I love Tuesdays and the weekends! I love looking over my calendar, preparing for meetings, and seeing what lies ahead. I love working with a team to make things happen. I love dreaming and imagining what might be, what the future could look like, how we could make a difference. I love starting to change things, and setting things in motion that might make those changes happen. I love celebrating the wins along the way and learning from the losses. I love watching the team getting healthier and happier as it gets better and better at the work it does.
In just a few weeks, our team will come together for a time of prayer, brainstorming, and decision making. I'm living for December 2! What might God want to speak to us in 2009? What challenges will we face next year? Who should we interview? What passages in the Bible should we respond to? Inspire us. Challenge us. Surprise Us. Make us cry, laugh, think....
I'm most inspired whenever I take a look at what my long distance mentor, Willow Creek Community Church, is creating. I read this recently and wanted to share it with you! I'm INSPIRED when God speaks clearly to a group of artists in the local church. Check out this weekend experience:
Darren Whitehead delivered a powerful message about the "Potential of the Young", featuring a teaching about King Josiah who was only 8 when he led the people of God. But the major moments of the service were still to come. Darren described a young man now in his twenties, a guy named Joe, who grew up in a terribly difficult home which led to foster care. From the time he was 5 years old until the age of 7, his first foster care parents brought him to our church, to the ministry of Promiseland. Later the state moved this kid all over the place, and he completely lost his way. He got into a serious drug problem and was arrested for assault in his early 20’s. When Joe hit rock bottom, he called that first foster mother, sobbing and threatening to take his own life. She pleaded him to return to God, to turn his life over to the Father he had learned about years ago. And Joe made that decision! He also went to AA, and began a process of healing that ultimately led him to 4 years studying at Moody Bible Institute to be a pastor to the young.
At that point in the service, Darren called Joe up front along with those original foster care parents! Our church just went crazy. To see how the seeds sown in a child’s life two decades ago ultimately bore fruit and brought him home to a relationship with God was hugely inspiring. As if all that wasn’t moving enough, the service came to a rousing climax when the adult worship team began leading us in the song, How Great is Our God. One by one, the adult instrumentalists were replaced by junior high students, starting with the drummer, then the guitarist, bass player (a young girl!), and keyboard player. At that moment, three young vocalists took over for the adults, and no one over 18 was left on the stage! All of us were blessed with a vivid picture of what it means to pass the baton of the church intentionally and enthusiastically to its future leaders!
In 2009, I hope to focus on the power of stories. Philippians 1:6 says "And I am certain that God, who began a good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns"....
If you are open, I would love to hear YOUR story. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door. -- Emily Dickinson
What is now proved was once only imagined. -- William Blake
If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. --Albert Einstein