According to YouTube, Journey of Faith performed a Christmas “Flash Mob” at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach on December 18, much to the delight of local shoppers.
One of the best I’ve ever seen…don’t miss the ending.
Ever been a part of a flash mob? Would you like to be?
(Thanks to @MaxLucado for pointing me to this one.)
Introducing…from the men of Culby X…
It’s free, it’s inspiring, and it’s good.
Forgive me, but this is a personal privilege post. My son Nate, a pastoral student at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, released his first Christmas album today. This was his brainchild. He recruited the guys on his dorm floor, Culby 10th floor, to help. Nate coordinated the electronic music, another guy sang, and the guys on the floor participated with Scripture input, marketing, and general morale support.
Most amazing to me is that this project was completed in a dorm room. I don’t recall that insanity in dorm rooms from my days in college. Don’t let anyone tell you this generation can’t make a difference. The guys of Culby X, and so many others, will prove you wrong.
Do me a favor and be encouraged:
Download the album:
Like their Facebook page:
And have yourself a Merry Christmas!
I love a good leadership principle learned from observing Jesus.
There’s a story in Matthew 14:22-33.
Perhaps you’ve read it, but in case you haven’t, let me summarize.
After a long day of teaching, Jesus made His disciples get into a boat at night and head out to sea. After a few hours had passed, Jesus came to them walking on water. It was dark, late, and Jesus scared them, thinking He was a ghost. Jesus assured them it was He, to which Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you out on the water.” Peter joined Jesus walking on water, until He saw the wind and began to sink. Jesus saved Peter, got in the boat, and they were amazed at the power of God. (End of story)
Sermons and books have been written about this story. I believe it’s 100% true. It actually happened. My God is awesome.
What I want to consider this look at the story, however, is a leadership principle.
Jesus was leading the disciples to become “fishers of men”. He was teaching them His easy so they could continue a mission…which would launch a church…which continues even today.
In this story, Jesus introduced fear, challenge, and He stretched their faith. Sometimes leaders take people where they don’t want to go, so they can teach them what they need to know.
Pastors/Leaders, don’t be afraid to stretch your team. Don’t shy away from interjecting change. Don’t even be afraid to interject a little fear. If your challenge is designed for good…if you are leading to a better place…it will eventually make your team better.
Help this post. What’s the scariest thing you’ve faced in your leadership development or had to do as a leader?
Are you feeling the stress of leadership?
Are you in the midst of chaotic times?
Are there more times of crisis right now than times of celebration?
Are you facing decisions which appear bigger than you today?
Are you wondering how you should respond?
Perhaps we can gain some insight from the life Jesus.
Imagine the setting. In the midst of one of the busiest periods in Jesus’ ministry, Jesus received word that John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin…the one who had been preparing the way for Jesus’ arrival into public ministry…the one who baptized Jesus…had been executed at the hand of Herod the ruler. This had the potential to derail Jesus’ ministry. How would His disciples respond? Would they run in fear? Would the momentum shift?
Observe how Jesus, feeling the weight of leadership responsibilities and certainly dealing with personal grief, immediately responded to this tragic scenario.
When Jesus heard about it, He withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. Matthew 14:13
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, we consistently read of Him slipping away from the crowds…often by Himself…sometimes with a few close disciples…to be alone…to pray. Those times were apparently critical to His ongoing strength and success in the journey.
Now look back to the questions I posed to you at the beginning of this post…
Do you need to slip away? Do you need to get alone? Do you need to pray?
I’ve personally found the more stressful my circumstances the more time I need alone with God.
Whether you are a pastor, a ministry leader, or a stressed-out parent, I realize it seems everyone is looking to you for answers today. Your greatest response could be to slip away from the crowds. You’ll return better able to handle the demands placed upon you.
Have you often found strength in slipping away from the troubles before you respond?
(BTW, this post is not to be confused with the principles of THIS POST. Don’t use this as an excuse to run. Use it as a tool to prepare.)
“Money is the root of all evil”
Have you ever heard that phrase?
I hear it often. The problem is that it’s not in the Bible. It’s from a commonly misquoted verse from the Bible.
The actual verse says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10 (emphasis mine)
And, you’d have to admit that verse is true. You’ve seen people fall in love with their money and it causes all kinds of grief.
But, money isn’t bad in itself. I happen to like money. It provides for the necessities of life and some of life’s pleasures. It pays the church bills too. We can use our money to bless others.
God uses our system of commerce (money) to further His Kingdom. Sure, He could do without our money…He could do anything He wants with no money at all…but God does choose to use money. You’ve most likely seen Him do so.
Where we get in trouble isn’t with money. It’s with the love of money. Jesus said we can’t love both God and money. He was referring to that sold out, fully committed, do whatever it takes to get kind of love. That love isn’t to be towards our money, but towards our Savior.
Be honest, which do you love more: Your money or Your Jesus?
The best way to tell is to have to give one of them up for the other. Hope you never have to choose that way, but it would at least determine the truth of your heart.
How can you tell when someone is loving their money in an unhealthy way?
The mission of Grace Community Church is short.
GCC exists to encourage growing followers of Jesus Christ.
We believe it’s easy to understand, but it’s obviously somewhat subjective. Our staff has been working over the last few months to add some clarity to what we mean by “growing followers of Jesus Christ”. In an all day staff retreat recently, we decided on ten attributes of a growing follower of Jesus.
We call them our core values and we will be sharing them with our church in the coming weeks. These will become principles to guide how we encourage discipleship at every level of ministry.
Our core values:
A growing follower of Jesus values…
GATHERING: consistently gathering with the Church to celebrate Jesus and encounter Biblical teaching. (Acts 2:42, Hebrews 10:25)
COMMUNITY: building authentic relationships of encouragement and accountability with other followers of Jesus. (Acts 2:44, 1 Corinthians 12:12)
SERVING: developing a servant’s heart that looks to always meet the needs of others. (Matthew 20:28, 1 Peter 4:10)
PRAYER: maintaining a continuous conversation with God. (1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 5:16)
GOD’S WORD: spending consistent time reading the Bible and applying its Truth. (Acts 2:42, 2 Timothy 3:16)
SHARING THEIR STORY: creating conversations about what God has done and is doing in his/her life. (Acts 1:8, 1 Peter 3:15)
WISDOM: seeking God’s will in all decisions. (Proverbs 8:11, James 1:5)
GENEROSITY: developing a growing generosity with resources and finances. (Proverbs 3:9, 2 Corinthians 9:7)
INTEGRITY: striving to develop a reputation that honors God. (Matthew 5:16, Ephesians 4:1-3)
INFLUENCE: maximizing influence to point others to Jesus. (Deuteronomy 4:9, 1 Peter 3:16)
Does your church have something such as this to help shape programs, ministry and teaching?
Today was a special day of remembrance. You may want to read THIS POST and watch the 5 minute video associated with before viewing this message.
In our series called FREE we talked about living the freedom Christ intends for us to have, in spite of the death, pain, failure, loss and disappointments that come our way…mostly beyond our control. How as a believer are we to grieve? If you’re struggling with a significant loss, I hope this message gives you comfort:
If you choose to listen to this message, you may do so HERE: