A couple of weeks ago I have the opportunity to have a guest post on People of the Second Chance, if you haven't had a chance to read it, you can find the blog post here: Grace That Covers All..
We had district conference over this week, 3 of the most challenging and confirming days of my year. I saw the leadership of our district receive a ratification vote of well of 90% for each person, witnessed the passion in the lives of pastors from around Eastern Ontario, and came away with a few very earth shattering moments concerning my own faith. I want to share with you the 3 words that I have been both affirmed and crushed by, almost in a parallel moment.
1. We already have good ideas. I went away to the conference with an idea in mind that I felt was decent, the system is almost built, the network ideal for it is completed and the structure is on its way. And I got frightened by the subconscious thought that everyone would say no, that my idea is not good enough. As Ian Green spoke these words 'we all have good ideas' I instantly went to thinking about what I had been working on and I knew God was saying to me through this point in the message, 'You have good ideas'. As for the rejection part of my thought process, that was handled as well, which leads to the second word I felt was for the season I am in.
2. We can not fail, we can only learn. Learn how to do something and how not to do something. Even if my idea is rejected I need to learn from that moment and discover what to change, if anything. With every idea there is risk, so we need to be active in our faith and understand that people will say no, but you did not fail, you simply have to learn from it and see what needs to be changed in the approach. God does not set us on a path of success and failure he sets us on a path of growth and learning, so that we can find new ways to advance the Kingdom, to liberate people from bondage, to celebrate who we are, to show that He is a loving God and He is motivated by the cry in our hearts to give us good ideas so we can live better lives until Jesus returns.
3. A passion for the lost. This is the word that I came a way with, it's the word that led to the word I came away with. During my time at the altar I was seeking for God to give me a greater passion for the lost, just as a couple dozen other pastors were doing. Somewhere in my time of unstructured, raw, driven prayer I realized I was getting no where. There was no passion building in my heart, no burden for lost souls, no need to be outreach focused and my heart was instantly shattered like a mirror receiving a hammer blow to it's fragile existence. What I realized in that exact moment was that I cannot receive a greater passion for the lost if I am not seeking first a greater passion for His Word. This is where knowledge and passion and compassion and justice and liberty and love and wisdom and all that we need to show the lost is held in abundance. God's word is like a spring of untapped passion and if I am to desire a greater passion to reach those who have not heard the gospel, I first need to have a greater passion to feed my self with the gospel, to be entrenched in the voice of God for every season of my life. In this, and only in this will I find a greater passion for the lost, because in His Word I will find life and joy, and from that I can share more fervently the story of God, and show that everyones story matters.
If you were at EOD 2011, please share what you brought away from it so we can encourage each other to continue learning as leaders.
For everyone reading this: what is God speaking to you these days? What is it that you are finding remarkable in life right now? What's your good idea? I look forward to hearing from you.
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