Monday, July 30, 2007

My Vision

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been thinking heaps about what I want to do with my life. A week or so ago, on a thursday to be exact, I went out for coffee. By myself.

Now although this may sound like the start of a sad story about a guy wh
o was so bored he had to go out for coffee, and then didn't even have enough friends to go out with someone else, BUT, that's not true.

As I was sitting outside in the mildly warm sunshine, overlooking the eyecatching and beautiful Torbay carpark I began to write. I began to write
down the things I am good at, things I love doing, things I get my greatest satisfaction, things that annoy me, and things I would never want to do.

As I wrote these things and contemplated on the frustration of having a "mint chocolate" in a mug which goes cold after 3 minutes, God began to reveal to me more of himself, more of who I am and what makes me tick, and more of the plan He has for my life. I wrote a total of 3 pages of a whole bunch of things that were life changing for my life and direction.

I ended up toning most of what I wrote into one, heart gripping, mind tripping (not on drugs by the way), knucklebone flipping vision for my life. This se
ntence doesn't box my life into one course, one way of living or one way of doing something - that's where God's leadership kicks in - but allows me to direct myself into things and away from things to help accomplish this vision for my life.

"I want to release people into knowing more of God, themselves, and the plan that He has for their lives."

As I realised this, a massive light went on in my heart, my "mint chocolate" suddenly became warm and the carpark became something of a beauty to Torbay. So much of what I have been contemplating in my life, things I'v
e struggled with and deep goings on in my head began to be answered.

I understand that this one sentence may not have that same effect on you as you read this but the point of this post is that God wants to release to you a understanding of why He's placed you on this earth. People who walk around who although may work hard and get paid well, have a fantastic house and kids etc etc who don't have a vision and direction for their lives can be blown by the storms of life easily and lose the reason for doing the things they do.

Be challenged, think about
things you're good at, things you love doing, things you get my greatest satisfaction from, things that annoy you, and things you would never want to do.

Because as one intelligent person one said, "The picture of your destiny is often the thing that will cause you to hold on tight through the hard times."

Decisions Determine Destiny.
If you don't know what your vision is, then your decisions will take you in the wrong direction, eventually taking you to the wrong destination.

Get that vision and direct yourself into things, with God's leadership, so you can do the incredible things that God has destined for you to do.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Life Update

Hey guys - I realised I haven't done a post in quite some time now so I figured I'd give ya a quick update of what's been going on in my life currently.

A few weeks ago a number of the youth leaders in our church (including myself) took around 20 of our youth to Get Smart youth conference which was held at Harbourside Church on the shore of Auckland's southern North Shore. This was an incredible time for our youth to be exposed to some world class preaching and to experience God more and more. Alot of our youth came back changed and committed to seeing God use them to see their friends saved.

I left early on the friday afternoon to shoot down to Inspire Conference in Hamilton (I'm not a conference junkie don't worry) held at Eastside Apostolic Church. This was an incredible time for me personally and for a number of other people who had the chance to attend. Pastor Danny Gugliemucci from Australia was one of the key preachers along with my Dad and Pastor Ian Wright from the deep south of Invercargill. I had the previlege of going out to lunch with Danny Gug with 4 other people, including both my parents. It was insaine just spending time with such an incredible man of God who is not only leading a church of over 5000 people, but a forefront leader of the church worldwide. I came back so inspired and challenged to go to the next level in my life.

One of the most incredible things that has helped develop my vision this year is spending time with one of my greatest friends. We went on holiday for a week together along with a number of other great mates and continuing to spend time hanging out has done something incredible in my life. As through previous posts it at times does seem lonely in leadership when alot of your mates are actually guys you lead. This isn't often a problem but it does present a difficulty when you don't want to be a burden to the guys you're leading when your finding things hard.

Spending time with my mate and going out for coffee, talking life, cars (I've learnt ALOT about cars), purpose and vision etc etc has given me the opportunity to just lax out and love life.

I also preached on Sunday night just gone in our Pulse service (night youth service) which was incredible. Just the engagement and expectation that came through the congregation was amazing and the response at the altar call was awesome. It was the best thing to know that what had been on my heart and what had come bursting out in that sermon was something that not only made sense but was also something that was life giving and challenging to alot of those who were there. Coming home after the service and feeling so stoked about what had happened was so awesome. I'm so looking forward to go to Christchurch with Dad to preach in a few weeks!!

Lastly, a few days ago God renewed my vision and gave me an incredibly clear understanding of what he's gifted me at and what he's called me to do. This was a HUGE thing for me which I'm going to inspire you with in my next post.

Keep your eyes peeled for some of this very soon - keep powering on friends.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Keep paying the cost

My first "vlog" aka video blog for those a little challenged with today's lingo.

I forgot to mention that God provided the best job for me possible lately. I just finished up at my Market Research job and found out I have been offered the greatest job for me at the moment. Face to face contact instead of just over the phone, great pay and awesome hours - all from just one step into a restaurant God lead me to.

Keep paying that cost - God takes care of everything else!

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Leadership 101

Following from my last post "It's worth it", I've had some awesome feedback which was more than what I'd hoped for or expected.

One of the main things I picked up from some of the comments that were posted is that there is a very important factor within the role of being a leader.

I have recently been discov
ering some keys to leadership that have been life changing to the way I both live and lead. I realised, through many of the comments left on my post, that there is two different roles to leadership that can at times bind leaders up if they only see them as one.

Its incredibly important to understand that although as a leader they are responsible for the burden or vision of the ministry/cell group/team etc, that does not mean they are to be alone because of it.

For a lot my life I've felt as though I never have many people to speak to because of what I feel or see that other people may not.

I realised however that although people may not be responsible for carrying the vision and burden of leadership, not letting them be involved with helping carry you takes away their role as a vital member of the team.

A classic example of this is the story of Moses and his two servants Aaron and Hur in Exodus 17:8-16:

"Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim., and Moses said to Joshua, "Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand. So Joshua did as Moses said to him and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

And so it was, when Moses held up his hand that Israel prevailed, and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hand became heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supp
orted his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword."

We see here that although Moses was the one who was the leader, and therefore was entrusted the responsibility of holding his rod above the Israelite army, he still needed help. He understood that he needed people to help support him as he carried the leadership of Israel.

It's interesting to note that when his hand "became heavy", he didn't look to try and pass the rod over to Aaron or Hur. Some leaders feel the weight of leadership and decide the best thing to do is to hand around the 'rod' just to keep the burden 'equalled out'. When a leader is called to be a leader, they're the leader.

If you're in leadership and feeling the weight of the vision or burden and know that you can't pass it around, don't shrink back and think that God has called you to be someone miserable and struggling because "the weight is too heavy to carry". God never gives you things too much for you to handle. No, don't s
hrink back - step forward and find some people that, although won't carry the weight for you, will give you the support needed for you to continue carrying that which God has given you.

If you're under leadership - support the leader. It's tough at times to carry the things that God has entrusted to them and its vital for you as a person involved with serving them to support them and keep their 'hands lifted high'. Doing this gives them the ability and strength to continue accomplishing the in
credible things God has destined.

It's a win - win situation for all.

It wasn't just Moses who won the victory that day on the battlefield, it was the whole nation of Israel.

This destiny not only includes blessing for them as the leader - but rewards for those who are faithful in serving.

Be the Aaron and Hur... for the sake of a nation.

Photos above are of Evermore concert, 30/6/07 - Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland