Jesus’ Silence and Solitude

JesusSolitudeThe priority of Jesus’ solitude and silence is everywhere in the Gospels. It’s how he began his ministry. It’s how he made important decisions. It’s how he dealt with troubling emotions like grief. It’s how he dealt with the constant demands of his ministry and cared for his soul. It’s how he taught his disciples. It’s how he prepared for important ministry events. It’s how he prepared for his death on the cross.

Jesus’ solitude is how he went deeper in his love-relationship with the God he knew as “Abba”.* Won’t you take a chronological journey through the Gospel of Mark and see where He stopped for silence & solitude?

Download/Print the Worksheet
Jesus’ Solitude & Silence

*Special Thanks to Bill Gaultiere who outlined most of this concept and content for us.  I did enhance the Bible Passages through the Gospels and made it a self-study worksheet.  You can see Bill’s article online at http://www.soulshepherding.org/2013/02/jesus-solitude-and-silence/ 

How do you Leverage Events for Maximum Learning?

A catalytic leader that I have had the privilege of getting to know over the last few years is Steve Moore*. He put together this helpful video and process to help learners leverage events for maximum learning.  I really appreciate this video and process. I curated his content…and gave you a tool below outlining his process.  Don’t skip the video though…it’s worth your time!

Posted at: http://missionexus.org/leveraging-events-for-maximum-learning-archive/

A blog post on Fast Company’s web site shared about a group of young entrepreneurs who filled a large Silicon Valley auditorium to hear a speech by Mark Zuckerberg. He shared his perspective on the future of Internet business along with lessons he has learned on the journey so far.

It is no surprise the room was full of twenty-somethings eager to hear what the Facebook founder had to say. According to eyewitness accounts of the meeting, two older, legendary Silicon Valley investors seated in the front row stood out. But not for the reason you might think. It wasn’t their silver hair that made them look out of place. It was the fact they were the only people in the room taking notes.

The two most successful people in the room, whose names are synonymous with money and power in Silicon Valley, were the only ones taking notes. Maybe that explains why they are successful?…

 

Here are the process questions Steve outlines:

Pre Event Questions:

1) What is the Best Resource I could recommend to others and why did I find it helpful?

2) What is the most important ______________ I need to process?

3) What questions will help me best engage with others for learning?

During Event Questions:

1) What Learning choices do I need to make tomorrow?

2) Have I spent 5 minutes with the schedule to plan my time effectively?

3) Where is the networking space? How will I use it?

4) What is the most effective way to harvest the information? How will you capture learning?

5) Who do I need to seek out during this event?

Immediately After Event Questions:

1) What is the most important idea to consider?

2) Most important relationship to pursue?

3) Most important conversation I need to have?

4) Most important decision I need to make?

5) Most important action I need to take?

Free Tool >> Download a Word Doc  or  PDF of these questions

 


SteveMoore*As executive director of Missio Nexus, Steve Moore put together many leadership resources which have been helpful to me. This year Steve transitioned into a new role with NexLeader…and you should check that stuff out too! Find Steve on Twitter

Conversation on Periscope

So Periscope…you know about the one is on a submarine, but did you know about this new social media mechanism to live stream from your smartphone? periscope-logo-1920

Periscope is a live stream broadcasting platform connected with Twitter. I actually first used Periscope to attempt to watch the big Manny Pacquiao vs.Mayweather-Pacquiao Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight. I was too cheap to pay a hundred bucks to see the fight. To stay in the loop in real time, I started following the fight on Twitter and saw that some people were using Periscope to “watch” the fight.

I actually downloaded the app, linked it with my Twitter and found a broadcasting stream just in time for the last bell to go in the last round.  I watched the announcer proclaim Mayweather the winner (on someone else’s TV with about 7,000 other people tuning in) …and I realized that this live broadcast stuff had gone from the hands of the TV trucks to everyone with a smartphone!

While tinkering with Periscope, I actually watched some “behind the scenes” stuff of the NBA (announcers who were periscoping at shoot-arounds before games, etc.).  I also tinkered with following a few LA area celebrities like Marcellus Wiley of ESPN Radio (videoing a radio show!) and some local TV anchors as they talked with their fans prior to going on the air (when are they on air?).

A week ago, some ministry leaders and I had a conversation talking about Periscope and how it could be used for ministry.  Not many of us had much experience, but we shared what we knew…and had a conversation about it.  After a few moments of talking about Periscope, it dawned on me that I could actually Periscope our Conversation about Periscope.  So I got my iPhone out and started recording!

Here is the link to my Periscope feed from that:

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 2.13.50 PM

One of the public figures who has done the most with Periscope is the publisher/author/blogger/platform-maker Michael Hyatt.  He actually did a 30 Day Experiment with ‪#‎Periscope.

After the experiment, he wrote a helpful article on what he learned. Pretty insightful stuff. I appreciated most of all this snippet:

“Think of it this way:

-Blogging is one-dimensional: just words.
-Podcasting is two-dimensional: words plus audio.
-Scoping is three-dimensional: words, audio, and video.

Because of this, people are able to experience more of who I truly am. Why is this important? Because the more authentic we can be, the more impact we can have.”

 

Not sure what all I’m going to do with Periscope, but I thought I’d share where I’m at currently…

The Candid Truth about Bi-Vocational Church Leadership

flinchconference2015For the conference on RISK–FLINCH Conference–I was asked to lead a workshop on bi-vocational leadership for the church.  Rather than me talking about this, I decided to pull together other leaders from around the country who have been doing it to share about the candid truth.

Here is the workshop description:

Since the beginning of the Church, her leaders have not all been fully salaried staff pastors. The Apostle Paul even made tents for a season in his ministry. One of the questions facing many of our leaders is “how to support my family and do the ministry that God has called me to?” We have a panel of leaders who have experienced the reality of bi-vocational ministry — earning income from the ministry and from some other source. So as we think about raising leaders and church planting, we should hear the stories of those who have embarked on the bi-vocational journey.

Here is the list of panelists:

Manuel Espinosa:  Pastor – Iglesia Cristiana de la Comunidad  (Lakewood, CA), Prison Evangelist, House Painter

Angel Ortiz:  Pastor – First Alliance Church NYC (Christian & Missionary Alliance Church; the church Dr. A.B. Simpson started), Freight Supervisor – Javits Convention Center in NYC

Jack Brown:  Pastor – North Shore Bible Church (Essex, MA), Realtor – Sotheby’s International Realty, Grow New England – Regional Church Planting

Javier Forero: Pastor –  Iglesia Comunal La Esperanza (Lithia, FL), Chaplain – Crush It, Dominion, & more!, Coaching & Recruiting Church Planters –   Encompass World Partners

Plus via Video– Hugh Halter:  Church Planter – Adullum (Denver, CO), Author, Trainer with Missio, House Painter

Here’s his video that set up our conversation (the first 7 minutes):

bivo-bookI’d recommend his book: BIVO: A Modern-Day Guide for Bi-Vocational Saints as well.

 
Unfortunately, our workshop didn’t get recorded, but I posted my PowerPoint online here

 

 

Behind the “Goers” – What did the Church do in the Book of Acts?

book_of_actsI just wanted to share with you a little Bible study that was enlightening to me.  In reading through the book of Acts, I looked at the back story…not the leading characters who were “going” but the churches and believers who were literally behind the scenes.  I then compiled all these “incidental” verses which survey what happened “Behind the Goers.”  I thought there were some interesting things to be uncovered.

What did the church do? You will see it for yourself in these verses!

Examine for yourself the support and relationship that sending / receiving churches had in the story.

Download / Print “Behind The Goers” (PDF)

 

Multi-ethnic Church Conference comes to Long Beach!

Mosaix with Rosa & Jesus

Mosaix with Rosa & JesusThis week, I participated in the largest multi-ethnic church conference in the USA. More than 1,000 registrants descended upon the Grace Brethren Church of Long Beach, CA for the Mosaix 2013 Conference.

From main sessions, to workshops, to side bars and conversations, this event on November 5-6 pushed forward the need for church in North America to become more multi-ethnic… Read more from Encompass online here

Report from GraceConnect

Report from Exponential

See the Tweets at #mosaix2013

Mosaix founder Mark DeYmaz article “Cross-cultural Across The Street”

Shocking Statements of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew: My Top 20

Today I was reading Keith Minier’s blog and realized their church family @GracePick is just starting a series on the Shocking Statements of Jesus. ShockingStatementsMatthew

A while back I did a series on that, but just pulled statements from the Gospel of Matthew. In a quick tour of the first half of  Matthew, we outlined a list  the Top 10 Shocking Statements by Jesus. Then we continued in a second week with the second half of the book and did 10 more…so we ended up with a Top 20.

Here’s my list:

Shocking Statement #1: And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” bible.us/Matt4.19.NASB

Shocking Statement #2: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but..bible.us/Matt7.21.NASB

Shocking Statement #3: “So that you may know that the Son has authority on earth to forgive sins…Get up, pick up your mat… bible.us/Matt9.6.NASB

Shocking Statement #4: “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.” bible.us/Matt9.12.NASB

Shocking Statement #5: Do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you…bible.us/Matt10.19.NASB

Shocking Statement #6: But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. bible.us/Matt10.30.NASB

Shocking Statement #7: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, & I will give you rest.” bible.us/Matt11.28.NASB

Shocking Statement #8: “But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here.” bible.us/Matt12.6.NASB

Shocking Statement #9: For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother & sister…bible.us/Matt12.50.NASB

Shocking Statement #10: The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls & finding one pearl… bible.us/Matt13.46.NASB

Listen to the Message on the first 10 Online
Check out the Powerpoint of the first 10 Online

Top Ten Shocking Statements by Jesus in the second half of the book.  

Shocking Statement #11:  I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. http://bible.us/Matt16.18.NIV

Shocking Statement #12: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves & take up their cross & follow me… http://bible.us/Matt16.25.NIV

Shocking Statement #13: Whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven… http://bible.us/Matt18.4.NIV

Shocking Statement #14: If your brother or sister sins, go & point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen…http://bible.us/Matt18.15.NIV

Shocking Statement #15: Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant… http://bible.us/Matt20.25.NIV

Shocking Statement #16: The tax collectors & the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you… http://bible.us/Matt21.31.NIV

Shocking Statement #17: Jesus took bread broke it & gave it to his disciples, “Take and eat; this is my body.” http://bible.us/Matt26.26.NIV

Shocking Statement #18: My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done. http://bible.us/Matt26.42.NIV

Shocking Statement #19: Jesus cried out in a loud voice…My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?http://bible.us/Matt27.46.NIV

Shocking Statement #20: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…I am with you always…http://bible.us/Matt28.18.NIV

Check out the Message recording of the #11-20 online

Check out the Powerpoint of #11-20 online

 

My Highlights from Leading Cross-Culturally by Sherwood Lingenfelter

One of the areas of great growth and learning for me since I’ve been with Encompass World Partners has been in cross-cultural relationships. One of the experts in that area, and former board member with Encompass is Sherwood Lingenfelter. I encountered his book Ministering Cross-Culturally and learned a lot!

I have poked around in Lingenfelter’s more recent book Leading Cross-Culturally primarily because of our implementation of coalitions which are an architecture for everyone everywhere to engage in mission! It will be best if multiple cultures are involved, and it will also be a stretching experience for everyone involved.

Last night I was transfixed by chapter 8 on “Power-Giving Leadership.” Lingenfelter walked through the sticky Paul, Philemon, Onesimus situation. What a beautiful example of Paul giving away his position and power and empowering Philemon to lead and be like Jesus. This study provides an excellent contribution to Biblical leadership!

 

Lingenfelter’s definition for the book: Leading cross-culturally, then, is inspiring people who come from two or more cultural traditions to participate with you (the leader or leadership team) in building a community of trust and then to follow you and be empowered by you to achieve a compelling vision of faith.

LeadingCrossCulturally-coverBelow are a string of some of what I found to be the best quotes in my reading so far:

The most important part of empowering new leaders is to support them in the early stages when they need help and to release them as soon as they can walk in the ministry by themselves. Consider the analogy of a toddler learning to walk: as soon as the child takes steps alone, we encourage the child to keep going. Some people are very cautious about releasing young leaders; this is a serious mistake. To release is not to abandon but to let the young leader learn to walk. It is vitally important that we allow young leaders to take halting steps, allow them to stumble, even fall, and then, as mentors, encourage them to get up and try again. We can always support them and help lift them up after they have fallen. But they will never be successful leaders unless we release them to play the game, to do the work for which we have equipped them.

The focus of power-giving leadership is to follow Christ and, in so doing, to lead others to follow Christ. In the patterns of “normal” cultural life, our power and skills may produce leaders but probably won’t produce followers of Christ.

“Giving Philemon the freedom to choose is also a vision to grow (‘I know you’ll do even more than I ask’). Part of empowering leadership is to remind people of who they are and the way their (potential) actions are consistent with their identity in the Lord”

The power-seeking leader uses position and authority to exert mastery over others. In this situation, Paul used a letter to engage in a power exchange with Philemon. He had Onesimus in his custody, and he could have easily written a different letter that would have asserted Philemon’s obligations to him and induced Philemon to release Onesimus to Paul without ever letting Onesimus out of his sight. Paul understood that if he took that tactic, it would be a false path to acquire something that he desired. He would pervert the relationship that God had given him with Philemon, using his position as the senior brother in Christ to advance his own selfish interest. In doing this, Paul would have, in fact, undermined Philemon’s faith and the work of the grace of God in their relationship together.

Jesus must become the center of who we are…

To restore our human psyche and relationships to the will and purpose of God, Jesus must become the center of who we are and replace our quest for power. Only as we are motivated by the Holy Spirit and through the living Word of God can we relate to one another within the structures of human society to accomplish the purpose of God.

I will first argue that we must put Jesus “in the place of power as a proper source of healing and will”

The task and the routines of daily work always erode our mission and vision for the ministry. They also erode our spiritual values. The question is not whether our values are eroding; team values are always eroding. The question is, what are we doing as leaders to renew our sense of mission, to restore our vision, and to renew the values that are critical for multicultural teamwork? Our hope for effective leadership and ministries lies in aligning ourselves with the mission and work of God in a lost and broken world.

Leaders in particular must surrender their obsession to control and achieve, through worship at the cross.

While the process will be difficult, with periods of intense testing and struggle, building covenant community is a process of refocusing from doing what we want to being the people of God.

In the end the work of the kingdom depends on our obedience to the King. God cannot rule in people who are disobedient and in conflict with one another. God rules as we obey God and love one another.

Every leader who expects and hopes to be effective in leading cross-culturally must give repeated attention to the mission, the vision, and the values that are essential to kingdom work. Every team meeting should include some intentional renewal of mission, vision, and/or values. As soon as that component of the team is lost, the mission and the vision will be lost to the routines and the pressures of doing our daily work. Every case study that we have considered here has suffered because of a loss of mission, vision, and/or values among the people who were part of the multicultural team process.

Saying, “I was wrong,” is more powerful than saying “I’m sorry.”

One of my colleagues, Janice Strength, notes that saying “I was wrong” is far more powerful than saying “I am sorry.” She notes that we often push children to say “I am sorry” when they and we know they are not. To acknowledge “I was wrong” is to take responsibility for the action we have done.

I remind students in my classes that we are first emotional creatures and only secondarily rational. As we respond to crises or stressful situations in leadership, we rarely operate based on reason and rational processes. When things get tough, we first respond emotionally—frustration, anger, fear, disappointment, and betrayal. These emotions often get the best of us, leading us to seek power to protect ourselves, which in turn undermines the will and purpose of God.

I remember praying, “Please remove this person from leadership and give me someone else who can do the job more effectively.” God’s answer to this prayer was, “Absolutely no; don’t you understand my work?” I learned over a period of time that God loves weak people and that God intends leaders to work with the people whom God gives to them.

Gathered and Scattered…can you have it both ways?!?!

I like to describe our church @LosAltosGrace as having a “conventional church skin” and an “organic church soul.” Yes we have a Sunday Morning Worship Service, Sunday School, Youth Groups, and even a Christian School. To the casual observer, we have a very conventional church. But the Biblical principles which are foundational for how our church truly functions are much more organic than conventional. This kind of “animal” can be difficult for some to understand.

One of the things that we have been moving into for the past ten years is seeing the “groupings” of our church family as “mini-churches” or actual “organic expressions of the church.” Those groupings are adult Sunday School classes, young adult ministry, and even our choir! A couple of my friends, Phil Helfer (one of our pastors) along with organic church leader Neil Cole co-authored an excellent book called Church Transfusion which deals with this very topic.

Well, last weekend our church had a family meeting…just like all families do. We talked about what has gone on in the life and ministry of our church in the recent past. We also talked about money and about how God has provided and what it seems He is leading us to do. One of the things that members of our family have started doing is saving towards buying new carpet for the auditorium. We actually took this as an indication that we could invite others to save for that too, and when it’s fully funded, we can do the work. (There are a few other things that we itemized to help upgrade our facility, primarily in the auditorium)

In honest questioning, a very faithful and active member of our spiritual family asked, “If the new normal for our church is “organic” and with churches in homes, why are we renovating the auditorium? You can’t have it both ways!”

Wow, what a great question! A very important question! A question I wrestled with and prayed about for much of the week. I finally was able to string together my thoughts and sent the following response:

I’ve thought and prayed about how to respond to your email. I didn’t want to do so with haste, and I hope that my delay hasn’t offended you.

LookingBothWaysIn short, I do think you can have it both ways. Our facility is merely a facility, but it gets A LOT of use. It houses a preschool and an elementary school whose ministry is important and needs these upgrades as well. Our auditorium is used by our church family at least 52 times each year on Sunday mornings. That is a value for us as a family. It’s a touchpoint for our family — a time touch base each week and do some important things together: worship together with other saints, expose ourselves to the Scripture, connect with others in our family relationally and provide an entry point for others who are looking to find God or a spiritual family. Some people can make it each week, some can’t. It is a gathering time that is an important value. It isn’t the sum total of who we are as a spiritual family though. Our Los Altos Grace family is scattered throughout Southern California. Each of them would know that right now the time when they can connect with the largest percentage of our family would be a Sunday morning.

Families have this same phenomenon. Mealtime for example. Supper maybe served at 5:30 or 6pm each night. Everyone in our family knows that, but sometimes Mindi can’t make it because she has class, or one of the kids have a ball game. We have a rhythm and a habit as a family. We set the table, pray, eat, talk about our days, laugh and we clean up after. When someone isn’t at the table we miss them. We don’t doubt their part in our family nor do we think they are being rebellious. We trust that as they can, they will be at the table with us. We like the gathering of our family. It’s a habit, a rhythm, but it doesn’t define our family. Our kids are part of our family when gathered, or when scattered!

I’d suggest that the church is the same…scattered and gathered. Not one or the other. There are thousands and thousands, make that millions of people in Southern California who will never come to our Sunday gathering. Our charge is to go and make disciples…so we are seeking to do that. To “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” and not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together (Hebrews 10). We want to be all things to all men so that by all possible means God might save some. We don’t do this perfectly, or maybe even that well. But it is our calling as disciples, and as a church. Some of our gatherings will be in homes, or parks or schools. We will probably always have a Sunday morning gathering at our humble facility at 6565 Stearns Street.

Also we hope that our spiritual family will become scattered and decentralized, much in the same way as our kids grow up and move away. They start families of their own. This is true of you as your children are scattered from your dinner table now. It is a maturity thing, and we want to see God continue to scatter our spiritual family as well.

I value your investment and leadership in our church family. I’ve learned much from you as you faithfully love our Lord and do His work… Thanks for your desire to call our spiritual family to a heart-felt and obedient worship of our amazing Jesus. I hope that is helpful for you and I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee and talk about this more if you want to.

___

What do you think?

A Footwasher to the Footwashers online @ChristianityToday

A Footwasher to the Footwashers | Christianity Today

The first shall be last, and the last, first.

by Ken Barnes 

The mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, respectfully approached Jesus. She had a small request for Jesus. “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom” (Matt. 20:21). It sounds like a typical Jewish mother’s request (“My boys are good boys!”). She wasn’t asking much, only that one could be the assistant Savior and the other the associate Lord. Jesus must have thought that he had heard it all now.

Jesus replied in a straightforward fashion, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?” James and John chime in, “We can” (v. 22). Their response proves they are pretty clueless.

The other ten disciples get wind that mama has been politicking for the “Sons of Thunder.” The disciples start to make some noise of their own. “When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers”—probably because they also wanted those positions (v. 24). Pride and vanity have a tendency to bring to the surface more pride and vanity. So we see the picture—all the disciples jockeying for position, working one-upmanship. They were a pretty ratty bunch.

The First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First

Talk about a teachable moment. Jesus, the master teacher, was not going to miss this opportunity. But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave” (v. 25-27, NLT).

What a paradigm change! I wish I had been there to see the look on their faces. He had just described to them an upside-down leadership style. If you want to be a leader, become a servant; do what others are not willing to do. If you want to be first among the leaders, become a slave (a bond servant), not embraced with a legalistic obligation, but born of a free choice motivated by love. In this commitment there was no free agency; it was a lifetime of voluntary indentured service.

Remember, the Pharisees, the religious leadership of the day, modeled a different kind of leadership. They loved the best place in the synagogue. They loved to be noticed in the market place and for others to recognize them and say, “Hello, Rabbi.” The disciples must have been tempted to think that when their movement succeeds, it would be nice to occupy the best seats and to be noticed by the people. But after this little discourse by Jesus, they might have been thinking, Maybe I should rethink this leadership thing.

Finally, Jesus reveals to them the hinge that would support this radical service. That hinge would be the willingness to give up their lives. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (v. 28). At the core of all authentic service is a relinquishment. No, for most of us it will not be our physical lives, but in true service there is always the aspect of giving up what we want in order to do what he wants. How did this teaching go over with his disciples? Let’s fast-forward to the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth to answer this question.

The Secret Weapon

The scene is the last Passover meal that Jesus would share with the men he had picked to carry on his work here on earth. He knows their hearts and understands that they have a long way to go to apply his truth to their lives. He needed an object lesson that would demonstrate the leadership principles previously outlined. His disciples had been with him three and a half years. They had watched him raise people from the dead. He had touched people’s mouths and the mute spoke. Ears were opened and the deaf began to hear. They were amazed as the seas obeyed him. Yet, it hadn’t brought the change in their lives the Lord had sought. He needed a secret weapon that would not only change them, but also be a tool to reach the world. This was the last interaction with his disciples to etch upon their minds the image by which he was to be remembered. What would it be?

“Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him” (John 13:1-5).

Jesus takes a common towel and washes the disciples’ feet. That night he must have shaken Hell. Demons must have shuddered when they pondered what would happen if this mindset replaced the mentality of the world—this system of the world that is under the “control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), which says you are important according to position, possessions, or posture in life. Jesus blew a hole right in the center of this mentality by the most valuable taking the role of the least valuable.

A Footwasher to the Footwashers

I worked with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) for 17 years, 8 of those in Kona, Hawaii, where Loren and Darlene Cunningham, co-founders of YWAM, lived. On several occasions I heard Darlene say that God had called her to be a “footwasher to the footwashers.” When Loren needed to be away to take care of the vast responsibilities God had given him, Darlene was home taking care of the children, always with a positive attitude. I watched her spend untold hours counseling and encouraging those of us who were called to minister. We needed encouragement. Being logistical workers and not directly reaching the lost, we sometimes viewed ourselves as second-class missionaries. Darlene encouraged us by speaking worth and value into our lives both in relation to who we were and what we did. Through her life and example, she helped us esteem the high position of service to which God had called us. Like Jesus, she was willing to humble herself to lift others up.

I think we might be a bit surprised when God gives out rewards for our earthly deeds (Matt. 16:27). We might find high on his list of tasks, child-rearing responsibilities, washing socks, or championing others even though it placed us out of the glow of the limelight. I would not be the least bit surprised if on that day we have some shocked people when they finally realize that in serving God, it is not the height of the task or even its breadth that impresses God. It is the depth of our love for Christ—the motivation for our service—which catches the eye of our Father.


Read the original article here Copyright © 2013
Ken Barnes is the author of The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places (YWAM Publishing).

 

A Leadership Lesson from Charlotte’s Web by Kurt Miller

Charlottes Web

Great post from one of my favorite people on the planet.

In his book Xealots, Dave Gibbons reflects on the nature of true success as a leader:

Charlotte’s Web is a wonderful little children’s story by author E. B. White about a spider named Charlotte who lives in a barn just above the stall of a pig named Wilbur. Wilbur is worried that once he grows fat enough, the farmer is going to turn him into bacon. It’s a valid concern.

Charlotte and Wilbur develop a close friendship, and as Wilbur grows larger, Charlotte uses all of her resources to try to rescue Wilbur. She writes messages in her web to convince the farm’s owners that Wilbur is a pig worth saving. The story builds to the final chapter titled “The Moment of Triumph.”

So what was Charlotte’s moment of triumph?

As the story….  >> Read the rest here 

http://kurtamiller.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/a-lesson-from-charlottes-web/

 

Skunk Works are Needed

Skunk Works

In 1943, at the height of World War II, the engineers coming from the same schools being taught by the same professors were not producing the technological breakthroughs that were needed. To get faster and better results, Lockheed decided to try something different. The company selected its most creative engineers and put them all in a tent set up at the end of a runway next to a plastics factory in Burbank, California. The engineers were told to think together outside the box on a specific project.

The members of this group began to push boundaries and try new things. Without all the red tape of the standard business bureaucracy, they were able to get things done much faster, usually ahead of schedule, and often with nothing more than a verbal agreement and a handshake.

Skunk WorksThey became known as “skunk works” because of the smell of the plastic factory wafting into the tent. The name came from the Li’l Abner comic strip, and it stuck. Today skunk works has become a technical term in research and development and in the diffusion of innovation. It is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, often tasked with working on advanced or secret projects…. Read the rest here

Excerpted from “Church Transfusion: Changing Your Church Organically From the Inside Out” by Neil Cole and Phil Helfer (Jossey-Bass, © 2012)

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation 1863

Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.

Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Rethinking Leadership by Curtis Sergeant

Insightful and experienced strategist Curtis Sergeant shares about leadership…

Rethinking Leadership

Therefore, since ministry is not only for the “mature” but for all of us who follow Christ, all of us are “leaders” in some sense of the word. In the church we tend to think of leaders as those who serve in a role of one or more of the five-fold gifts in Ephesians 4:11-12, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers; or else in terms of the officers of the church, bishops/pastors, elders, or deacons. We tend to have an attitude that leaders in the church must be mature believers. This view is fine as long as we remember that is one type of leadership. In another sense, God has given each individual a sphere of influence. A poor, illiterate housewife in the developing world can be a “leader” for her children and neighbors. This type of “leadership” needs greater emphasis in the Kingdom of God today.

I like to think of this type of leadership in terms of the metaphor of a mother duck leading her ducklings. 20121110-173035.jpgAs they walk or swim single file, only the first duckling is following the mother duck. Each of the other ducklings is following the one preceding them in line. In order to lead a duckling like this, one does not have to be a mature duck, just one step ahead of another duckling. In this metaphor, it is important to realize there is only one Leader of leaders – Jesus. All the rest of us are simply ducklings. None of us is totally mature (to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ). We are all “in process”. This does not excuse us from the responsibility to lead those whom we can, however. We still have the responsibility to steward whatever leadership opportunities God has given us.

This excerpt is used by permission from a fuller article: Planting Rapidly Reproducing Churches by Curtis Sergeant

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...