Archive for the 'Leadership' Category

13
Mar
09

what if?

Over the last few years I’ve had some amazing conversations with guys like this guy, this guy and this guy about effecting change in their world.  I mention these guys because I know that one day they will truly impact the world for Jesus Christ.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk to guys like this pastor, this leader, or this guy all of whom are doing some pretty amazing things for God RIGHT NOW!!!

I’m so honored to have this guy in my family.  And I can tell you that this man has done more for the Kingdom of God from the furthest corners of the earth than anyone will ever know and I know he has a lot more work ahead of him.  I remember sitting with him  a couple of years ago in the food court of a mall in downtown Atlanta.  As we polished off some Chick-fil-A I remember telling him that my greatest fear in life was the fear that I would one day find myself sitting in the grandstands of heaven watching a heroes parade of the people that did something amazing for God in their lifetimes, and I would simply be a spectator.

I gotta tell you that thought still scares the daylights out of me.

The craziest thing though is this.  I believe the one thing that could possibly stand in the way of me truly doing something GREAT for God is the one little question: “what if?”

What if I fail?  What if I’m wrong?  What if I try to lead, but no one follows?  What if? what if? What if?

I love the story of Peter walking on water to Jesus.  I imagine this guy had some BIG TIME what ifs bouncing around in his head before he got his feet wet.  The big one:  What if I drown?  But I’ve often wondered what if Peter DIDN’T step out of the boat.  Would his story be the same?

Would he have continued to be one of Jesus’ closest disciples?

Would he have been restored to relationship with Jesus even after denying him?

Would he have led thousands to Christ in one sermon on the day of Pentecost?

Would his shadow have brought healing to whomever it passed over?

Would he have been arrested for preaching the gospel, then released from prison by an angel?

Would he & John have healed the crippled man at the temple gate?

Man I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I seriously have to doubt any of those things would have happened if he gave in to “what if?” sitting on that boat that night.

I guess the point I’m getting at is this:  What if I don’t do what I know Ive been called to do with my life?  What if I don’t walk the path that has been divinely planned just for me?  What miraculous things will I miss seeing with my own eyes.  It may be that my greatest fear of sitting in the grandstands of heaven watching the heroes parade go by me, might come true.

You know what?  I don’t want to take that risk.   I may not be in a heroes parade in heaven one day, but I refuse to sit in the grandstands and just watch.  I’m stepping out of the boat?

You comin?

20
Feb
09

Almost Live From #C309

I’m in Dallas this week at Fellowship Church for the Creative Church Conference also known in Twitter world as #C309.  I gotta tell you that right now I’m so full of mental food for thought that I’m seriously about to bust.

In fact, we have two hours this afternoon in breakout sessions.  When I tried to go sit down in one, I realized that I just couldn’t hold one more bit of information without processing some of what I’ve already heard.  So while my traveling buddy is in his breakout session, I decided to muddle through some of my thoughts.

Now I know this will sound absurd but I’m going through nearly 47 pages of notes.  Some of which I’ve taken but mostly from other C3 attendees who’ve been posting their notes here.   I copied and pasted most of these pages and I’m weeding out the highlights which I gotta tell you is not a small task.

I’ll process through it all in the next couple of days, but I just have to tell you on an emotional spiritual level that God has been so powerfully speaking to me these last two days.  We’ve heard speakers like Ed Young, Jentzen Franklin, Christine Caine (an Austrailian powerhouse “chick”), Craig Groeschel, Steven Furtick, Tommy Barnett, Ben Young, Bil Cornelius, and tonight the Bishop T.D. Jakes is “bringin it.”  (If I’ve heard one “get ready get ready get ready” impression I’ve heard a million.)

So here’s what stands out so far:

Mercy must be in the middle of EVERYTHING the church does.

God is consumed with the LOST

Being consumed with what other people think about me is IDOLATRY.

My generation must bring HONOR back to ministry.

If I’m going to be effective in seeing people come to Christ, I’ve got to have IT.

I know this will make little or no sense to anyone out there reading this.  And I’m okay with that.  These are sort of stakes in the ground that I gotta come back too, as God leads me down this path I see Him taking me.

peacefornow

13
Jan
09

Who Is A Catalyst for Change?

Yesterday I asked the question, “What Needs To Be Changed?” In that post I made a statement that said, “I think a lot more people are talking about change in the church, than there are people who are true catalysts of change.”  Having said that, let me tell you that I know there are lots of people out there effecting change.  I went through the list of people that I’m aware of and thought I would introduce a couple of them to you:

Anne Jackson – Anne is a writer, blogger and staff member at Cross Point Church, in Nashville, TN.  Anne has a book coming out very soon called Mad Church Disease.  This book speaks to the issue of so many Christians and Christian leaders dealing with burnout.  Anne has a heart to see Christ followers have HEALTHY relationships with Christ and with other followers.  But if you spend anytime browsing through Anne’s blog you’ll see that she’s committed to helping bring positive change in people’s lives, by sending shoes to the poor in Mexico, purchasing mosquito nets for kids in Africa, or visiting prostitutes in Baton Rouge, LA.

Steven Furtick – Steven pastors Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC.  Now I haven’t been to Pastor Furtick’s church, but I’ve followed his numerical growth over the last couple of years and I have to tell you that the sheer numerical growth is phenomenal.  The church launched in 2006 six and in two years has grown to over 4000 people in attendance.  This church meets in rented venues, which means they don’t even own property.  But to me that’s not really the most impressive part.  What I find impressive is the number of people that are invited to follow Christ each weekend, and who publicly accept that invitation.  I’m also impressed with Pastor Steven and Elevation Church’s sense of calling to their community. Go spend some time on his blog and see what I mean.

These are just two people who I believe are catalyst’s for change.  Tell me about some of the people, ministries, or churches that you see as being true catalysts for change.

07
Nov
08

faithful.

horton_hatches_the_eggA couple of weeks ago our family celebrated our first Family Fun Night.  You can learn more about our Family Fun nights over at Kristia’s blog.  The inspiration for that particular night was Horton the Elephant.  Now, you may remember Horton from the fairly recent movie Horton Hears a Who!  But my very first and most pleasant memory of good ole Horton is from the book, Horton Hatches the Egg.  In fact its one of Kristia’s and my most favorite books as kids.

The story, in case your not familiar, is about a kindly elephant who is persuaded to sit on an egg while its mother, the good-for-nothing bird lazy Mayzie, takes a break. Little does Horton know that Mayzie is setting off for a permanent vacation in Palm Springs. He waits, and waits, never leaving his precarious branch, even through a freezing winter and a spring that’s punctuated by the insults of his friends. (“They taunted. They teased him. They yelled ‘How Absurd! Old Horton the Elephant thinks he’s a bird!'”) Still Horton stays faithful to his promise to take care of the egg and he is rewarded in the end by the surprise birth of… an elephant-bird.

Now as ridiculous as the story may seem, the mantra of this funny looking pacaderm is quite convicting:  “I meant what I said, I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful one hundred percent.” That one sentence is what makes this book so endearing to me.  Commitment (faithfulness) is not a commonly demonstrated characteristic in our culture, especially when things seem to get harder or not go the way we had planned.  A lack of faithfulness, or commitment, to our promises to others, to our principles or standards of belief, or to simply doing what we know the right thing to be, left unchecked can lead to untrustworthy character.

So let’s get gut level honest:  would you describe yourself as a “faithful” person?  To what or to whom are you most faithful?  To what discipline do you find it the hardest to be faithful?  Lemme hear ya

05
Nov
08

pray.

Did you pray for this election?  Did you pray that God would put the candidate in office that He would choose?  I know that I did.  Monday night before the election I gathered with nearly 300 hundred other people and together we prayed that God would direct this election.

24 hours later the results were in and voila we have a new president.  In the last several hours, I’ve heard the next president referred to as the anti-christ, as evil, and as the one who will bring the demise of our capitalist society.  I’ve heard people say they were moving to another country, or that it was a sad day to be American.  And to all of these people I ask my initial question again:  Did you pray for this election?

I did, and you know what?  The candidate that I voted for didn’t win.  So what do I do now.  Do I sulk around mad at everyone who voted for the person I didn’t vote for?  Do I trash talk the new guy?  Do I wallow in defeat?  NO and I’ll tell you why, because I prayed for this election.   I trust what I read today in Daniel 2:21 –

He changes times and seasons, deposing some kings and and establishing others.  He gives wisdom to the wise; He imparts knowledge to those with understanding.

So here’s what I’m going to do:

1.  I’m going to believe that God heard my prayer and that this election went exactly the way He wanted it to.  I choose to believe that God has established Barak Obama as our president and I will respect the office he now holds, and I will not speak against him.

2.  I’m going to pray for my new President, just as I prayed the night before election day.  I’m not going to be a person who prays until something doesn’t go the way I wanted it to.  I will continue to pray.  I will pray for Barak Obama’s family, for his protection, for him to have wisdom, for him to receive Godly counsel, for him to lead our nation in a way that will be honorable.

Now then. . . . what will you do?

04
Nov
08

today.

american-flag-2aAfter what seems like an eternity, our nation will (hopefully) decide today who will be our next president.  After today, the promises following “if I’m elected”  will be over and the campaign signs will be pulled from my neighbor’s front yard, and then tomorrow will hopefully come and then. . .  it will be today again.

All we have is today, tomorrow doesn’t really exist , and neither does yesterday, only the here and now is what is real and tangible and even moldable.

I may or may not like who is elected as President today.  But whether its the candidate I voted for or not, I have at least let my voice be heard, and when tomorrow becomes a reality, when tomorrow becomes today, then today is what I have to focus on, today is what I have to try to make better.  I can’t change who got elected, but I can focus on living my life that reflects the beliefs and standards by which I cast my ballot today.

If the guy going into the Oval office shares my views, my convictions, my beliefs, then GREAT!!!  If not, it will not change what I believe, or what my convictions may be.  Democrat or Republican is of no consequence after today.  Christ Follower is most important, then American.  Today I must live by what I believe as a result of my faith, and then. . .  then I must live as a a citizen of “one nation, Under God, indivisible.”  Doing my best to ensure liberty and justice for all.

Today. . .  regardless of who our President is I will continue to pray for an end to war in Iraq.   Today I will still pray for God to protect the unborn, the helpless, the forgotten, the impoverished.  Today I will continue to ask God to restore the lives of people who are loosing hope in a failing economy and to protect the sanctity of marriage.  Today I will ask God to protect us from terrorism and foreign attack.  Today I will do everything I can to positively affect these issues for which I pray.

Today I will not look at you as a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian.  I will not look at you as black, white, Hispanic, male, female, gay or straight.  Today I will not call you conservative or liberal.  Today I will look at you as a fellow citizen and I will pray that we can live together in freedom and work together for the sake of a better tomorrow.

And when tomorrow, becomes today I will do the same.

May God guide us all today as we make decisions that will affect tomorrow.

31
Oct
08

conviction.

I’ve been reading this week about the Kings of Israel and Judah in the book of 2 Chronicles.  I’m always amazed as I read about the Kings who start out doing what is right, and then they get off track and away from God.  Yesterday I read about King Uzziah and how he did so many great things; He was victorious, He was ingenuitive, and for the most part He was a great king.  But then He decides to go into the temple to perform duties that were reserved for priests, not kings.  As a result He gets sick with leprosy and is removed from the throne.  As I read the story of Uzziah and the other kings that screwed up the common denominator in all of their stories is that they lost conviction, or the determination to do what was right.

These passages caused me to ask myself about my personal levels of conviction.  What am I committed to?  What do I believe, and how strongly do I believe it?  What (as one friend asked me last week, in a completely different context) makes me pound my fist on the table?

I’m not sure I’m happy with the answers I uncovered in my own life.  I’m afraid that as I’ve gotten older that maybe I’ve loosened up on some of the personal convictions that God’s expects me to hold to.  There is such pressure in our society to make concessions.  Calls for tolerance, politically correctness, concern not to offend others at any cost, and while I can agree with some of those calls in certain situations, there are still certain things that I must hold firmly too.

So . . . are you a person of conviction?  what is a major conviction for you?  what makes you pound your fist on the table?




@shannongreer says

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