The Church World Wide

I’ve said this many times but it rings as true today as much as ever. The church of Jesus Christ is alive and well and on the rise around the World.

As I told a room full of leaders and pastors in a village in Kampong Thom this morning it’s powerful to think that we have brothers and sisters all over this world because of our relationship with our father God through His Son Jesus.

The church is truly the expression of the love of Jesus. In all cultures, languages, and nations the church brings hope to the world.

I love Cambodia. The people here are so endearing, and full of faith, even in harsh circumstances.

Global Reach for Justice is doing what we can to make a difference in the world. James 1:27

Advertisements

Lead Them There

Was getting my hair cut today, and as always having a good conversation with the girl who cuts my hair. Really nice lady.

She said, she hates it when people come in wanting their hair styled and say I really dont want to do anything with my hair. She said this happens all the time.

The obvious question is then why are you here? What is really happening is that person is trying to get the stylist to decide for them. She said she’s learned the best way to handle this is not to decide for them because they may not like what you do.

The best thing to do is to talk to them and lead them to a decision by helping them define what they want.

There are huge leadership implications here.  

Our role as leaders many times is not to decide for those who follow us but to lead them to a decision.

This takes communication, patience, and clear vision.

How does this relate to you and your leadership? Talk to me.

Its not the Drowning but the Fear of it.

I’ve always loved the Biblical account of Peter walking on the water with Jesus. It is an incredible miracle, and unbelievable opportunity and a massive step of faith for Peter. Not only that but we have gleaned such great leadership teaching and phrases from it. Like…

“If you want to walk on the water, you have to get out of the boat.”

or

“Faith is all about focus, when Peter took his eyes off of his source and onto his circumstances he began to sink.”

or

“Its safer standing on the water in a storm in faith, than it is being in the boat in fear”

All of these statements have such truth in them. They teach us that faith is not about feelings its about focus. Another lesson is that true faith adventure in life is about taking a calculated risk. One of the most significant lessons we can take from this, is the will of God is the safest place to be, period.

My thought today about this account is simple, and a truth that I have embraced as I have matured (nice way of saying, getting older).

The real fight, the real battle with the devil, is not the big things. Its not the massive storms, its not the life challenging, attacks. Those are diversions from what is really going on.

The waves didn’t make Peter sink. The wind didn’t make Peter sink. The water didn’t make Peter sink. The fact the Peter wasn’t supposed to be able to walk on the water didn’t make him sink.

The culprit in this account, the enemy that caused the fall. The activity that brought his dissension was simple. It was his own mind, and the fear erupting in it.

In our lives especially when it seems like everything around us is about to sink us, don’t become preoccupied focusing on those things, realize in that moment, the enemy is coming after your mind. He will say things like, this is impossible. Why would Jesus call you out here? Have you noticed the confusion all around you? What business do you have thinking you can do something like this?

The enemy is sly. He is tricky. If something is big and in your face from him, realize, that is not his ultimate goal. The ultimate goal, is the simple little thoughts that always seem to come in the form of a question. Not merely a question but a doubt phrased like a question. I can hear it now when the snake tempted Eve, “Did God say?…” satan knew full well that Jesus was the Son of God, yet, in tempting Jesus he said, “if you are the son of God” questioning his identity.

When your kid is sick or there is a lingering problem, that you can’t seem to get resolved, does the thought not cross your mind, “where is God?” Why isn’t he doing something?” I submit to you, that is where the battle is. Not in the circumstance, not in the boisterous problem. Not the wind or the waves, not in the drowning, but in the fear of it.

Meet the devil on his turf, don’t let him fool you. Don’t let it become about the the circumstance. Surprise him by meeting him at the point of his deceit and challenge those doubt filled thoughts that he is using on your mind, and subject them to the will of God. RESIST him and he will flee. The exciting part is, the moment you do, circumstances change.

One last example. Ive heard people say, I don’t want to do to much for God, I don’t want the devil to attack me. What you don’t realize is, he already has. His attack was sneaky, but powerful. He has intimidated you with the thought that something bad will happen if you do something good. So he wins. There you sit, doing nothing, because your afraid. HE WON! Don’t let him win, take his lies and deceit head on and demolish them with the truth!

When you realize what his game is, then you can beat him at it.

Just a thought.

Healthy Church 1

Jesus instituted the church to be hell’s worst nightmare. People loving God, loving each other, and loving people into a relationship with God.

The church is the body of Christ. In order for a body’s growth to not be stunted it must be healthy. Lets learn from the Bible what the true purpose of the church is.

Matthew 16:18 AMP

And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros –a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra –a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it].

Are there unhealthy churches?  Yes

  >Religion based church (controlling and manipulative)

  >Experience based churches (overly emotionally driven) experience more important than truth

>Sectarian churches (divisive, infighting, competitive)

>Any church (as long as churches have humans in them there will be imperfections and potential to be unhealthy)

Is the church at large unhealthy?  NO

There is a negative PR campaign being waged against the church  by God haters, deceivers, false prophets and preachers.

1. Don’t go to church they are just a bunch of hypocrites.

>There are hypocrites everywhere, people speaking from behind a mask. Not being themselves. Having a hidden agenda. They’re at your school, your job, your home even. This very statement is an act of hypocrisy.

2. Don’t serve in the church they’re just trying to use you.

>In a world where volunteerism is on the rise, why would we assume the motives of the church are to use people. We don’t say that of other identities who operate on volunteer resources.

3. Don’t give to the church all they want is your money.

>This statement is the most ludicrous most churches are using the finances given to positively effect the world. Why is there no one standing outside casinos staying don’t go there all they want is your money?

Thes statements are generalizations and falsehoods based on subjectivity and are not applied across the board in society. Why not? Because there is a campaign to vilify the church in an attempt to make it impotent.

There are many reasons why some unbelievers don’t like the church, and there are many reasons why some believers don’t like the church.

A lot of which are our fault.

1. Infighting
2. Condemning
3. Legalistic
4. Exclusive
5. Holier than thou
6. Hypocricy
7. Scandal
8. Mean spirited
9. Irellevant and impractical

As long as some continue to operate in this way they will be unhealthy and do the exact opposite of their purpose. Hurt people.

The church is a living organism established by Jesus to give life, edify, and build up believers.  To seek and to save those who are lost, and to desimate hell while populating heaven. The church was established to bring together disciples to worship God.

There is true purpose for the church and God wants his body to be healthy and we know that healthy things grow.

As long as there is a heaven and a hell we have no option but to grow.

Lets get healthy.