuffing envelopes and not interacting with people.

Words do hurt. Words aimed at children literally shape their destinies. Good or bad.

Paul landed on an island in some of his final travels in the book of Acts. He was helping gather firewood when a poisonous snake bit him. The Bible says that Paul shook it off. Jesus said in Mark we will trample on serpents. Can I give you a different perspective of this? Maybe walking the in the power of God means that we shake off words from the people we work with and minister to. There are poisonous snakes in churches. They are coiled and ready to strike. They were this way before we got there and will be that way after we leave.

Many leaders have not learned the art of "shaking off snakes." They have let the poison seep into their system and affect the way they operate.

Here are two simple points:
1. If they are upset with you, realize it probably is another issue, not you.
2. Because of the first truth, treat them with love and compassion. Your maturity is determined by how you respond. To react is to speak out of hurt. To respond is to speak in love.

So....... When you have a poisonous snake bite you, you have two choices: REACT or Respond.

Leaders who start movements are not affected by the internal poison others have let build up. They respond in love and are able to say: "I am sorry and I love you."

Deal with the poison in yourself and you can respond to others who have poison built up in them.