I have been attempting to put together a personal mission statement over many months, and nothing has every clicked, until last night. I was up until 1am, praying and brainstorming, and I came up with the acronym:
Speaker Apostle Leader Visionary Organiser
These are five roles that I believe God has gifted me in. My aim is to use these giftings to 100% capacity at all times, and I wish to go through life intentionally improving on these things...
Personally, ministry is going well. Jo and I have led times of worship recently and preached the message of Jesus to the people of Darwin Salvos. I have made much time to read lately, especially at nights and here are some thoughts:
* When we build followers, we add, when we build leaders, we multiply * Leadership is about timing. God brought about a Reformation around the 16th Century, through people like Martin Luther. People said the same things as Luther said years before, but were not heard, as the timing wasn't right. * Maintainance seems to me, to actually be decline. When we find ourselves comfortable, we seem to not just maintain, but things actually fall backwards. * When we walk, we are constantly falling forward... a little bit like how faith should be.
Stay tuned for a breakdown of my 'SALVO' acronym, and some scripture references that apply.
John Wesley back in the 18th Century writes this about 'Salvation': 'By Salvation I mean, not barely (according to the vulgar notion) deliverance from hell, or going to heaven, but a present deliverance from sin, a restoration of the soul to its primitive health, its original purity; a recovery of the divine nature; the renewal of our souls after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness, in justice, mercy, and truth.'
'...while God's gracious empowerment was the source of our resulting ability to sin, God is never the cause of our choice to sin' (Maddox, 1994: 61).
Wesley's understanding of the Holy Spirit: 'I believe the infinite and eternal Spirit of God, equal with the Father and the Son, to be not only perfectly holy....but the immediate cause of all holiness in us: enlightening our understandings, rectifying our wills and affections, renewing our natures, uniting our persons to Christ, assuring us of the adoption of sons, leading us in our actions, purifying and sanctifying our souls and bodies to a full and eternal enjoyment of God'.
(Things are happening in Darwin, Jo and I are well, we'll keep you posted soon!)
* 'To better the future we must disturb the present' - Catherine Booth * Galatians 6:9 - 'Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up' * Love God, Love others (2Love) - Mt 22:34-40 * Attended my first 'Mainly Music' program recently. A heap of little kids, a lot of mums, and some good singing... * Someone spoke to me recently about the Oasis Film on ABC. They said, 'I will never refuse to give to the Salvos ever again after watching that...' Check out: The Salvation Army website in Australia for more info. * Do you long to be successful? Great, but how do you measure success? People won't always come up and tell you when you've made a difference in their life. * John Wesley (18th Century), 'understood human salvation in its fullest sense to include deliverance (1) immediately from the penalty of sin, (2) progressively from the plague of sin, and (3) eschatologically (i.e. at the end of time!) from the very presence of sin and its effects' (Maddox, 1994: 143). * A Revolution is started from a united effort; not one evangelist, not one Pastor, not one passionate Salvo, but a myriad of sold-out Christians engaging in God's mission to transform lives...
I preached on Sunday morning at Darwin corps... Here's a summary: Nehemiah heard news that the walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed, and after hearing this he wept, fasted and prayed. He then felt God wanted him to travel from Persia, where he was living, (Today: Iran), and travel about 700km west (through today's Iraq), to Jerusalem.
He got there, he rallied some Jews and started rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem (c.a. 445BC). Then in Neh 4:6, it says, 'So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.'
Have you ever been half-way through something and then have just given up? Maybe it was a project, or a vision God gave you, or maybe a Uni degree... Then you just stopped.
In the next part of the story of Nehemiah, people start criticising Nehemiah, and opposing his passion to rebuild the walls. Then the Jewish people start complaining... It's never gonna work Nehemiah. It's useless, we've never done anything like this before.
But Neh 4:14 is the key... 'After I looked things over... I STOOD UP...' In the midst of adversity, in the midst of opposition, and in the midst of pessimistic attitudes, Nehemiah chose to STAND! He addressed the crowd, and inspired them to continue on and rebuild the walls. After 52 days, they completed the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem...
In the midst all the things you have started, and are going through, and are experiencing, will you choose to STAND? To stand before God and say, 'I'm going to finish the dream you placed on my heart! I'm going to complete the study I believe you wanted me to do. I'm going to pay off this mortgage, and reclaim steady finances. I will STAND!
If you want to go a little deeper... Nehemiah had a few things that enabled him to STAND in the midst of adversity: * He and others PRAYED (Neh 4:9a) * He was WATCHFUL (Neh 4:9b) -- i.e. be alert when you pray, ask God to show you things * He PERSEVERED * GOD'S PRESENCE was with with (Neh 4:14)
Just imagine running a program in a local church and many years go by... The same program is running, and the same people are attending, and everyone is having a great time. All of a sudden someone asks, 'So, what's the purpose of this program?' Defeaning silence is heard, as people wonder why anyone would ask such a question. 'What ya mean, what's the purpose?' 'I mean... what's the purpose??'
Sometimes we run programs, and we never step back a little and assess why we are doing what we are doing.
Just simply, are we: * Transforming Lives? * Caring for People? * Making Disciples? * Reforming Society?
Or are we just entertaining a bunch of teenagers? Tickling the ears of oldies? Feeding people who already are full? Making disciples of no-one? Reforming anything that happens to be in our way?
Is there purpose behind what YOU do? Are you longing to fulfil the mission of God, by engaging in purposeful ministry that establishes God's Kingdom here on Earth?
Say hello to Major Geneen Wright, she's the Manager at the Sunrise Centre in Darwin, and coordinates Drug and Alcohol Services and a Homeless Shelter.
Here's Jo and I doing some Tai Chi at Sunrise. So watch out, if any of you cross with us, we know all the skills... Only joking!
Our time at Sunrise was exciting and challenging. In the Chapel pictured above we spoke about our belief in Jesus and how his saving power can take your addictions and set you free. We did some chaplaincy, we looked at admin, we connected with Drug and Alcohol clients, we spent time in programs like anger management, and self-esteem and 'Boundaries'.
One thought... When doing drug and alcohol rehab work, I believe we should closely integrate the practical skills for clients and the spiritual truths about Jesus in all this work. Sunrise is a great example of clients who have come off their addictions and have become followers of Jesus. Sounds like success to me.
Some leaders are terrible. Others are good. But some seem to have qualities of a Revolutionary. Here are some leaders around today that I think that are worth learning from:
* Commissioner Jim Knaggs - Ever spoken to Jim? He'll stand up close, and share with you words of wisdom, and encourage you on your Christian journey. A leader who passionately shares his vision for the Territory (Australia Southern Territory) and I always personally feel compelled to follow his vision, as I have this assurance that what he speaks is of God!
* President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Current President of Liberia) - I watched a documentary of this lady, who is a remarkable strong leader. She is attempting to bring financial security back into Liberia, eradicate coruption, and create a safe place to live. I watched how she had protesters outside her office, she invited some of them in for talks, and these protestors ended up leaving excited and supportive of all that the President was doing. (I don't know about you, but If I led a meeting of hostile people, I'm not sure I'd have the skills to have them leaving supportive of my vision!)
* General Eva Burrows - I went to a leadership day once, and people began to voice their opinions freely, and people were getting hot under the collar. All of a sudden General Eva spoke, and everyone went silent, hanging on every word she said. Now, THAT is influence. John C. Maxwell says, that when the real leader speaks, people listen.
Help us Lord to be influential leaders, for the sake of your Kingdom!
Alan Hirsch, the author of 'The Shaping of Things to Come' knows the guys who run this site. It's authentic, and simple a good idea! Why not click on ONE HIT WONDER and donate $1 to overseas aid. Simple? Yes!
* I read an email recently criticising Earth Hour saying that it does not intend it purpose of reducing Global Warming effects. I believe it helps to build awareness on the reality of global warming. * Interested in injustices? Check out Free West Papua which is a site dedicated to reporting the injustices that have and still occur for West Papuans with corruption and power issues with the Indonesian Government/Military. * Watched a documentary about Affordable Housing in Australia. There is no easy solution apparently. Pray for wisdom for the Minister of Housing in Australia! Check out: Minister for Housing - Australia (Hon Tanya Plibersek). * I took a Drug & Alcohol client (friend!) to Church on Sunday. He enjoyed it, mostly because he felt God was speaking to his heart... He's interested in going to Hillsong Conference in Sydney with Jo and I. * 11 Youth attended our Revolution Bible Study on Sunday night. Leaders are being developed. Youth are getting passionate for Jesus. The Revolution is happening...
* We are a Salvation Army. We want to see people saved. And for all those theologians reading... yes, fully saved, saved from sin, addictions, giving into temptations, etc. Save us Lord Jesus. Let the Revolution begin!