Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Defining Reality Without Being Held Hostage

Part of leadership is defining the realities. Visionary leadership defines reality without being held hostage to it.
No one has to remind me that there are giants in the land and we look like grasshoppers in their sight, and no one has to remind me that the cost of growing a church is far greater than our abilities and resources. I know these things full well. I see the reports, the numbers, the deposits and the expenses.
No...what I need is:
A reminder of God's provision. I have too much history of God's provision to let one season of difficulty discourage me.
A reminder of God's power. Nothing is to difficult for Him.
A reminder of God's promises. They are "yes" and "amen."
A reminder of God's presence. If He is for us, no one can stand against us.
A reminder of God's Word - which reminds me of all those things I need to remember.
I know the realities, I see them clearly. What I need is to see God more closely.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Making A Resolution vs. Being Resolved

Saturday, at a men's breakfast, we discussed the difference between “making a resolution” and being “resolved.”Making a resolution has lost its meaning over the years because we have broken so many of them. It is now a throw away word creating short-sighted goals.

To be resolved is about character. For examples: 

  • We should be people resolved to be a person after God’s own heart
  • We should be people resolved to be a person of integrity
  • We should be people resolved to be godly parents, leaders, friends, etc.

Being resolved sets up a belief system or value system which then gives our short-term goals have purpose and meaning. For Examples:
  • I am resolved to be a man of The Word, therefore I will spend 5/15/30/60 minutes each day reading ad meditating on the Bible
  •  I am resolved to be a Godly husband, therefore I will pray with my wife each day
  • Centerpointe Church is resolved be a church of prayer and unity, therefore we will spend the first full week of the year fasting and praying
  • Centerpointe Church is resolved to be a church where spiritual growth and authentic relationships happen, therefore we will create space for those things to happen (example physical space and calendar space)  

So don't simply make resolutions - be RESOLVED!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

If Our Glory Days Are Behind Us, We Will Have A Dissapointing Future

I went to visit Martinsburg, West Virginia on Monday to the place where I pastored for eight years. I met with two of my previous staff who are still good friends. I was able to go inside and stand behind the pulpit again while all of the memories came flooding in. This is a place where I was desperate for God to help us because I had no idea of what I was doing. I remember weeping at the front of the church early in the mornings and late at night. I remember repenting for the sins of the church and calling out to God for a fresh move of His Spirit. I remember going to the top of the property where it looks down on the church building and seeking God’s vision, favor and wisdom. I certainly remember the difficult moments, but the memories of God’s presence and work overshadow all of them. This is a place where God showed up. 

I don’t share this because I want to go back there. I share it because it is a place where God met me and changed me. It is a place where we saw many people came to Christ and were filled with the Spirit. It is a place where people came together to work for the cause of Christ.

Did we make mistakes – oh yea!
Did we offend some – oh yea!
Did we have all the answers – oh no!

But I thank God for those desperate moments. It was a faith season in my life and I am now moving into another challenging one, which is much greater than the past. 

If our glory days are behind us, we will have a disappointing future.

I can see just a fraction of what God wants for Centerpointe Church, but I do know it is going to be exceedingly, abundantly more than I can ask or imagine. 

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Circle Maker

I just finished Mark Batterson's book, "The Circle Maker." It is one of the best books I have read that connects vision and dreams with prayer. We are now reading it together as a family and praying circles around each other, believing God for the miraculous. 

For nine months now, I have believed God wants to do great things in the life of Centerpointe Church. I believe He wants to do greater things than we have asked or imagined. My prayer is that He uses us to proclaim the name of Jesus and declare Him King of Kings and Lord of Lords. My prayers are large - at least I thought they were. 

This week, I am convicted by the thought that my prayers are too small. 

I pray that God will do something at Centerpointe so big that there is no way we could take the credit.

As Brittany's friend, Jen, said to me yesterday - "Go big or go home."