Tag Archives: lessons

Transitions

Transitions are always hard. People are transitioning all the time. Whether people are moving home, getting married, changing jobs, starting new endeavors or even changing churches, transitions happen.

In my experience I have found that May & June are the time people tend to transition most. As a ministry leader and then as an associate Pastor I learned and recognized that this time of year was the time when volunteers quit, people wanted to try new things or people left the churches we were at. However, it was also a time when new people would come on board, new volunteers would be found and your ministry was the new thing people wanted to try.

For any leader this is a bitter sweet time. Transition is hard. Change can be difficult and sometimes you feel people are making the wrong decision in their transition. Yet transition is something every ministry has to embrace. Big churches, small churches, urban churches or rural churches all experience it.

However, I encourage you to embrace this time. Transition shows health and life. Your body transitions and changes because it is alive. The trees and plants transition during this time because they are alive and so the church, which is the body of Christ, will transition and change because it is alive.

This doesn’t mean everything should change and everyone should move on to other things, but it does mean when you see a change in the wind or a new season arriving embrace it and work with it because more than likely God is moving the pieces around to perfectly align you for a new fruitful season of blessing.

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Self Made Millionaires

There are two types of millionaires in this world, self made and inherited.

I love to hear the story of a self made millionaire. Someone who went from rags to riches. Someone who through sheer blood sweat and tears made a name for themselves.

The reason for this I think is the way I was raised by my father. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up. I never received an allowance and we were always the last to get any new gadget. For example we didn’t get a VCR player until something called DVD’s were coming on the market.

As a child I would often resent the fact that I didn’t get what other kids got. I didn’t like the fact that if I wanted any money I’d have to go out and earn it. I realized that if I wanted to be a millionaire, I’d have to be a self made one.

After paying my way through college, paying for my first car and insurance and paying for my own wedding I started to realize the value of how I was raised.

I would look at my friends who had been given plenty as a child, they were not stable. I noticed others who had been given large down payments for their first home, or daddy had paid for their lavish wedding and seeing many who collapsed under the weight of problems when things got hard. I started to thank God that I had missed out on the free hand-outs because even though I didn’t have as much as others I knew I could survive through anything, even the loss of a job, home or support.

So when we made the decision to plant a church it came as not surprise to me that we wouldn’t get the free handouts some planters get. Did I want the handouts? Oh yes. Was it best for the course of our church to get those free handouts? Oh no.

You see planting Generation Church required more blood, sweat and tears that I’ve ever experienced. However, as I look back at our first four months of existence I’m starting to realize that there is a true grit in our church, and that is to fulfill the mission and vision of God at all costs! In the beginning it was just plain tough, but now we are starting to see a little bit of momentum. Those days of sweat and nights of tears we sowed are now starting to reap a harvest and I am so excited for the days ahead. They won’t get easier, in fact I know the larger we grow the harder it becomes, but we’ll know that those early days of working through college, doing a paper round, saving for a wedding, and self funding a church plant will be the foundation that no storm will be able to shake.

So if you’re one of those people like me who realizes that if you want anything in life you’re going to have to work for it, know this. Know that God sees those days, months and years where all you sow is blood, sweat and tears. He see’s that you watered them with countless hours of prayer and He will cause the growth!

No storm in life will be able to shake you!


Why isn’t God answering my prayer?

Why isn’t God answering my prayer?

That was the question I couldn’t answer at the time.

Last night I ran into someone I haven’t seen in a while. The last time I saw them they were going through the biggest trial of their lives. They had moved to Maryland because of their employment and their wife thought this was the perfect time to end their marriage.

I remember praying with this person, trying to help them understand what was happening and trying to put a plan together to win her back! This person fasted for days, prayed like never before, read a ton of books on marriage and tried to understand his wife. However, there was no fairly tale end to this story. The wife demanded a divorce, the man was crushed and the question he asked me haunted me for months, ‘Why isn’t God answering my prayer?’

To be honest I had no idea! I mean why doesn’t God answer some prayers when quite clearly the bible says ask and it shall be given.

However, as I look back on that situation it is now clear what was going on. This man was going through a trial, so his focus became about that trial. The purpose behind the prayer was the trial. The focus on the fasting was the trial. The change in attitude towards his wife was because of the trial. This was a good man who wanted to save his marriage, but in the midst of a trial so often our focus becomes the trial. We try this and that to stop the pain, when in reality our focus should be Jesus not the trial.

Sometimes God allows a prayer not to be answered in order to take us to a place where our focus becomes him and him alone. A place where we pray just to talk to him not pray to get something. Where we fast to go deeper with him, not to get a breakthrough. Where we treat people well because we the temple of God’s Holy Spirit, not trying to convince others we have changed.

I think some people don’t receive their answer to prayer because God is looking for a response from them, but sometimes we can be focused on our trial that we miss what God is actually trying to do through us!

So today, if you are going through a trial! Take your focus off it, put it on Jesus and ask him to do through you what we needs to do!