John Wesley’s mom would go to her place when she felt overwhelmed. She would sit in her rocking chair, flip her apron over her head to meet with Jesus. Remember? She had many children running around needing to be cared for. She found her place of connection in the midst of chaos, sitting in her rocker with her apron over her head. Where is your place?Dew upon the ground. One lady was standing away from the group watching what was happening. (An amazing outflow of the Holy Spirit touched the group. A lady in a wheelchair was receiving a huge measure of healing; others were receiving emotional breakthrough, One lady had experienced depression for 10 years and was being set free.)
We prayed for the lady viewing the action. We told her every person receives and responds differently. Some laugh, some praise, some clap, some are silent, some cry etc. As we were talking with her we noticed the Holy Spirit was indeed upon her, yet she was not aware. He was landing upon her gently, like a fresh dew landing upon the grass. He knew her emotional need. She needed a gentle touch. When we explained what we saw she relaxed, and she received. Later during the testimony time she began to weep as she shared how much her encounter with the Holy Spirit encouraged her. He knew her. He knew how she was wired and He knew what she needed in that moment.
The whole purpose of hearing the voice of the Lord is to know Him better. When we hear Him, we can have a relationship with Him. Having a relationship with Him, we can then make Him know to others. Freely we receive. We can then freely give.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know Him better Ehp1:17-19
Stephen spoke at a youth event. Sharon, the leader, has been gathering young Korean teens together for many years. The fifty teens come from many different area churches. They are trained, encouraged and sent back to their local church. One of the leaders has trained many guitarist and worship leaders. It was an amazing meeting!
Teaching in the Korean school was really fun. Most of the students being trained were over sixty. There was a lot of hunger and humility in the group. The last night was powerful. Korean men usually do not show emotion and are rather reserved. We received several accurate words of encouragement for the men. They were very encouraged and had tears running down their faces. The Korean people are a wonderful people.
Not many people know I had trained many Korean pastors and leaders while working at Cincy Vineyard. I started a weekend intensive. They would come for three days, be trained and head back to their area. They would always bring gifts for Pattie.
Phillips Temple. I’ll be starting to train the leaders at PhillipsTemple in Trotwood in November. The leaders have a great foundation of prayer and the Word. Pattie and I have popped up to worship with them a few times. We always come away encouraged. I believe they are shifting the atmosphere in Trotwood. They have a desire to reach out to their community. This should be an exciting season for me and for the church.
If your group would like to have a session learning about hearing the voice of the Lord. Let me know on the connection section.
I had a great talk with Bruce Terry pastor of Liberty Church in Birmingham. He is one of the most encouraging men I know. He is also very smart and transparent. He talked about the book Traction… and the EOS system. It was an interesting talk. We talked about leaders and how the church is shifting to release talented people into the marketplace. Wise leaders understand they have the opportunity to train, value, honor, encourage, release and celebrate people into who God called them to be.
We talked about team. How visionary leaders need people to facilitate / implement the vision. (EOS an implementer)
He mentioned that the person / persons who lead to implement the vision, are just as needed, just as important and just as valuable as the leader. When there is no one who can practically and creatively implement the vision, the idea, is powerless it remains merely a concept.
Beginning with the end in mind, the implementer develops a plan by zooming out to see the big picture, then zooming in to see the action steps needed for the big picture to become a reality. The action steps are then developed and given to creative people who understand process, who love to solve problems, and who will enlist people to fill major roles. The challenge for visionary leaders is to value, honor, encourage and celebrate the people within the implementer leader role.
During our talk Bruce mentioned he realized the importance of The Parable Of The Talents in the context of recognizing and releasing talented people. Bruce translated the parable into the church situation. Jesus was talking about people within the local church with gifts and talents. The burying of the talents happens when leaders don’t recognize nor release people into the role they were gifted and called to fulfill.
Understand Jesus had clear vision. He gave instruction, and He had implementers, the disciples.
When you go into the city you will find a man carrying a pot. He will show you an upper room, prepare there. Have the people sit in groups of fifty. You will see a colt…
Can you imagine what these events would look like if the disciples didn’t prepare / implement what Jesus instructed them to do? No last supper. No triumphal entry. Chaos at an outreach.
Summing it up.
In order for a vision to become a glorious uplifting reality, implementers (people who volunteer, or who are hired) should be valued as gifts to the leader and the organization. When the leader recognizes the gift, they then have the opportunity to release the person to be all they were created to be… the vision unfolds, everyone wins, and growth occurs.
Tip: Don’t keep people in a box. Unwrap the gift.
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew22:36-40NIV
A friend of mine has traveled extensively and spoken to numerous pastors and church leaders. As a result, he’s discovered there is an epidemic. It seems there is a vacuum in many hearts; the vacuum is often discovered when believer’s feel / sense there must be more to life than what they are living. They may be encouraged to pray, worship, journal, read books, attend conferences, attend church or meditate upon scripture to fill their void. In reality, the vacuum they are sensing may be a purpose deficit.
All inflow, with no outflow, creates a sick heart. You and I were created to flow outward, to do good works.
Eph 2: 8-10NIV
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are saved by grace through faith not by works. However, we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
If you and I are not giving our lives away by serving others… somewhere… we, at our core, are purpose impaired.
The below diagram illustrates:
Everything in life flows from our connective relationship to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Everything. He is the source of our identity. Knowing Whose we are enables us to draw near with confidence.
In Him, we live and move and have our being. Our heart connection is so important. We draw near, and He draws near to us. His promise is true.
All life flows from our relationship with Him. We draw near to give: to give our hearts, to give our lives, to give our worship.
I give my worship because He is so worthy, so gracious, so loving, so forgiving.
It’s amazing… as we give, we often receive. (I personally believe we receive more than we are aware when we spend time in His presence.)
What we receive is a by-product of our worshipful giving. I give my time, I give my life as worship. He, in turn, pours His love and grace into my heart. When we receive, we then have something to give. Knowing Him, I can then make Him known. (I John 1:1-9)
The great Investor invests into our lives so that we are built up, and have something to give away to others.
He gives us love, joy, hope, faith, grace, power, talents, giftings, gifts, and passions for others.
As I make Him known, through active love and service, He in turn, gives something back… a sense of destiny, a sense of purpose, a sense of fulfillment.
It’s in the very act of giving, laying our lives down for others we receive. We receive encouragement when someone is genuinely encouraged and cared for through our service. We also can sense God’s favor as we give away what we have received. When we bless others, we are blessed.
My friend Shana has a new photography business. She decided to dedicate 10% of what she earns to help people in need. Yesterday, she went shopping for groceries and toiletries. She then headed up to Trotwood to deliver the groceries and supplies to women in crisis. She stayed awhile encouraging the women and children.
Here is a snippet of her story.
“There are days when my envy for what others have makes it hard to breathe and others when my heart aches for what others do not. Every day I work hard to be a humble servant, putting others ahead of myself in my relationships and in my business. All the money in the world would mean nothing to me if I couldn’t help others.
Today was hard and beautiful all in the same, I was able to gift a car full of groceries to the Mustard Seed Foundation in Trotwood, a home for teenage mothers. These girls are facing challenges on so many levels and I am so thankful this home exists. I was greeted with warm smiles and big hearts and I left behind a little goodness and grace.”
Her passion intersects with God’s purpose.
Her passion:To care for people. Her purpose:Release her creative gifting to care for others, both in her chosen profession as a photographer and giving to people in need.
Guess where her tank is filled? Shana’s life passion is connected to her life purpose. She genuinely cares for her clients and for the people in need in her community.
My wife teaches literacy enrichment.
Her passion:Child development. Her purpose:Teaching literacy.
She wants to love the kids as Jesus loves. She has done this well. She is loving, creative, joyful, kind and open hearted. Guess what? Kids love being with her. Her love for Jesus overflows in creative teaching.
Note: Both are not “full time” church workers. They are full-time Jesus followers.
Where does your passion intersect with God’s purpose?
Together:A Missional Community.
When we, together, worship, love, serve and care for others we become a missional community; a community on mission.
I’ve heard it stated, “If you pursue community you may develop community, but you may not be on mission. However, if you(all ya all), as a group of people, pursue mission you will form a community.”
Upward:Give. Give thanks and praise for what He did in you and through you and through… all ya all. Community on Mission=Missional Community.