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Tag Archives: patience

Serving a God Who is Not in a Rush

Human beings have always been in a hurry. God has never been in a hurry. God waited a very, very, very long time, after Adam and Eve, before He called Abraham. God waited almost two thousand more years before entering human history in the person of Jesus. God (in the person of Jesus) waited almost 30 years before beginning his public ministry. God waited to gather and disciple the Twelve. God waited through his arrest and crucifixion rather than call on the legions of angels at his disposal. From the beginning to the end of Scripture, we discover stories of God teaching his people patience. Abraham had to wait 25 years. Joseph waited between 15 and 25 years. Moses waited until he was 80 years old to begin his ministry. Israel waited 40 years in the wilderness. It was Tertullian (204 AD from North Africa) who wrote that, when the Holy Spirit descends, patience. Read more.

Patience, Planning, and 2015

At the turn of every New Year, I do two things. First, I step back to prayerfully consider: What might God want us/me to do in 2015? What are the 5-6 measureable goals He is inviting us/me to focus on in 2015? Which is the most important? The second most important? Etc. Secondly, I remember Tertullian’s (160-220 AD) keen insight on patience: Tertullian writes: “Impatience is, as it were, the original sin in the eyes of the Lord. For, to put it in a nutshell, every sin is to be traced back to impatience. I find the origin of impatience in the Devil himself.” In a brilliant essay entitled “Of Patience,” he expounds on a truth we rarely talk about – i.e. God’s nature to be patient. “When the Spirit of God descends,” he writes, “Patience is His inseparable companion. If we fail to welcome it along with the Spirit, will the latter remain. Read more.

Patient Leadership

“Impatience is, as it were, the original sin in the eyes of the Lord.  For, to put it in a nutshell, every sin is to be traced back to impatience. I find the origin of impatience in the Devil himself.” Tertullian (160-220 AD) In a brilliant essay entitled “Of Patience,” Tertullian wrestles deeply with a theme we rarely talk about today – i.e. God’s nature to be patient. I have been pondering this essay for the past few weeks, reflecting on the intersection of leadership and patience, especially in my own life. The following are a few challenging quotes from Tertullian’s exegesis of Scripture worthy of prayer and reflection for every one of us in leadership: God allows Himself to become incarnate: in His mother’s womb He awaits (the time of birth) and after His birth suffers Himself to grow into manhood, and, when an adult, shows no eagerness to become known, but bears. Read more.

AA, Two-Steppers, and Leadership

AA has Twelve Steps to recovery for their program. The twelfth step is an act of gratitude when recovered alcoholics help other alcoholics stay sober. The gift received is passed along as the final step. In AA they speak of people who are “two-steppers” — people who take Step One (accepting they are powerless in their addiction) and then jump directly to Step Twelve (helping others) without the in-between steps where the hard work lies. They try to pass along something they themselves have not yet received. The desert fathers (3rd-5th century) talked about this temptation also. It is one of the great temptation I face, and I think we all face as leaders, talking about things of God that we have not lived. “Another brother spoke…about matters of which he had no experience. Theodore said to him, “You’ve not yet found a ship to sail in, not put your luggage aboard, not put. Read more.

AA, Two-Steppers, and Leadership

AA has Twelve Steps to recovery for their program. The twelfth step is an act of gratitude when recovered alcoholics help other alcoholics stay sober. The gift received is passed along as the final step. In AA they speak of people who are “two-steppers” — people who take Step One (accepting they are powerless in their addiction) and then jump directly to Step Twelve (helping others) without the in-between steps where the hard work lies. They try to pass along something they themselves have not yet received. The desert fathers (3rd-5th century) talked about this temptation also. It is one of the great temptation I face, and I think we all face as leaders, talking about things of God that we have not lived. “Another brother spoke…about matters of which he had no experience. Theodore said to him, “You’ve not yet found a ship to sail in, not put your luggage aboard, not put. Read more.

Exponential, Church Planting, and the Temptations of the Wilderness

This past week I presented two workshops at “the largest gathering of church planters in the world” – at the Exponential Conference.  Over 5000 people attended while another 20,000 leaders watched through a live webcast. It was extraordinary to see so many men and women with a passion to serve Jesus and offer their entire lives to advance His kingdom in the 21st century. I was in awe of God as I listened to speakers and learned new things about what God was doing in different parts of the world. As I interacted, however, with young pastors, missionaries, superintendents, and denominational leaders, it became readily apparent (to me at least) that at least four temptations threaten to derail what God wants to do through His church going forward: 1. Drivenness – Cattle are driven. Sheep are led. The word doesn’t belong in our vocabulary. The primary call for us as preachers/leaders/pastors is to embrace a. Read more.