3 Killers of Team Spirit.

Sarcasm, criticism, cynicism

Sarcasm– Pronunciation: \ˈsär-ˌka-zəm\
Function: noun
Etymology: French or Late Latin; French sarcasme, from Late Latin sarcasmos, from Greek sarkasmos, from sarkazein to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage, sneer, from sark-, sarx flesh; probably akin to Avestan thwarəs- to cut

1 : a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain 2a : a mode of satirical depending for its effect on bitter and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual b : the use or language of sarcasm

Criticism-Main Entry: crit·i·cism
Pronunciation: \ˈkri-tə-ˌsi-zəm\

1 a : the act of criticizing usually unfavorably b : a critical observation or remark

Cynicism-implies having a sneering disbelief in sincerity or integrity. Pessimistic, distrustful

It seems in our day that these three words are a way of life, and many in the church are teaching this as a philosophy. There is this idea that we should question everything, distrust everyone, and have a cutting sharp attitude in the name of humor.

Don’t get me wrong I believe that we should try the spirits as the Bible says, we shouldn’t just follow everything and everyone blindly but this attitude of cynicism that has us questioning even the validity of the Bible and truth has gone too far and is destroying people. In most cases this attitude is predicated on a cultural and moral relativism that does its best to wipe out substantial truth and replace it with experiential understanding.

Bottom line is cynicism, sarcasm and criticism are incredibly negative concepts and give birth to doubt not faith.

Should we evaluate? Yes! Should we be constantly critical? No

For teams to work together and make progress there has to be a high level of faith in the cause, the team members and an honoring of leadership. This evil trinity stifles all of that.

Lets drop this negativity and doubt and instead be encouraging, trusting and edifying. That’s what builds teams and brings positive change.

Challenging authority, doubting truth, and criticizing others only locks you in to a non learning environment and comes from a dogmatic know it all spirit.

If you want your team to thrive, confront these attitudes and replace them with faith.

That’s effective team spirit.

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Reaching out from Within

I remember as a pastor years ago, I said and even prayed God help us to reach out more. Help us to keep from being one dimensional as a ministry.

I wanted to have a church that was effectively developing and maturing Christians and seeing as a part of that development equipping them to reach the community, and the world. In church vernacular get outside the four walls.

As I sit here in Africa waiting for a pastor friend to carry me to the pastors conference I think of what is going on right now at harvest.

We have a team in central Rwanda conducting a soccer outreach, work projects for an orphans home and a
Team in north Rwanda conducting a pastors conference. Our teams at home are preparing for harvest kids camp which will be a week of ministry to hundreds of elementary age kids in the region. Another team is preparing for harvest foster kids camp. A week long camp geared specifically for foster kids.

Then we start Youth America a great outreach reaching thousands of teenagers for four weeks in the summer. A life changing experience for so many. While we are training a team to leave for cambodia at the end of July.

I say all of this not to say oh we are doing so much but rather to say God answers our prayers.

I am so entirely grateful for our pastors who lead in this direction and to a church full of volunteers who are not going to church but being the church in order to reach those who need Jesus and mature those who Know Him.

It takes all of us and as David Meyer says we are better together.

If you sow you will reap

Years ago, Jesus impressed on my heart that if I would minister to other peoples kids He would always surround my kids with strong voices speaking into their lives. He has done just that. Along with Janae and I and many others have mentored, encouraged, and taught Taylor. She has grown and developed and tonight she helped lead worship at youth america. God is using her, and I believe it is only the beginning. Thanks Chandler and Natalie Boyce, and grant and Monica Pankratz for leading and giving her opportunity.

Never underestimate the power of caring for others and raising your kids in the church.

Latest update from Uganda

Downtown Uganda

Image via Wikipedia

We have had a great time so far here in Uganda. The team went out and built today at the Watoto village. What an experience. It is so moving to know that building a classroom in a Watoto village can impact generations. I would like to say thanks to all of you who have been praying for us, and for those who contributed to the cause of Global Reach Africa financially. You have made it possible for us to fulfill the mandate God has given us to right wrongs where we can.

There are over 2.5 million orphans in Uganda, and partnering with Watoto is the best way we can do something about that. They are truly the real deal. They are reaching out now to South Africa and looking forward to the sudan in the near future. My world enlarges and dreams get bigger just being around these great people. They are the best kind of dreamers too. Unassuming, humble, and relentless. Let the devil do what he does, let the circumstances be what they may. We will use obstacles as opportunities and see the promise in the problem.

The team is doing so well. The chemistry on this team is so incredible. As I type this up, I can hear them upstairs playing cards together and laughing and enjoying life. Work hard, play hard, its the only way to be. God is so good.

Everyone is doing fine, feeling well, and can’t believe the trip is almost over. We are missing home and anxious to see everyone but God is doing some great things here.

Tomorrow we build some more, then dedicate the building, then thursday we get to visit the different villages, and those who have sponsored Watoto kids get to visit with their sponsored child.

If you are a part of harvest, let me encourage you, that you can change your world right at home right now. We are right in the middle of our summer server opportunities, and their is a mission field in your back yard through our major outreaches that go on all summer. Kids camp, Foster kids camp, and Youth America. Share your faith today, with your words, and with the expression of the Love of Jesus.

Finish one thing and Start a New Thing…

We had a great GFC. WOW, incredible on so many levels. Now we are hurrying to wrap up details, on our Africa trip. Meeting with families of missionaries tonight and getting everyone ready to go. It is such a blessing to be a part of the church that is reaching out to all areas of the community and around the world. We are flying out tomorrow afternoon. We are ready.

Next up for Harvest, AFrica mission, Kids camp, Harvest foster kids camp, 4 weeks of youth America and Cambodia trip. What a great summer at harvest and what a great opportunity to serve others.

It’s a great time to be a part of the church here we go.

Where would they be?

I was talking with my friend Landon this morning about sharing the experiences we have when we’re doing ministry around the world. It’s very important we share the things we are accomplishing, so people know their investment is worth while, but, as I was telling him, it is truly hard to communicate this experience. I can easily tell you that we are clothing, housing, feeding orphans and street kids, but its hard to convey the depth of emotion experienced when you look into their eyes, or when you play games with them.

I can easily tell you that we shared the love of Jesus with them, we sang songs, we told stories, played games, and had a huge party for them giving them all kinds of supplies, clothes, shoes and much more. However it is incredibly hard to relay the look in their eyes when they receive the gifts or the gratitude they express. Its very difficult to explain my feelings when a young man named Ritsol (weet saul) Says, “Pastor David, I love you so much, and I look at you as if you are my father.”

Its not hard at all to tell you that we bought the hope center an american appliance, (washing machine) so the laundry for 24 orphans wouldn’t be so difficult, but I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful the smile on Vat dai’s face as we watched us bring it in. A woman so strong to be the mother to all of these kids. So I can tell you what we do, but I don’t think I could ever really express the experience itself, I think you’ll have to come here or on any global reach for justice outreach and see for yourself.

I would like for you to know however that w/out help these boys and girls very likely would be in the streets. They would be hungry most of the time, and definitely not getting an education. They would exist in a level of filth that is incompressible to most of us. Its very possible they would be dead, or being trafficked for prostitution or work. What is for sure, is they would not be cared for, because they would have no one to care for them, they would have to care for themselves. Thank God for directing us here. Thank God for all of those who give. Thank God for the lives of these precious boys and girls. They are now being trained to be leaders of the future of Cambodia, they are now being educated, spiritually matured, loved, fed, and housed because although we can’t do everything, we can do something, and what we refuse to do is nothing! To God be the Glory!

Summer @ Harvest

This summer has been incredible at harvest. Starting with the GFC, Pastor Nancy and her team put together a powerful conference so many ladies from each of our campuses and from churches around the region were empowered and encouraged.

Two days after GFC our Global Reach for Justice Africa team went to Africa. We held a leadership conference and medical clinic in Rwanda, and built an education building. It was life changing for many Africans and all the team.

While the team was still in Africa, we had our Youth America Kids Camp, a huge success! Pastor Phil and the team conducted a great camp experience for hundreds of elementary students. Many decisions for Christ, and leadership development for kids leaders from other churches.

Immediately following kids camp was our Foster kids camp. this is a camp free for foster kids ages 7-11. We treat them like royalty. 60 foster kids and families were blessed by this week. Allison Morris did a great job leading the team to create an awesome atmosphere for each of these kids.

The very next week we started the Youth America Youth camps. 3 weeks of the most powerful camps we have ever experienced! The batton was passed to Grant and Monica Pankratz, and they and their team did an outstanding job, leading the beginnings of a movement that I believe will ultimately effect the nation. There were thousands of campers and hundreds of decisions for Christ. The speakers were first rate, and God showed up.

During all of that all of our campuses are showing signs of growth and enjoyed a great series called “Dream Big,” as well as the Fantastic four weekends. four weekends where we streamed live to each campus four guest speakers. It was fantastic and we just wrapped that up with Dino Rizzo.

We are about to graduate our first class of NGI, and receive our second, and wrapping up the summer outreach with a Global Reach team going to Cambodia.

Now we are starting a new series called the “Power of We”. I can’t imagine the results. Thanks to all the volunteers of harvest who realize we are the church and were highly involved. Thousands of volunteer hours were put in this summer and it’s made a huge difference in the lives of so many.

We glorify God for all He has done and the privelege it is to be used by Him to help others.