Build Church: The Right Framework

Systems and structures are not for everyone, they are not the work of every person or personality. Yet we all benefit from a well-built and well-maintained structure. Just take a look at yourself for starters. After all if it wasn’t there we would just be a pile of skin, muscle, sinew and veins.

A strong and healthy structure creates an environment through which God can do some pretty incredible things.

At the Conference earlier this week, we were reminded on a number of occasions how a good system can actually help reach people, raise awareness both to those far from God and those within the church. They know ‘who we are’, ‘why we do what we do’ and ‘how to communicate the good news to others’.

The framework should be worked on together where we can come to a place where are agreeable knowing that the benefits will help us to build. It won’t rule us but it will remind us. It won’t get in the way but it will keep us accountable to all God desires to do, in us and through us.

Frameworks should be for the facilitation of growth. 

Frameworks are helpful in reminding people who we are and what we are about.

Frameworks for to aid better communication, greater collaboration and increased alignment to the vision. We should become better connected as team.

Frameworks create the right kind of accountability. Are we doing what we said we do? How can we improve things by 1% to increase our effectiveness for God?

Frameworks should help in the resourcing and the equipping of those who have a mind to work and who are about the building of what needs to be built.

Frameworks do not replace the power or the presence of God.

Frameworks on their own cannot transform a persons life, rescue them or make them a new creation. Only God can do that. They can however make sure we remember ‘it’s all about Jesus’.

A good framework will help bring control to what is being built without holding people back or disempowering them. My heart is to work with others who have the same desire and help create the right frame, structure and systems within my own life, my marriage, my family, my teams and the church I am part of, to create an environment where we flourish, grow bigger and bear the right kind of fruit.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree or disagree with me?

A Reminder to Walk With God

And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” [Genesis 35:2-3]

When was the last time you did an inventory of your life?
When was the last time you examined yourself to check that you were actually living from the right position?
When was the last time you were honest enough to say that other ‘stuff’ was getting in the way of your walk with God?

I can procrastinate with the best of them. There is always something else I could be doing. I watch too much tv, I play too much Football Manager, I just waste a lot of time. Nothing wrong with those things. Rest and relaxation is important but even as I write this sentence I am convicted that despite that being right, I could still make more effective use of my time.

I want my walk with God to be the best it can be. Then honestly, I need to spend time on it. I need to spend time with God. Like any relationship, for it to flourish and grow it requires time invested into it.

I want to build a strong family for God, not just a beautiful family. This is more than just hanging out together, although that’s important but it’s about intentionally modelling what it means to love God, to honour Him and live by faith. That doesn’t always happen with just being together. It also doesn’t mean we are having Bible studies and prayer sessions in our house either.

I want to write a book. I love writing. I don’t know if I’m any good yet but it’s definitely on my heart. I just don’t give it enough time and effort. Without the time and effort, it will never happen.

I am learning that God wants all of my attention.
I am learning that God wants me to have a full life but not so full that I have no room for Him.
I am learning that God wants my life to be full but full of the right things.

If I am choosing to ‘walk with God’ then I must be a ‘BIG ROCK’ in my life. I am intentionally putting it in first and I have to recognise that there are consequences to this choice. This first decision will affect all other decisions, it will become the filter by which I can confidently say, ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ to other things.

God spoke to Jacob and reminded him that he had decided previously [Genesis 28] to make his walk with God a ‘BIG ROCK’. Yet we find him here just getting on with life, hanging out with family, settling down, a life consumed with the small stuff. God challenges him to reassess and get the ‘BIG ROCK’ positioned correctly.

In response Jacob made some decisions that would affect him and his family…
He got them to put away the foreign gods. A removal of the ’stuff’ that was getting more of his attention than God was.
He got them to purify themselves. To come clean and stay clean, to remove contaminants, not allowing the sinful nature to distract them and cause them to drift from walking with God.
He told them to change their garments. To get ready for the journey with God, wearing the right clothes as prescribed by the word of God.

I am still working on only walking with God and I guess I will be until I get to heaven. I find it easy to be distracted by the ’new shiny’ thing. I am glad for the reminder that I said I would walk with God and that everything about me would flow from that great decision. It’s time to get myself aligned again.

How about you? When was the last time you checked your walk and positioned it as the BIG ROCK in your life from which all other decisions would be made?