Following Jesus is not first doing things for Jesus; it is first listening to him speak, and then doing what he says. Peter, James and John were the cream of Jesus’ leadership team. Yet when Jesus was transfigured before them, Peter was unable to resist making plans to maximize this exciting new open door. Fortunately, a voice from heaven shut him up, commanding him to listen to Jesus (Matthew 17:5)! It is easy to lead FOR God without listening TO him. The word listen or hear is found more than 1500 times in the Bible. That is why the most important question every one of us must ask throughout our days is: “God, how are you coming to me, what might you want to say?” In this podcast, I give specific examples of how I regularly apply this question to different areas of my life and discernment process. I apply it to: How I. Read more.
Henri Nouwen, towards the end of his life, articulated a core struggle for every leader. He described the two different voices that come to each of us. One voice constantly pushes us to succeed and achieve, and comes from below. It was the voice he spent most of his life heeding. It led him to make decisions and plans without God. He taught at prestigious Ivy League universities. He wrote a book a year. He kept an active speaking and ministry schedule. But his spiritual life was suffocating. He was praying poorly and living isolated from people. The other invites us to listen to God’s voice. This voice reassures us we are loved without conditions or performance. We have nothing to prove. Our primary goal is to recognize the Lord’s voice, his face, and his touch in every person we meet. Only in the last ten years of his life, Nouwen said, did he. Read more.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32 (NASB) The steady stream of pastors and leaders leaving the ministry due to sexual or financial scandal has not changed in decades. What is most alarming, in recent days, however, is the rash of lead pastors committing suicide. Judas committed suicide. Jesus Himself knew that temptation as well: “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death,” he said (Matt. 26:38). I believe most Christian point leaders who carry the weight of a ministry or church know the struggle of wanting to die. I sure do and remember times, in my 26 years as Senior Pastor of New Life, that I was not sure I wanted to (or could) drink the “cup” that was before me. Jesus’. Read more.