Build Church: Know Your Comfort Zone

Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace [Matthew 28:29 Message]

There’s a lot of talk about getting out of your comfort zone and I get that. We fill our days with so much stuff which in reality is of no eternal purpose, both individually in our Christian life and corporately as the body of Christ. We are very comfortable in our faith.

A better focus might be to know our comfort zone. To learn the unforced rhythms of grace Jesus wants to walk and work with us in. To find our best fit. To discover our unique calling and to then ride this wave with all of our effort and determination.

Anyone who know me well enough should know that after Jesus, other than my family, there are two main things which have my heart – raising the next generation of leaders and building local church. I am on the journey of discovery still, even after so many years that to be fruitful for God in both of these will no doubt involve the following…

To get into my zone I first have to get out of my comfort.

I have to give the Holy Spirit permission to convict me to move me.

Once I am in the zone, only I am the one responsible for putting the right kind of effort in to it.

To bear the best kind of fruit, the God-given destiny kind of fruit, my life has to be about more than just the fruit of my own labours.

I am not there yet. Let’s be honest, there have been good days and not so good days. I have frustrations. Yet the only person getting in the way of me building anything of eternal significance with my life is me. So best get over myself, repent, remind myself that my preferences are for laying down and just get on doing what it is I feel God is asking me to do.

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Lead Well: 10 Steps Towards Gods Future For Us

 

 

 

 


We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps [Prov 16:9 NLT]
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. [Prov 16:9 Message]

When I was younger I don’t remember having any great ambition to be something or someone in the future. Maybe you did. I would have loved to have been a sportsman of some sort as I was pretty good at a few. I can complain about lack of opportunity but I lacked the discipline needed when the opportunity came along.

Since then I have discovered that leading well is less about the destination and more about the steps along the way. It is less about what I achieve and more about who I become along the way.

Don’t get me wrong, we need the big dreams and a vision of a preferred future but it is the steps we take along the way which determine where we get to. And then we need to happy that when we get ‘there’ the preferred future may doubtless look different to what we anticipated.

Dreams are exciting and in reality, quite easy. We can all imagine great things. Steps though are more tricky, they represent where the rubber hits the road.

Steps take courage.
Steps involve action.
Steps are time consuming.
Steps demonstrate our faith in God.
Steps will grow us.
Steps can be hard work.
Steps can be quick sometimes or slow at other times.
Steps are often lonely.
Steps take us somewhere.

Steps are Gods to determine. After all, He wants to get us to where we ‘need’ to be more than we want to get to where we ‘think’ we should be.

At the age of 47 I never imagined I would be where I am, doing what I do, but I am. God’s plans have worked out how He saw best. To say I have faith in Him means trusting where I am and the journey I am walking are the steps He is wanting me to take.

My responsibility is simple ~ keep walking, one step at a time, with God very much in the lead position.

Why not take a moment to thank God for where He is brought you to?
Then pray and give Him permission to keep ordering your future steps.

 

 

Walk With God: Don’t Be a Jonah

I think it comes naturally to be a Jonah. To run from the call of God rather than towards it. To disagree with what we are being asked to do. To dare to believe we know better.

You cannot outrun God. You cannot outrun the call of God. 

Haven’t we all been there, wondering how we ended up where we did. We should have gone in one direction but we chose another. We find ourselves in a dead end or  simply in the wrong place and in trouble.

That’s Jonah.

So, let’s not do a Jonah.

He found himself inside a giant fish.

He never needed to wonder how he got there, he knew.

It’s a rough moment for Jonah. A 3-day rough moment until the fish threw him up but God has a myriad of ways to capture our attention. And more importantly, a second chance to be obedient.

Lesson learned, you would think.

Jonah continues to be frustrated by the way God behaves. God doesn’t do what we would do. Where we would call for judgement and punishment, God provides love and forgiveness. In our way of thinking this is not fair yet to God, it’s the perfect illustration of fairness.

We want fairness to be toward us but then to determine whether it should be given elsewhere. That is not fair.

God’s long arms of abounding love and slow anger is completely fair. Everyone can receive it, especially those who respond to the call to repent, who turn their heart back to God. It doesn’t seem fair but it is, and I am a thankful recipient of it.

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that He said He would do to them, and He did not do it [Jonah 3:10]

So, let’s not be a Jonah. Instead let’s be more God-like in our working out of fairness in the way He deems things to be fair.

Maybe we should check our hearts today. Is there something God asked to do which we have our done best to ignore, turn away or even run from. Repent, then go for it and get back on the job for God.

 

Influence 2017: Session 5

The final session of the day with Dr Robi: Conquering the Giant…

We may say to ourselves ‘Someone should do something about that?’ Maybe that someone is you. 

We are the right people, positioned in the right place, to do the right thing. 

Step 1: Preparation: this about positioning rather than training, positioning by the Holy Spirit [James 1:2-4]

Step 2: Peseverance: not about endurance but rather about faithfulness and continuing to be faithful. For example, keeping on ‘loving’ someone even when it’s mundane. 

One step at a time, which is pretty boring really. It’s about being the same person in private and in public. 

Step 3: Prevail: just as you’ve conquered the giant, get ready, there will be another one.  

To prevail is to become more than a conqueror, whatever comes your way. 

Remember that Gods way is not to take us out of a situation but instead He will help us to get through it. 

—–

Been an amazing day but as always I am encouraged, inspired and challenged, ready for what God has in store for me next. 

Influence 2017: Session 3


Great session ith Pastor John Greenow from my own church, Xcel taking about roots and being established by them…

God wants us to be realigned because we have an assignment. God wants to relocate our soul in preparation for the next season. 

That we would be rooted and established

It’s from the root that the fruit will ultimately grow. Our roots really matter (Hebrews 12:15)

Hold on to the grace so we don’t become bitter. If worries about the fruit then go back to the source, to the roots.

God has deposited in us, rooted in us – gifts, righteous frustrations, things we are to use. 

Do not dismiss them because they don’t look like much or not glamourous enough

Love the deposit God has made is us. Not comparing ourselves with others. To be happy with your calling. Think of the difference that could make. 

What one word would you use to describe yourself? After all, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Pull away from the dirt of discouragement or from the soil of failure. 

Get our gifts out of unemployment and use them. Grace is the humility which provides the opportunity to use our gifts. 

By faith we use them because the way we use them is important. Use them by love. That is the filter. 

Strengthen your roots. Protect your roots. Stay under grace. Don’t downgrade, deny or drift from your roots. There is fruit coming. 

Influence 2017: Session 2


Here are the notes from this session with Dr Robi:

God loves it when we push the envelope and make things happen. 

So what do you believe is possible? What does God believe is possible?

God wants us to take off in flight. We try and try again and that’s exhausting. 

3 things which stop us from taking off:

FEAR – of actually flying

FORGIVENESS – you can’t take off until you have dealt with your baggage

FAITH – all things are possible but first we must believe in God

Our ‘flight control’ is working at keeping us all safe. There is dialogue between captain and air traffic controller for airway clearance in preparation for flight. 

God wants us to fly. And we are free to fly. 

—–

Challenged to take off now. 

Build Church: Do What You Can

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I remember being asked the question ‘How did you get to do what you are doing in church?’ I’m guessing it may have been a leading question but that doesn’t really matter because the answer is simple….

“DO WHAT YOU CAN”

A few months ago I preached a message which included the one verse account in the book of Judges of a person called Shamgar. He demonstrated the qualities that answer the question above.

He used what he had, he did what he could, and he started where he was. In other words…just serve. Do something. Do everything. Do what you helps. If you can do it, then do it.

With this kind of attitude we build the church, we make the name of Jesus better known, we love one another and glorify our Father in heaven. From such an attitude a new orange cake business was started, a new honest blog was begun.

When we live feeling like others owe us a favour or that we have somehow become entitled to rewards or promotion due to all we have already done, we are in danger of falling into pride and losing our focus on the God we are called to serve. What does it matter if we end up doing the same thing for the next 50 years? If it honours God and  helps builds His church, is that really a problem?

Use what you have. Do what you can. Start where you are. Get on the journey of serving and allow God to then direct the route and the steps He has ordained. God wants to get us to where He needs us to be more than we want to get there, so the best option is always to just start to serve somewhere.

Is It Only Tuesday?

Been a jam-packed couple of days. Lots going on. I’m sure your week may have been the same.

I realise that the life of Pastor might not seem that fast-paced to most but it’s definitely never dull with lots of variety. It is not all sitting, reading my Bible and praying. Sometimes I wish it was.

Meetings ~ of all kinds. Finance. Operations. Diary. Xcel Bangalore. Key Leaders & Congregational Pastors. Goodbyes. Catch ups. All about moving toward the 2020 vision. Asking the right kind of questions, hopefully, that challenge the process and make sure we always remember ‘why’ we do what we do and do it as well as we can.

Happy to do all of these with some amazing people who share the same determination to get the job done. To do all we can to help set up the opportunity for someone to connect with their Saviour. It may sound cliché but nonetheless true.

So, it’s only Tuesday. That just leaves me 5 more days of this week filled with more catch ups, discussions about ideas and the future, conversations about life, praying for people, lunch with good friends from Australia, Friday night prep, and then Sunday with my Xcel Church family. Always excited for a Sunday and this one is extra special as we have the wonderful Steve & Rachel Mawston with us.

Don’t feel sorry for me. I love what I do and why I get to do it. Building local church is my passion. Serving my Saviour is the most exciting thing I think I could spend giving my life to. How about you?