Monday, October 26, 2015

Leaders Go First; Leaders Go Last

If you have been around Christ Fellowship very long, if you have been serving on a team, you have heard a lot about leadership.  You have heard Pastor Todd say “God has called us to lead the way so that we can see God bring radical transformation to our region.”

Indeed, we are seeing people stepping up to lead in our church; that’s how things get done, how we see radical transformation take place - through people full of passion, full of Jesus and full of courage standing out and stepping up to be a leader.  Many people are willing to work and sacrifice for God, but they just need a leader to look to, to connect with to get them moving forward. Leaders are needed so that people can work together to accomplish the mission!

I am one of these people that God called to stand out and step up in our church to be willing to lead.  Seven years ago, God was stirring my heart for something more.  I had been a part of the Christ Fellowship team; but suddenly, I was given the opportunity to lead in a greater way.  I was asked to launch the Stuart Campus and lead a group of families to build church in Martin County.  These past seven years have challenged me and stretched me so much! I have learned FIRST-HAND what it is to become a leader that God can work through and that people will follow.

The greatest example of an effective leader is Jesus.  He invested Himself in his disciples, specifically twelve.  The writers of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are very careful to include interactions with Jesus and His disciples - teachable moments when Jesus would turn to them and explain how to serve, how to lead.  We can learn from Jesus what leadership really is.

Leaders Go First
Leaders Go Last

Matthew 19:30   many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

In this passage, Jesus was commending His disciples for their great sacrifice to follow Him, to step in to their calling to lead and to preach the good news to the world.

As a leader, there are times when we must go last, and other times when we must go first.

Leaders Go First:

•    When the work is hard, the leader works the hardest
•    When morale is low, the leader encourages and inspires
•    When there is no forward momentum, the leader picks up the pace and creates momentum through energy, passion and creating easy wins for the team to achieve
•    When the path is unknown, the leader creates a path through clarity and setting goals
•    When the team failures, the leader is the first to own responsibility
•    When there is strife in a relationship, the leader initiates forgiveness and seeks to bring healing
•    When there is a challenge, the leader sacrifices first and goes first by meeting the challenge head on

Leaders Go Last: 

•    When the team reaches success, the leader gives the credit to the team.
•    When others on the team show great gifting, the leader creates room for those individuals to shine and to lead.  The leader “gives up” some leadership so that others can reach their potential.
•    After a big event, when everyone leaves for the night, the leader stays with the few to help tear down. He never leaves a team member by themselves to do the work.
•    When the team is sharing ideas in a meeting, the leader let’s everyone have a voice at the table.  The leader speaks last.

When God puts a passion in you for people, for His work, He very well may be calling you to stand out and step up to lead! Don’t be intimidated - where Gods guides, He always provides.   God is calling you to begin a leadership journey where God can begin to use you beyond all you could possibly imagine!

Joshua 1:8 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Saturday, October 24, 2015

An Encounter

The most amazing phenomenom...
The deepest desire that seems unattainable...
The farthest reach of man, beyond space or time...

…for you and I to encounter God.

How can we possibly encounter Who we cannot see or hear with human ability? 

How can we possibly touch the Divine, the Ancient of Days, the Alpha and Omega?

It is possible.  The Bible says it.  I have experienced it.

God…the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the Creator of YOU, wants to fellowship….wants to interact with YOU.

Let me tell you some ways I encounter the Living God, the One and Only God, the God that sent His Son, Jesus:

I observe creation.  I see the majesty and artistry of God.

I enjoy my family.  I see the love and the design of God.

I get away for solitude and silence.  I hear the voice and the sound of God.

I serve people.  I see the heart and passion of God.

I give of my resources and myself.  I see the generosity and the abundance of God.

I observe the culture deteriorate the world.  I see the need for God to redeem the world .

God is real.  He is true.  He is close.  

God is speaking today…to You.  He will touch You, hold You, walk with You.  

Put yourself in a posture where you may encounter Him.  

and…it does not have to be just once in a while when you walk in to a church.  It can be every day!

God loves you…so much.

He is waiting for you to encounter Him.