Will You Step Up?

My recent posts have been about looking out for the one, being willing to invest in one person in that apprentice style role. However, this is about the other side of this opportunity…

Who will be the one who wants to be invested in?

Lots of people want success, want to progress but are not wanting to learn. The opportunity is there but not all are willing to do what it takes to own it. There’s risk in being the one who invests in others. There is risk in being the one who wants to be invested in too. Perhaps that’s why some people back off from putting themselves in this position.

Step up. Grab a hold of the chance to learn. Be listening. Ask questions. Put yourself in the world of someone who can teach you. Just never stop being someone who wants to learn.

Will you be one of those who steps up?

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Your Power of One Experience

Been a great series at Xcel Church.

I think these conversations and connections were already happening but talking about them has increased our awareness of them. [It’s a bit like choosing a new car. You thought there weren’t many about but from the point of choosing you start to see them everywhere. It’s got a special name but can’t remember it] Maybe it’s demystified them for us. The fact that we don’t need to see salvation in every conversation for it to be considered good. One conversation is just one step. We sow the seeds, we water the seed BUT God brings the increase.

So what’s your experience been?
What’s your power of one story?
Had any great conversations?
Been surprised at the easiness of it?

I’ve been stuck with my thought on the power of one idea. I have an idea that we could ALL help one another with our ideas. Taking the philosophy of the early church and how they worked to make sure that everyone had everything they needed…maybe this idea could work.

On our own we can get so far. Some of us might even make it. For most…we have an idea, don’t know how, so give up. What could we achieve if we got the right people round us. Not just for encouragement but with resources. As John Maxwell says ‘No one is as clever as all of us’.

What is your idea?
What’s that one thing you would pursue if you thought it would succeed?

OR
How could you help someone?
What one thing could you give for free [perhaps]?

[Before someone comments – there are sites out there sort of like this]

The Power of Perhaps

Ideas come in all shapes and sizes. We have many everyday. From passing thoughts to crazy dreams…ideas come and ideas go.

Many of the things we now take forgranted were once an idea. Maybe even an idle thought, dismissed at first as something that would never work, never be, never happen but today is excepted as normal. Light bulbs. Aeroplanes. Women’s votes. Electricity. Mobile phones. Broadband. The list is literally endless.

Ideas change history. The power of one idea, grabbed a hold of by one person, who with drive and determination turns it into reality. We can all have an idea. Add a little of God’s favour to it and who knows where it could take you.

Think about it for a moment…
That name of someone which for some reason has popped into your head
That conversation you missed because you were in such a hurry
The people you pass everyday but never take time to notice
Thoughts about the future and what you would really like to do
Things that make you glad, mad or sad

Ideas. All the time. Everyday. And we just miss them. Don’t say that God is not giving you the opportunity to do something when God presents us with opportunities to do something everyday. The problem is we choose to ignore them because they are not what we want to do, or they are inconvenient to our timetable or we’ve had a busy day so we opt out. Ouch!

In 1 Samuel 14:1-14 Jonathan had an idea. He turned to his colleague and said “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” A simple idea. Or maybe not. Look at where they were – the outpost was up a mountain. One they would have to climb first before fighting the Philistines when they got there.

I think my response would have been less enthusiastic than his colleagues. It will never work may have been part of my reply. Let’s ‘group-chat’ for a moment about the feasibility of this before we take any steps. We rationalise to the point of excusing ourselves. Maybe we are more inclined to pray ‘Lord, keep me safe’, rather than how Jonathan might have prayed ‘Lord help me in this daring and dangerous idea’.

There is no gilt-edged promise of success when you pursue an idea. Jonathan uses the word ‘perhaps’ as his persuasive argument that it was possible. ‘Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf.’

Don’t know about you but I think I would have wanted more than ‘perhaps’. Every idea though lives for a time in the arena of ‘perhaps’. The risk element that it may not succeed. Perhaps it will, perhaps it won’t. Too often we air on the side of perhaps it won’t. For Jonathan and his armour-bearer perhaps it won’t would have meant death. The exciting part is this…for your idea, for your dream, for your opportunity…

PERHAPS THE LORD WILL ACT ON YOUR BEHALF

You don’t need much of God’s favour to bring about great victories.
You won’t see God’s favour much if you don’t step out into the unknown zone of ‘perhaps’.

Idea + Perhaps God Will = The Potential for Anything to Happen

Let’s enjoy the ride…it’s called FAITH
FAITH in a God who can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or think.
Perhaps…

Risk or Safe

Had a thought the other day about not playing it safe. Wish I had read these verses then. Luke 19 tells the story that Jesus shared about the individuals who were left in charge of particular sums of money and how on the return of the master, two of them had increased what they had been given, while the other had just hidden it.

What a great example of the dilemma many of us face. Should we take a RISK or should we play it SAFE. Rewards come to those who RISK. Not stupid risks, but intentional, purposeful risks. Taking hold of what God has given us and doing something with it.

‘Risk your life and get more than you dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.’ The Message I think I know which one I would rather have – how about you?

We Shouldn’t Play it Safe

We do all we can to stay safe.
We are extremely risk averse.
Culture is shaping us this way.
You are more likely to injure yourself from a paper cut filling out the risk assessment forms for your events than from any event itself.

This is a challenge then to any Christian. I don’t think that safe is in God’s dictionary.
Safe is comfortable.
Safe is familiar.
Safe is easy.
Safe keeps me still.
Safe sees me contained.
Safe says no.
Safe doesn’t change anything.

Safe is dangerous. It can keep me on the fringe of where God really needs me. It can push me to the outer edge of where the real action is. In Matthew 26:58 it says that ‘Peter followed at a safe distance’. It was in the safety of distance that he was able to compromise, to disassociate himself from Jesus, from what he knew was right.

When you read through the Acts of the Apostles you don’t read about people playing it safe. In fact, they seemed to head to where the danger was. The individuals, many unnamed in Hebrews 11 who endured immense hardship, pain and trials for a prize that they didn’t see. Paul headed to places where he knew he would be arrested.Now, I’m not saying we need to go and deliberately put ourselves in danger but that maybe there are some things we could do if we were only a little bit more willing to let go of our ‘safe’ places and put our toes in the water of risk more often. If I’m honest, I have a low pain threshold in comparison to these legends of the faith…maybe that’s why we consider them legends.

You may have some suggestions but here are some of mine…
…get involved in a community project
…go on an overseas missions trip
…downsize your house to give financially into the kingdom
…sacrifice some time to serve somewhere – not just on a Sunday (although thats a good place to start)
…take some young people under your wing and invest in their lives (and not just the good ones)
…spend less so you can give more
…have some people round for a meal (and not just people who are like you) – expand our worlds a little bit more
…volunteer
…investigate whats going on in the world (follow amnesty on twitter) and do what you can – pray, give, support

Again – these are not things I’m necessarily doing either. It’s part of the journey that I am on too. All I’m recognising is this…moving into a lovely new building is not the prize, there’s not much danger in that. Stepping up into a new larger room as we will be doing in Darlington soon is not the prize. What I do to help fill it, pay for it, grow it…that’s where I need to play it safe a little less often. How about you?