We measure our attendance and our giving in our churches. Sadly, we don’t measure people’s transformation in Christ. (This is much more difficult). Genuine transformation takes place when people: Intentionally develop their own relationship with Jesus and do not live off the spirituality of others. Seek to discern and follow God’s will in all areas of life. Cultivate a deliberate rhythm and sustainable pace of life that enables them to be consistently attentive to Jesus. Grow in their ability to love well, evidenced by humility, vulnerability, approachability, and an increasing capacity to forgive. Live in community for the sake of their own formation and others. Bear witness to Jesus Christ in their workplaces and homes out of their own on-going transformation. Serve and give to others out of the overflow of their life in Christ. This is my short list. What other markers might you add?
“It is not how much you give, but how much love you put in the giving.” Mother Teresa Focus on love rather than on the your number of accomplishments today. Focus on how much love you can put into your activities, not how many things you get done. Our “to-do” lists are longer than what God has for us. Jesus wants our love, not our lists. It will change your day. …read more
“It is not how much you give, but how much love you put in the giving.” Mother Teresa Focus on love rather than on the your number of accomplishments today. Focus on how much love you can put into your activities, not how many things you get done. Our “to-do” lists are longer than what God has for us. Jesus wants our love, not our lists. It will change your day.
A pastor friend of mine from Vancouver recently asked my long-time mentor, Leighton Ford, the following question: “I’d love for you to email me 200 words or so on how Christians can live out their faith every day.” Leighton, in response, sent him a paragraph from a recent e-mail he received from Geri! It reads: “I’m here in Queens amidst the long lines and gridlock traffic of the Christmas (and somewhat Christ-less) season. I am re-reading your book The Attentive Life. For me, it is the gift that keeps on giving. I feel motivated to “not be conformed to this world” but try to follow a different drummer, that of our invisible/visible God … to know Him in all the ways He reveals Himself — if I’m not too busy or distracted, or preoccupied, or anxious, or indifferent to the Real behind the real.” For a related message I recently preached on a “Spirituality. Read more.
After another couple of weeks of pondering and passing this around our staff team for a second round of discussions, here is a second, more precise listings of our learnings. This is a living document, borne out of twenty-one years of labor, mistakes, and fruitful suffering. For this reason, I am prayerfully re-reading these lessons with a healthy reverence before God. 1. Character is more important than gifting. The power of God really is made perfect in our weaknesses. When we have overlooked issues of character, and humility in particular, we have paid a price. 2. Do not rush. When decisions were made quickly, without pausing to pray, think and proces implications, we have had regrets. Seeing the Promised Land without seeing the pillar of cloud and fire is foolishness. 3. Leaders need to take responsibility and initiative for their own growth and development. As leaders invest time in personal growth and development, they shape all those who look. Read more.
Last week we did an exercise listing our “Turning Point Lessons” out of our twenty-one year history. The following are my edits and summary out of that discussion. Character is more important than gifting. Being is more important than doing. When we have overlooked issues of character because of anointing, effectiveness, leadership abilities, etc., we have always paid a price. Don’t rush. When decisions were made quickly, without pausing to pray, think and process implications, we have had regrets. Seeing the Promised Land is one thing. The pillar of cloud and fire saying it is time to go in is another. Leaders need to take responsibility for their growth and development. My journey, along with Geri’s, has had a profound impact on NLF. As we invest time in our personal growth and development, we are shaping all those who look to us for leadership. A clear, differentiated vision results in a unified leadership and. Read more.