So it’s been one crazy week and we’ve had this dream of updating our stage for the past year… Problem: no money. No problem. $400, a wild imagination, some incredible guys who figured out how to get things done and long hours and in the space of 5 days we take our stage through the following evolution… special thanks to Andy Hayes, Jon Chen, Angel Luckina, Joe Guzek, Paul Landon and Randell Lex.
Had a great time of prayer with some incredible folks on Sunday who shared a few thoughts with me… things that I’d been thinking on and they had no clue about. Wayne shared a verse with me that I haven’t been able to shake. Matthew 13:53 (amplified shown below)
He said to them, Therefore every [a]teacher and interpreter of the Sacred Writings who has been instructed about and trained for the kingdom of heaven and has [b]become a disciple is like a householder who brings forth out of his storehouse treasure that is new and [treasure that is] old [the fresh as well as the familiar].
Over the past number of years I’ve wrestled with walking out the future in the present while honoring and building upon the past. Sometimes in the church world we get stuck in the arena of “we’ve always done it this way.” Anyone who knows me knows I love change. I love forward movement. I love trying something new. But I’ve also learned the incredible importance of celebrating the present and honoring and building upon the past. This verse reenforces that God’s Kingdom isn’t just about the latest thing or the newest revelation (be it a new way of doing something or a prophetic utterance in charismatic circles) it’s a blend of the new and the old. The truths and values that have brought us to this place. As we move forward to do so with a firm grasp on the foundations laid in the past.
I’ve been watching Shredded Wheat’s latest advertising campaign (well worth a visit to www.thepalaceoflight.com) and appreciated the new and the old coming together in some very creative and amusing ways. As we build forward lets be creative, culturally relevant and engaging, but lets make sure we bring out the old and the new treasures.
Learned a lot at Gettysburg and Philadelphia this week. One item got me thinking. Color bearers carry the flag into battle. An honor & heavy responsibilty. In the heat of battle the flag became a rallying point. If you’re a leader have you identified color bearers & how are you equipping them to carry the vision, weather the storm & lead others.
I’ve learned alot about finding color bearers over the past couple of years… Those who understand and own the mission and can lead the charge with others are vital I beleive to the success of any organization, church or business. I don’t think it’s possible to advance long term without color bearers. I appreciate those who are carry the flag in battlefield.
Blogged before on the issue of change and have to admit that my life in many respects has become about managing change (personally and helping others manage change). It was Erwin McManus who once said, “we serve the changeless God of change.” God doesn’t change – He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. He’s the Rock, the Fortress, the Strongtower. However everything around Him changes. He changes lives, culture changes, the seasons change, the world has changed, take a quick look at church history and you’ll recognize that He’s constantly changing His church.
Changing something, changes perspective. And I think its perspective that often fuels our resistance (passive or active) to change. Our perspective, mindset, or disposition toward something doesn’t change on it’s own. Something in our surroundings, our circumstances changes, it creates conflict (oftentimes internal that spills out) and the result is growth. We’re stretch not just to see the new thing, but why the new thing was put in place – the bigger issue.
A great example might be a church that changes how it’s weekend services work. Perhaps its been done a certain way for a long time, and never because that’s just the way it’s always been done. When it was first instituted years ago it was for a reason – to build disciples, to teach people to pray more, to go to deeper depth or higher heights in worship. All good reasons. But perhaps over time a leadership recognizes that church isn’t just for church people, but for everyone including those who are faraway from God. That team realizes that Jesus came to seek and save those who where faraway from God and His church should do the same. They begin to change how a weekend experience works, maybe it’s lights, media, songs and style of worship (the values remain the same, but the methodology changes). While those are symptoms of change that oftentimes produces conflict, the real change started at the point of recognizing that church isn’t for the believer only, but for those outside of faith – that in relevant, faith-filled environments they might embark on the same journey. While that’s where the change began, it ends with a perspective at an the individual level that allows people to engage… it’s growth. It’s change.
It’s been a busy week on for both the church and the childcare center fronts. Lots of painting and constructing. Here’s a few photos.
My wife often accuses me this time of the year of getting philosophical and reflective… and maybe I do (after all its the end of the year and I get one year older). As I was looking back on 2008 I was struck by God’s incredible faithfulness and blessings on our life. Some highlights from 08:
- An incredible week of prayer and fasting in January and so many promises both personally and corporately to our church
- 10 days in Ireland in February with my family.
- An awesome trip to Kansas to serve a church there.
- The opportunity to visit many wonderful friends and family in Portland.
- A great staff retreat in June… I work on one incredible team.
- A first ever visit and game in the right field bleachers of Yankee Stadium.
- Doing dinner with Craig Groeschel and Steven Furtick.
- Steak & Rake 08.
- Brett Favre’s retirement and un-retirement
- Shea Stadium and a day in NYC with my son.
- One unbelievable week in Disney winning an evening in the castle. Can’t tell you how much we felt God love and pleasure as a family.
- Riding Big Thunder Mountain with Aidan, Sophie and Madeline (Mads was just crazy funny).
- The opportunity to meet Mark Batterson (his book is part of the reason we ended up here in Albany).
- The opportunity to spend a couple of days with my wife in Montreal to celebrate our 13th anniversary. I can’t tell you how much I couldn’t do life without her.
- Having the opportunity to go to the Catalyst Conference (a dream came true).
- 50 Thanksgiving food boxes to families in our community
- The opportunity to go to Soldier Field and watch the Packers play the Bears in the coldest game ever played there (-12).
- Blogging, facebook and twitter.
- New friendships with this guy and this guy.
- The iPhone 3G.
- An incredible Christmas season… in a little over two weeks across all three campuses we gave over $60,000 to local and global charities. Incredible generosity!
I’m filled with gratitude when I look back at 2008. This year has not been without its disappointments and failures, but I can’t tell you how blessed I feel. God is good all the time. I don’t know what 2009 has in store my I know that I’m going after God with everything I’ve got.