To Be or not To Be…Changed.

G.K. Chesterton once said, ‘The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.’ Change is intimidating. It’s intimidating to think that God wants us to change. What does that mean?

If we’re honest, it’s sometimes difficult to believe and behave in a way that honors God. However, I think that for the most part, God isn’t asking us to change as much as He wants to change us.

How does this kind of change happen? Spend less energy trying to change and invest more time in pursuing a relationship with Him. Become a student of God’s Word. Learn who God is. Learn how much value He places on you. Learn who He has created you to be. In the process, we unlearn a bunch of things that keep us from God’s best. Stop trying to change to please God. Let God’s pleasure in you change you.

The Aquarium Is Reverberating.

‘We’ve stopped becoming fishers of men and have become keepers of the aquarium.’ That’s a quote I heard recently.  It was a reminder of how easy it is as Christ followers to focus on taking care of our churches and pampering other Christians more than reaching those who don’t know Jesus.

The aquarium is reverberating.  Through the use of technology and social media, we are now connected to believer’s around the world, in an instant.  We can consume the teaching of endless communicators.  We can fill our friends list on Facebook with other believers.  We can follow other Christians and even get a sense of connecting with the untouchables – the big names – on Twitter.  There is a constant stream of noise coming at us and reflecting from us as we add our own.  We are not only keepers of the aquarium, the aquarium is reverberating.

Guilty as charged.  I am a part of this monster.  I’m a huge fan of leveraging technology and social media to further the cause of Christ.  I’m an avid user of both.  I see the benefits.

Here’s the challenge. The conversations we are able to have via these technologies has created an environment where, if we’re not careful, we can spend all of our time talking amongst ourselves.  It is happening.

Church leaders are pontificating, sharing insights, pimping their blog, promoting their conference engagements, gathering crowds of other church leaders, making a name for themselves, the list goes on and on.  Activity is deceptive, especially when we equate it with impact.  Impact happens when people’s lives are truly being changed as a direct result of our efforts.

Christians are engrossed in chatting, twittering, video chatting, blogging, etc., with each other so much that it’s possible to get sucked into this social and media vortex and never come out.  ‘Us four and no more’ has taken on a whole new relevance.

Here’s what I’m doing about it. Because I am in this thing, I am asking myself two questions:

1.  Is all of this chatter empowering me to be more effective in reaching people for Christ?  Really?  Are more people coming to Christ as a result or are we simply connecting more believer’s with each other?

2.  Is there a significant return on investment in my own spiritual growth?  As a result of all this time spent consuming the ‘noise’ generated from these social media and technology platforms, am I growing at a proportional rate?  Really?

I will continue to champion the use of technology and social media. They are great tools.  I will also try to not waste time endlessly consuming its content.   They can enhance but not replace the behaviors and actions that are vital to our spiritual growth and engaging in relationship with our neighbor across the street.  The aquarium is reverberating, consume with caution.

Stop Wandering What God Will Do.

That’s not a typo. Many of us are not growing spiritually.  We are not seeing evidence that God is at work in our life. Why is that?  We may read our Bible, go to church, and even pray – at times.  Still, we ask, ‘Where is God at work in my life?’

We’re wandering. Wandering through life without any clear direction because we have no clear destination.  That can change. That can change today.

Stop wandering.  Start asking, ‘What do I want God to do in my life?’ Write it down.  Talk about it with others.  Clarify what that is.  Pursue God with that goal in mind.  ‘God doesn’t speak to me.’  ‘Reading my Bible puts me to sleep.’  ‘My prayer life is lifeless.’  That all begins to change when we identify what we want (NEED) God to do in our life.

Do you need God to teach you how to rebuild your marriage?  Ask Him and listen closely.  Do you need God to teach you how to become a spiritual leader in your place of work?  Read your Bible with that goal in mind and watch how you’ll be energized.  Do you need God to teach you how to build stronger relationships in your life?  Pray with that goal in mind and watch your prayer life come alive.

Stop wandering what God will do. Start asking, ‘What do I want God to do in my life?’  Pursue Him and keep that goal in mind and watch what happens.  You will stop wandering while others will start wondering what has happened to you.

A New Season.

I approach life in seasons. Sometimes the seasons of change are big like going from fall to winter.  Other times they are more subtle like spring to summer.  I seem to be going through both at the same time.

A subtle season of change. I am excited to be joining the Oklahoma City Campus team at LifeChurch.tv.  When I first arrived at LifeChurch.tv five years ago, the OKC Campus was my training ground.  It’s great to be back and able to give back.

A bigger season of change. Developing people and releasing leaders.  That’s my big focus.  Some of you have asked, ‘What will be you doing at the OKC Campus?’  Here’s what I’ll be DOing.  More than that, I will BE all about developing others to be spiritual leaders in their homes and places of business, training people who are hungry to sell out to the cause of Christ, and releasing leaders to lead and make an impact.

Here are just a few of the great people I get to hang out with every day:  @chrisdbeall – coffee slingin’ leadership yoda, @brianbruss worship leader aka David Lee Roth ‘jump’, @gina_mcclain simply amazing, @lisafeist seeeriously passionate for missions, @rodneyholt first impressions people first, @carikelley missionary to zworld, @toniquinton leader of an army, @sooners71 a man with a cause.  And, many more I hope to introduce to you.

It’s a new season.  What season are you in?

SWERVE.

Guest blogger on SWERVE today.  SWERVE is the leadership blog of LifeChurch.tv for pastors and leaders.

A Twitter Type of Meeting.

Meetings, nothing more than meetings.  Some time ago, here at LifeChurch.tv, we cut everything in half.  Half the meetings done in half the time.  It’s amazing how short our meetings can be and still remain effective.

How about a Twitter Type of Meeting? Maybe it would look like this….

140 Characters or less.  Actually, much less.  If the purpose of your meeting is to make important decisions, five or fewer people seems to work best.  Keeping the number odd also helps to avoid a tie.

140 minutes or less. Actually, much less.  Many meetings, when adequately prepared for, can be very effective in 15 or 30 minute blocks of time.

140 words or less. Stay on topic.  Dialogue, debate, collaborate, make a decision, identify action steps and timelines, and recap for clarity.

125 characters or less. That’s how many you can have to leave room for others to retweet.  If your meeting landed on a decision that needs to spread through the rest of the organization, make it easy for others to spread the news.  You may even want to Twitter it.

Ed McMahon – Every Leader Wants a 2.

This morning Ed McMahon, 86, passed away.  Ed McMahon was a great number two.  Every leader craves a great number two.  Someone who measures their success by how they help their leader be a success.  Someone who stands with their leader no matter what.  Someone who is loyal.  Someone who understands their leaders humanity and loves them anyway.  Someone who compliments their leaders effectiveness by being strong where their leader may be weak.  I wrote on this from a different angle a few months ago.

May Ed McMahon be an inspiration to every number two, and three, and four, and …..