creative canvas

Francis Chan – Friday evening NYWC 2009

Sunday, 22 November, 2009
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these are the notes from francis chan’s talk on friday night at NYWC 2009. they are a bit raw so check em out! Hopefully, thoughts coming later.

 

Friday Evening – Francis Chan

“Abiding in Christ”

john 15

/  v. 4 abide in me and i in you. as a branch cannot survive on its own with the vine, neither can you without me….apart from me you can do nothing!

/  do you really believe that everything is about you abiding in jesus? if thats not there, then you can do absolutely nothing.

/  what would a parent of a sr. high student want from their youth pastor?? what would you strive for your daughter to have??

/ real fruit lasts

/  everyone else thinks your awesome, but i know the truth that you aren’t actually alive. letter to the church of sartas in revelations

/  what would god say about you if I interviewed him about you????

/  john 6.63 “it is the spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all”

/  lives are becoming more scattered. all kinds of distractions.

/   can we slow down for a second and examine our time with him. what would christ say about our time with him? are you really in love with jesus? are you faking it?

/  2 peter 1 “if these qualities are yours and they’re actually increasing, this is ognna keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in your life and ministry with God”

/  when you keep Christ  your center, the above verse will come true

/  “Prone to wonder” God, i feel myself walking away. but the word of god brings us back to the truth and brings us back to the god we fell in love with.

/  supplement your faith with virtue

/  what is your biggest lie tonight?

/   my personal time with god sucks. i need help and i need to re-focus. my time with god needs to be better and more intentional.

/  being moderate in it all the desires and self control

/  help me get back to that reverence and being amazed in your presence? how you doing with your godliness?

/  do you love your students? do i love my students? Do I? Are you growing, creating a family in that youth group??

/  we try to work and plan everything out in ministry, but when you read the bible, movement was super-natural.

/  movements in church’s just don’t happen. all we can do is pray and ask god to see real fruit.

/  too often we work in the flesh and try to do it ourselves. when god’s the only one that can move us?

/  the big red tractor – don’t you feel like you’re just trying to push this thing? trying to get the most gifted speakers, musicians, etc. ? then we read acts. it didn’t seem like they had to do all these things and work so hard. Are we manipulating the spirit and the bible?

/  GOD, I CANNOT CREATE THE WAVE. I NEED YOU TO CREATE THIS WAVE CAUSE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN.

/  we didn’t follow cleverly devised plans, for when he redivide honor and glory from the father and he spoke “this is my beloved son”, we were with him on the holy mountain. we have something more sure. the prophetic word that you will do well to pay attention. knowing this 1. no prophecy comes from someone’s own interpretation for no prophecy came from the mouth of man.

/  we have something more sure than an experience. we have his word and his truth in our hands. do we still believe that this is where the power is found. he is where the power is found.

/  steadfast – bearing up under pressure, under weight. the longer you hold it up, the stronger you’re gonna get. “make very effort to become this person who is continually getting stronger or (is steadiest). ”

/  eerytime hardships come, i’d ask god to take it away. why is this happening? why respond like that, i didn’t want my character to grow. i wanted things to be easy and things to be simple. when you become this person, you are unfruitful.

/  but if you go out and rely on God, then you will see fruit. cause you are experiencing the HS and riding the wave of the HS.

/  have you been on your knees with god? have you been frustrated? We count our trials as joy b/c they make us stronger.

/  do i need to spend an hour a day in prayer? YES I DO. NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT PRAYER.

/  talent doesn’t matter. if you weren’t willing to pray, you shouldn’t be on staff. I NEED TO PRAY.



Andy Stanley – Friday NYWC Big Room Session

Saturday, 21 November, 2009
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I heard Andy Stanley for the first time yesterday. He was incredible!! Here are a few notes. HOpefully, some more of my own thoughts coming up sometime soon!

 

Andy Stanley – friday afternoon

(LD is short of Leadership) (italicized are my own additions during talk)

/ Every leader to some extent is clueless. THey think they know what to do and everyone they look up to has the answer

/ When it comes to LD, there is so much uncertainty. and It never never never goes away. You don’t get enough wisdom, knowledge, etc etc etc. – What about solomon??????????

/ “I don’t know what to do” – most common phrase among leaders?

/ the reality of LD – uncertainty is a permenant part. YOu will never know what the circumstances hold

/ I will always be uncertain. I am certain of it.

/ Uncertainty is normal. You don’t have a probe, or missed your calling, or doing the wrong thing, but it is why God has gifted you and called you as leader. When everything is predictable, there is no need for leadership.

/ When there is no longer uncertainty, no need for LD

/ God seems to get the most mileage out of uncertain times. THe times that God worked the biggest baddest thing in your life, it would be a day that was rough, a tough situation, a difficult time in church, most difficult job.

/ LD is most needed in times of uncertainty

/ you are needed now more than ever

/ confidence – everyday i start on my knees and declare my dependance on God but at the ned of the day, I’m not going to be afraid to step up and make decisions.

/ temptation – i if were a good leader, i’d know what to do. NOT TRUE.

/ Leaders have surfaced b/c of uncertain times.

/ the crucifixion of our savior, the epicenter of uncertainty – where is God? I’m in the midst of it, i’m manufacturing this event so the world can celebrate it forever and ever.

/ why should we be intimidated by uncertainty? heroes faith were made in the uncertain times. god leverages uncertainty for his glory.

/ will we lead in such a way that god gets maximum glory in our personal lives and our ministry lives?

/ history is circular and that every period of tragedy/uncertainty, we believe that is going somewhere and we’re apart of what god’s up to. THIS IS WHY WE ARE NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER.

/ Leading in uncertainty –

/ two things that are always needed in times of uncertainty: 1. clarity 2. flexibility

/ 1. clarity – trumps uncertainty in organization – when times are uncertain in local church, etc etc. that is the time for the leader to step up and be absolutely crystal clear about what god has positioned you to do. if you can declare a sound announcement. clarity in a time of uncertainty, is what positions and surfaces leaders in an organization. this person becomes the person people lean into for leadership. look at the scriptures.  the person that brings the clearest message is the leader. Leaders step back out of uncertainty, and into something they know.

/ what has god called our student ministry to do in our community? what is your role in the community of Clay Center?

/ sTanley’s vision – create church that unchurched people wanted to attend. Our mission was never to keep a particular faily together or keep people together, but to CREATE A CHURCH THAT UNCHURCHED PEOPLE WANTED TO ATTEND. Stanley went back to what he was familiar with. IDK about money or finances or schedule but heres what i know: we have come here to create a church that unchurched people want to attend. clarity clarity clarity.

– transition between moses and joshua. joshua has a PHD in “wandering” from moses. you need to put an army together and take back my land. i’m moving you in. “get your stuff together and 3 days”. theres a lot we don’t know. theres a lot we can’t predict. but get your stuff together and in 3 days, we’re crossing the jordan and taking back this land.

/ what has god called you to do? LOVE UP. LOVE OUT.

/ 2. flexibility – god has called us to do something and so we have this vision, dream, big. so we have to plan for the vision. VIsions stays the same – Plans change. Plans will change, plans will fail. BUt the Vision must stay the same. Marry your vision – date your plans.

/ when the plan fails, what is god trying to tell you? BAD PLAN. You need a different plan, a new plan, a clear plan.

/ what is the hill you die for.

/ jim walton says about his father – we all snickered as some writers, dad thrived on change and no decision was ever sacred.

/ we must be extraordinarily flexible. Here’s what God has called us to do. Here’s the approach. How would God have us do ministry in these extraordinary times.

/ be stubborn with your vision, be flexible with your plans.

Process –

/ be honest with your leaders

/ “i don’t know what right now. but we’re gonna find out.”

/ “i don’t know right now, but when the time comes, i’m confident that god is gonna show us what to do”

/ “i don’t know right now, but god has always been faithful to us in the past hasn’t he?”

/ “i could be wrong, but i believe this is the best course of action”

/ you must learn how to authentically communicate the arenas you are unsure.

/  you don’t wanna pretend that you know something you don’t. theres a way to communicate authenticity.

/ you must seek counsel – LD is not about making decisions on your own. it’s about owning decisions after you make them.

/ LD is about standing up and owning your decision with the most people around you”

/ the wisest man in the world, Solomon, but b/c he was the wisest person, eh said the most about seeking counsel. it’s not about making decisions on your own.

/ LD is about standing up and saying all these things and then say “i’m asking you to follow me, but the minute i know it’s not working, i’ll come to you. You won’t have to find me”

/ PRAY FOR WISDOM LIKE CRAZY.

/ a recession is a terrible thing to waste. there are things we can get done now in STUMIN, that you could never get done when there is more money, etc. LEVERAGE THE UNCERTAINTY.

/ every leader needs amazing grace

/ every day of our lives, we need amazing grace. the grace to know what it is god’s called us to do. the grace to step forward and lead people into uncertainty.

/ what we need in the context is this: God’s amazing grace.

/ Dane, are you too proud? Think about that. Be willing to trash something if it isn’t working.


Something is wrong here

Monday, 9 November, 2009
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Sometimes, the church isn’t so much about being the church anymore. I came across this article about a pastor committing suicide. This is a sad sad thing and nothing I like reading about or talking about. But as I was reading it, a few thoughts crossed my mind and I wanna share them with you.

~~ This is just a reminder for pastors of any type to make sure rest is included in their busy week. Each week, we need times of rest and solitude, an opportunity to reconnect to God. The job of a pastor can be extremely busy and almost wreaking havoc in their lives.

~~ Pastor’s should not have to suffer in silence. It is ridiculous to think that a pastor of a church should not struggle with the everyday things that people who aren’t pastor’s struggle with. It is ludicrous for a church to demand perfection out of a pastor and when they do, they keep it inside. Pastors internalize their mistakes as not being “good enough” and have no one to turn to. This creates an unhealthy atmosphere.

~~ When a pastor cannot be honest with his congregation, they lose the authentic community that Christ longs for for the church. This comes right along with not expecting perfection. When the church recognizes that the pastor is human just like the rest of them and they ALLOW him to admit that, he is free from that pressure. He is free from feeling like he has to put up a front to his church and to everyone around him. Can you imagine if every church embraced this idea of FREEING their pastors?

~~ Every pastor needs a support system or team around them to help encourage them or help guide them. We all need people in our lives to be there for us to talk with or work things out with. For myself personally, I work better with groups of people. I think better when I can verbally work out my thoughts with other people, hear other people’s thoughts, etc.

~~ If you are a pastor and you think it is wrong to have thoughts that might contradict the church and your faith in God, it’s okay. You’re a human being, you still have a sin nature. Jesus Christ was the only perfect example for us to follow, not you or I. It’s okay if you are struggling with a great theological truth that you, as a pastor of people, are “suppose” to have an answer to and be able to explain to people.

~~ The writer of this article says you are committing career suicide if you have to seek treatment or ask for time off. Unfortunately, this may be true in some cases. But church governing bodies need to take a closer look at allowing retreats for pastor’s several times a year, if not more. At the Covenant Church, our lead pastor just required those on staff to have two scheduled prayer retreats through the next year and actually is encouraging us to find time for four of these within the next season of ministry. This was a great reminder that I need that time to be given energy, vision, direction, and encouragement.

My heart truly aches for David’s family and his church. My prayer is that his family will find encouragement and healing and that God would be glorified in the coming months. Please pray for David’s family and his church as they process this incident and mourn the loss.


desperate

Sunday, 8 November, 2009
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This past summer, I took our Sr. High students to a Covenant week long conference called CHIC in Knoxville, TN. At this conference, our students and our leaders were given bracelets so that we could be identified with the conference. If you’ve ever been an adult leader or pastor in charge of students, you understand just how important these bracelets are at conferences. Anyways, after the conference, I decided to leave my bracelet around my wrist as a reminder for me to remember what we had learned at the conference about being “Undone”. Some may call this tacky or unprofessional but for me, it was a reminder of the week with my students.

This bracelet reminded me about the times my students and I had in our nightly small group, a time to debrief the day and to think about what our main session speaker had challenged us with for the evening. We had some good nights of discussion and some good nights of being challenged.

I watched some of our students grow closer to the person that God wants them to be, I watched students from all over begin to understand who God had created them to be and do. I watched students from all over try to push God away during that week and to try to pretend that everything in their lives are perfect, hunky doory. But they aren’t.

I watched drained youth pastors receive a new breath and a hear God’s voice in ministry again. I watched some frustrated, tired youth pastors find restoration and find strength in the one true vine, through the holy spirit. I watched some youth pastors, some who were discouraged and we’re against a brick wall, see the light at the end of the tunnel. They were reminded why we do what we do.  I was in that boat. God reminded me why I do what I do. Why I get so frustrated and heart broken and why it is all worth it for the  Kindgom of God.

I watched some parents be challenged by some youth half their age. I watched them be inspired by their actions and words, I watched them smile.

I watched God move. I saw God work in the lives of high school teenagers, who face sometimes the hardest trials we can imagine from their peers. God’s spirit opened my eyes to what he is doing in students’ lives. He opened my eyes to what he is doing in my life.

I was inspired and moved by God’s word. All these things are part of my memory from CHIC . These are things I want to remember when I look back on my first trip to CHIC.

This bracelet meant these things and many more to me. It was encouraging to look at my wrist and see this bracelet. It was a reminder of God’s faithfulness. It’s a lot of things.

This morning, this bracelet fell off. I was kinda stunned at this moment. I hadn’t really thought about what it would be like for the bracelet to fall off or if I ever lost the bracelet. These memories that this bracelet brings were not only available b/c of the bracelet. But when the bracelet broke, I was reminded of something: like the theme of CHIC “Undone”, my life must become “undone” like that bracelet. My life must fall apart for the glory of God. I don’t want to hold myself or my life together. I want God to hold me together, God to tear me apart, God to mold me. Unfortunately, these desires are not always the desires I strive for. But I am learning how to chase after the things more that God intends for me to chase after. You may feel like sometimes God isn’t holding you together. You may feel like God has abandoned you. But in fact, he hasn’t. He is still there, waiting for you to tell him that you need him to hold you together. This statement isn’t an easy statement to make and in fact, somedays I decide to try and hold myself together. But i quickly am reminded that
I DESPERATELY NEED GOD.

This bracelet, that might not have meant much to anybody else, when it broke, reminded me that i need to be broken and undone.

Become Undone.

Below here is the benediction the entire stadium of students and pastors would speak together before leaving each night:

And now as we go on our way
may Jesus undo our watered-down,
sanitized and sugar-coated faith,
so that we may follow Him into a heroic life
where our comfort zones are undone
so that we are not afraid to become
countercultural and counter comfortable.

Holy Spirit, reveal a God who is bigger
than all we can figure out
and who loves us beyond what we can imagine.

Give us the courage and the commitment
to work together so that none
of God’s work remains undone.


How badly do you want it?

Saturday, 11 July, 2009
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” It”
– Craig Groeschel

So, I began a book series last month for “Crazy Love” by Franchis Chan. However, my intern needed my book for a study so I am without it. I have decided to continue this by reading “it” by Craig Groeschel, pastor of LifeChurch.tv in Edmond, Oklahoma.

I’m gonna post as I read this book. I want to know your thoughts and comments and to discuss with you what Craig says in this book. I must be honest, I was a bit skeptical about this book. For some reason, I anticipated that Craig was going to give us a formula for “it” or a pattern that a church must take. Fortunately, I’ve only read a few chapters but it is obvious that this is not his intent. Made my heart rejoice!

Chapter 1: where did IT come from?

-the good news: if you don’t have it, you can get it.
– the bad news: if you have it, you can lose it.

1. If a church lacks what most people think you need to have church, yet they have it, does this mean that buildings, environments, logos, websites, and so on are not important? Why or why not?
– In my opinion, they are important. But where church’s go wrong is this: when they begin to supercede it. When those things begin to drive the church or the vision, that’s when it needs to cease. It needs to drive those things. Not vice versa.

2. Can you think of an example of a church that had it and then lost it? Describe what happened. Why do you think that ministry lost it?
– I witnessed a church grow and really become a movement in the community. But at one point, it just became motions and the heart seemed to be missing in the middle of it all. I think they may have lost it because they got a little bit too busy with everything else. Keep the main thing, the main thing. Someday, I want to see it. I want to be apart of it. I’m praying and seeking it for Clay Center Covenant.
I’m very excited to see what role God has me playing.

3. If you’ve ever been part of a ministry that had it, you knew it. Describe what it felt like. What were some of the qualities that you experienced and appreciated?
– I don’t know that I’ve ever been part of a ministry that had it. I mean, if you think you have it, do you really have it? Does it ever have a stopping point or a point where you’ve figured it all out? I say no. When you think  you have it, you’ve lost it.

4. What part of your ministry has it? (Your choir, your student ministry, or hospitality ministry might have it.) What factors do you believe contribute to it?
– I don’t know. I need to think about this question more.

Okay so this is what I’m doing. I’m taking the discussion questions at the end of each chapter and just kinda sharing my thoughts. I am praying for God to open my eyes and show me what he has for his Kingdom’s work. I am excited to be a part of it.



Be Crazy Love

Wednesday, 3 June, 2009
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Crazy Love

<So I’ve decided I’m going to start reading “Crazy Love” by Franchis Chan and write my thoughts, ponderings, questions, etc. regarding each chapter and use this as the notebook. I’d love to pose some good questions, insights or whatever regarding this topic of crazy love for God, crazy love for people, etc. I would love for you to grab a copy of the book, read a chapter a week with me, and have some great conversations about this. You can go to crazylovebook.com and get your own copy! Here’s the plan: by saturday night, I am going to have posted the first chapter of crazy love. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it as well.