Happy birthday to my girl! Love you more than ever!
I just had to jump start my van. I went to start it and got the horrid “click of death.” It had nothing. No juice. No energy to start. Of course, I already had a busy day scheduled, so this was a slight inconvenience for me. But, as I sit here pondering the situation, I can’t help but think that I find myself feeling that way in life. No energy. No power for the day or for a particular task.
The problem? My power source. Just like my van, the source of power was empty and needed replaced. I find myself with no power when I am not connected to the right source: my relationship with God.
When I disconnect from Him, I have no power. I try to do life on my own and quickly find myself in need of a “jump.”
Oh that I would stay connected to the true source of power and strength.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
You know it is a dirty word. Some of your people probably even hate to hear it come from your mouth. That word is “CHANGE.” In fact, so many churches have avoided this word that they have ended up becoming little more than country clubs or short-term “pit-stops” for people that get their feathers ruffled a bit at their previous church (who will only be at your church until their feathers get ruffled again). In many churches there is no relevance of its mission to day to day life of the people that attend. It becomes little more than something to check off the list of “spiritual duties” to perform for the week. And this is only one symptom of churches that do not change: they become isolated, consumer driven and self-seeking individually as well as corporately. I love what Brad said in the chapter “It’s All About Delivery.”
Jesus revealed the Father’s love to those who were broken, guilty and far from God. He didn’t isolate Himself from them, nor should His followers today.
I appreciated the way that Brad approaches and lays out the process of change that he took his church through. Thought there were times of uncomfortable confrontation and even losing some people who could not see the vision, Brad was still very sensitive to the nature and speed of change that he led his church through. Brad’s desire to change was tempered by a Biblical view of the church and the mission that it assigned. The change he took his church through was also based on Scriptural principles and a desire to remain theologically centered. Another thought that Brad shared that really impacted me was this:
By aligning our vision to God’s eternal principles rather than specific practices, we can stay the course even as we continue to change many of the ways we do ministry.
Change can be difficult. Especially if a church does not have a culture of change established. Change is not to be feared, but embraced so that we have the greatest opportunity to make an impact for the Gospel in the day we live in.
I would highly recommend this book to any pastor or church leader that is looking to lead effective change in their church.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Thomas Nelson Publishers with the request that I give an honest review.
Guess what I have noticed at the gym this week? The “new year crowd” is already gone. That sure did not last long! Maybe it is just a fluke and everyone had to go out of town this week or just could not get up early to work out. But either way, they are not there.
How are you doing on your life-change decisions? Have you faltered? That is OK! Don’t quit! Just get back at it. Daily make the decision to do right, to take a step to live for God!
Proverbs 24:16 says
for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…
That is pretty good news for those of us that are human! We WILL fall. We WILL make mistakes. We WILL sin. But did you see what that verse says – “a righteous man falls.” Yes, the “righteous man.” He falls, but he gets back up! God’s grace does not overlook sin, it just says your sin does not hold you down – and it gives you the power to get back up!
Big events and moments are wonderful to experience and be a part of. That conference, missions trip or huge community outreach event that you are a part of has the ability to emotionally charge you up and bring excitement to your life. But once it is over, what then?
Before you misunderstand what I am about to say, let me be clear: I like BIG events! I go to conferences and have big events held by my church for our community. I love missions trips and think that everyone should go on at least one – preferably while they are young! So I am not against the annual events or large scale experiences that you can be a part of.
Those conferences and missions trips can bring about life-change in a person, but the reality is this: Real life-change is a day by day process. You may be motivated by a large event or experience to change your life, but the proof of that is played out as you make decisions each and every day that validate the life-change you are making.
In other words, don’t just tell me you want to be closer to God because of that experience you just had, do something to make it happen! What good is it to say you want a closer relationship with God, but yet you will not take the time to read His Word and pray. Don’t tell me you love the people on the mission field you just went to, but yet you do not serve on a consistent basis loving people in your local church ministry or loving people you rub shoulders with every day.
Real life change is evidenced in the way you live each and every day. Small deposits, made on a consistant basis, bring great change!
It is just like working out. You cannot go to the gym one time, for five hours, and think it will do much for you. But go ten times for 30 minutes and you will start to see results!
Real life change is the result of consistant deposits into that which brings about the change that you are looking for.
Start changing your life – one day at a time!