Tuesday, June 24, 2008
It seems to be the crowning thoughts on what has been a day of quite a bit of introspection. I feel like I say the wrong things at the wrong time, not feeling a great deal of confidence about my work and wondering if I fit. And yet, God affirms that He has me exactly where He wants me to be and that I am weak - and that HE is strong. There is nothing that is impossible where he is concerned. I have what it takes because of God.
Lot's I could put down here but not really wanting to right now. I'm just enjoying listening to a really powerpacked worship time. I'm not feeling like I want to be in there right now but I'm thankful to be here.
I have got to get some of this guys perspective. He speaks in my language. He dialogued about the three spaces that we have in life as believers are church leaders. Our first space is the space where we engage with people who like me because they are like me. This is what most churches do. Create a space on Sunday's separate from the world (by the way not what the church was supposed to be in my opinion) where people who all generally agree interact together. The danger is that I create a world where I only interact with people like me. In our first space we can all say and do certain things because we don't filter thought through truth because we all agree anyhow. It becomes our own subculture or language. The dream would be that the 1st space would be a place where unsaved people would bring their unsaved friends. if it's not - then get rid of it and start over.
The second space is the Marketplace, day by day, with those who happen to be there. The place where we all live but we are not always present... There is tremendous opportunity to build bridges relationally in the 2nd space but far too often we get pulled from the 2nd space into the 1st space and loose all relevancy to the world far from God. In the 2nd space I have to earn the right to be heard. That is my primary responsibility. Then the question becomes...Am I present? Am I responsible with the one person that God brings into my life?
For me, this is the mainstream world. Getting myself out of my church world and looking for and engaging in the "marketplace" through anything. Personal training, Triathlon, reading, speaking, whatever. I need to intentionally look for opportunites to be in the 2nd space.
(By the way - all of this comes from Acts 17 where Paul is in Athens. The 1st space is when he heads to the Jew's after being distressed by all the idols. Why did he go there? Because it was the natural thing to do. The second space is where he is out and about teaching, walking around, steeping himself into the culture around him. The third space is in the worlds "then they took him..."
The third space is where you are invited to go, you must be looking for the fingerprint of God and then leading people to that fingerprint, to God all the time.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?
My first space is my churchy culture where I'm constantly around people who will not challenge me and let me live in mediocrity. My influence and relevancy is lost because everyone believes as I do and in most ways causes my spirit to atrophy.
My second space is where I need to spend more time and to engage more. This is where I engage with people, one or many and join with them, love on them, relate to them and serve them. Live out the gospel as Christ did.
My third space is what I aspire to. This is where God opens doors of influence to be used by him and through his power to impact and influence people towards him.
Great stuff. I would like to read more of what Erwin has to say.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Anyhow...Bill spoke on vision - he's really good at that. Key points:
- Vision must be owned.
Vision in his definition is a picture of the future that releases passion in people. Vision can be clear, it can be compelling, it can be great and God honoring BUT if it's not owned it will not have the impact it could. Bill looked at the story in John 10 and the two types of shepherds. The owner and the hirling and what happens when the wolves come. When strife and struggle come the hirling runs like hell, the owner stays and cares for the sheep. The teaching kind of came out of this because ultimately at some point every person in leadership finds themselves at a crossroad, a fork in the road to either stay the path and engage and do the work and dig deeper and stay in the owner mindset or take the easy road and become a hirling. Churches, ministries, businesses are full of leaders that have taken the easy road. I've always heard of it as the "employee" mindset but as I reflect on this I am fully aware of how much I fell into this as I began to loose my heart and passion for ministry at SoulRio.
Is it possible to have a vision, in today's world, that is worth dying for?
When followers see a leader who is willing to die for his/her vision they begin to take ownership. Acts 21 (Paul and the prophet as he travels to Jerusalem.)
Then Bill went to some specifics about vision
- Vision Formation: there are two ways to do this, either the solo Mt. Sinai approach or the Team approach where you bring the team together and ask "What does God want this _____ to look like 3-4 years from now?
- Vision Refinement: is the process of shopping the vision to different departments or groups of people to get their thoughts and input. Ultimately you will see some percentage of shift from the 1st step but what is even more important is the ownership that is being developed.
- Vision Declaration: big learning here was that words matter.
My #1 take away was: The greatest determiner of whether or not people will own the vision is the level they perceive the senior leader owns it.
In my heart, I realized how much I needed to ask God to forgive me for taking the hirling approach to so many years of ministry, especially at the end. And ask for wisdom that I would not go there again. In subtle ways I can so easily go there because I don't want for things to be difficult. The agreement begins with, "I don't make enough money, barely minimum wage, to care about...(fill in the blank) which goes boldly in the face of Colossians 3:17 which says "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
So to sum up - that's what I am committed to do.
Rick Cole, Erwin McManus, Ed Young Jr., Matthew Kelly and Bill Hybels. Not to mention that Delirious is one of the bands performing throughout. it will be a great time and I'd like to hope that I'll be writing much on this blog about the applications of the teaching and speaking that I hear.
Couple that with a post from a great newsletter that I am going to post up in a minute or two from Patrick Lencioni. I hate walking away from these types of events with too much. I want to get the right stuff in me so to speak. It's almost like "overeating" or putting too much gas in the tank. Humanly, I am beginning to understand and know my capacity for taking in but what I want to test is can I immediately empty some of that knowledge into a blog or into others by engaging with 3rd person teaching? I guess we'll see.
On a real specific level, the goal of this event is to sign up leaders to be coached by our company. That would be a good thing because it's slow right now!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
That happened to me the other day.
I've avoided blogging because I don't really feel like I have anything to say. I don't feel eloquent with my words or phrases and have this fear of being rejected, however, today I just don't care. My grammar might suck as might my punctuation and spelling. I just want to write.
I'm frustrated. I want to shout and ask God where he is in all this. Why hasn't the house in Albuquerque sold? Why hasn't the Jeep sold? What's with my wife not being able to find a job yet? Why did I go from making $120K a year to making $20K a year? Willingly? These are all questions that seem so frivolous. I know in my head that life is not supposed to all be easy and smooth and there may be many days and weeks and seasons where life is very unknown. The reality however, is that is hard. Living life without known boundaries and known outcomes scares me because I have no control. I want control so I can be safe. And that has got to be the main issue.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
And today has been a great day to be reminded of how quickly technology is changing and how hard it is to keep up! Important to do however.