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Tag Archives: experience

Who Cares How Much Leadership Experience You Have?

Pegs

Pegs – coloured – concepts  by Ruth LIvingstone

Yes.

And I mean it!

I recently realized something really simple that I can’t believe it eluded me for so long.

While I have been leading for many years…

While I was a youth pastor with a thriving youth ministry for over a decade…

While I have plenty of skills, understanding, and knowledge about how to lead a church…

While I have read multiple books on leadership…

None of that means that those I lead are at the same leadership level as I am.

So what does this require of me?

I MUST MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE AT.

I realized that I have constantly expected people to operate at the same level that I am at.  To do the things that I do.  To understand everything I understand.

Notice that inherent in that belief is the thought that I know better than everyone else.

Hardly. 

But, even if I do, I cannot expect people to learn overnight what it has taken me years upon years to learn.

This would be nice in a fantasy world, but not in reality.

To see people understand what I understand and do what I can do, it takes…

Time.

Patience.

Grace.

Understanding.

Relationship.

And, with all of that in mind, I remember this:

We will grow together.

While those I lead are growing under my leadership, I must continue to grow too.  And, much of my growth will come from things that they teach me.

The people I lead don’t care how much leadership knowledge I have.  They care about whether I’ll walk with them in this journey of growth.

I’m ready.

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2013 in CityLife Church, Leadership, Life, Uncategorized

 

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Two Deaths in One Week

In all 33 years of my life, I have never watched anyone die.

Sure, I’ve been to countless funerals and even experienced the death of a baby that was growing in my wife’s womb.

But, I’ve never seen anyone pass from life to death. (Or, for those of us who believe in Jesus, from life to life!)

This last week, I saw two people make this transition.

In both cases, I showed up to the room under five minutes before they passed.  I had the opportunity to watch them take a few breaths, then pass away.

One of them was the mother of a CityLife church member.  The other was my grandpa.

I have a few takeaways:

1. It’s great to have people around us to support us!  To go through these moments alone would be torture.  We need family and friends.

2. We must enjoy the moments we have with everyone! I remember my grandpa telling stories for hours and never stopping.  We had to find excuses to get away!  I remember his continued trips to the dessert table to eat ice cream and pie.  I’m sure he would eat those for every meal if given the opportunity.  I treasure those crazy moments!

3. Every breath counts.  Every breath is an opportunity to live more, experience more, give more, grow more, and learn more.  Make it count!

4. Death is life.  In God’s world, this is true.  Death is simply a transition to the fullest experience of life that exists.  If you don’t know him, you are missing out!

5. God has everything. Whatever you need and whatever you feel…God understands it all and has the answer to it all. Trust him today!

 
 

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The Colors of Change

We all know that with the changing of seasons, leaves change on the trees.  In my backyard I have a fruit tree.  I don’t have too many trees that have changing leaf colors.  But, I recently realized that the apples on our apple tree started changing from green to red.

This interested me.

As the apples on my tree continue to grow and mature, their color naturally changes as a result.  Or better said, when then color starts to change on my apples, I know that they are growing up!

When the apples are mature, there will be a few things that are distinctly noticeable:

They will be good to look at.

They will taste good to eat.

They will be nutritious for my body.

Galatians 5:22-23 states, “22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”

In many places of the Bible, trees are symbolic of human beings.  Fruit is that which comes as a result of maturity in our lives through the work of the Word of God (Jesus) and His Holy Spirit.

Read this (Psalm 1:1-3):

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

A follower of Christ who is growing in maturity through His Word and through the power of the Holy Spirit will naturally show the colors of change.

Those around us will notice the difference.

And, what will others receive when they experience the fruit of our lives?

They will look at us and realize that they are seeing something good!  Our happiness, our joy, our love will impact them.

They will experience us through relationship and will leave with a good “taste in their mouth”.  They will enjoy their experiences with us.

They will take what we have to offer (the presence of God) and they will be transformed as a result (nutrition for their souls).

Take a look around you.  See the people who are around you…friends, family, saved, unsaved…everyone!  How they are being impacted by your presence is the greatest test of maturity in your own life.

Let’s continue to show the colors of Christ!

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Life, Love, Ministry

 

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Perfection

It’s been a few days since I’ve had a chance to write.  I’m definitely realizing that a church plant demands much of my time!  But, things have calmed down a little…at least for the time being!

I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile, and I was finally able to get around to writing it.  So many of us are attempting and trying to be “perfect”, especially those of us who consider ourselves to be Christ followers. 

We make Christianity about what we can’t do.  We place certain ideas about what holiness looks like.  We do our best to not make mistakes.

This is what Christianity looks like for many of us.

We tend to think of “perfect” as something that is “without blemish”, or “without fault”, or “absent of mistakes”.  When it comes to our lives, what does that actually look like?  How do we actually achieve something like that?

The truth is…we can’t!  Nor do I believe that God looks at perfection in that way.  In Colossians 1:28, the Apostle Paul says, “Whom we preach , warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus…”

What does this word “perfect” mean?  It carries the idea of something being finished or fully grown.  It is something that has grown to maturity and has achieved its destination.  This is a very different picture.  When I think about this, I think about our identity, our dreams, our visions.  God has placed these inside of us and He wants to see us be perfect, having achieved all that He has placed inside of us!

The other day, I turned on the sprinklers in my backyard so my kids could run through them.  This is our version of a pool!  My oldest son Caleb had a hard time finding his swim trunks.  Because he couldn’t find the shorts he wanted to wear, he didn’t want to go outside and enjoy the sprinklers.  He was mad, angry, upset, sad, frustrated, etc.  The entire team he was whining, his sisters were outside having the time of their lives.

Finally, I decided to grab him and make him run outside with me.  He started running and having a good time!  Soon enough, he forgot all about the shorts!  Caleb would have missed a wonderful experience because the conditions weren’t “perfect”.

Let me show you a comparison:

Morality = shorts

Perfection = playing with sprinklers

My goal is to change your idea of what perfection is as it pertains to Christ followers.  Morality is not bad!  But, we can set up multiple “moral” rules that stop us from experiencing the fullness of all that God has for us!  Are you limiting your life to a set of rules and regulations that do not bring joy and actually stunt your growth as a Christ follower?

If so, then be freed! Be freed from your wrong definition of perfection.  Be freed from having to accomplish a set of regulations in to achieve “holiness”. An apple is not perfect because it has no spots!  An apple is perfect because it has the right combination of texture, taste, and size.  It’s the experience that matters!

I give you permission to be perfect today!  Enjoy the identity God has given you.  Live out the dreams and desires that God has placed inside of you.  Accomplish the vision that God has set before you.

If you do so, you WILL be PERFECT.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Life, Uncategorized

 

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