Archives For Confessions

As much as you like the group you serve, one day you will move on. Others may carry you out feet first, but you will definitely move on from your group.

Are you raising up others to take your place when you leave?

Early on in my life as a Believer a mentor of mine impressed on me the vital importance of replacing myself with others I felt good about leading after my time was up. I’ve led and transitioned with a number of groups since then. Some of those have gone well, others not so much!

Here are some gleanings I’ve picked up.

  1. Pray your replacement in. God wants to bring a mentee(s) your way. Ask him to stir it up.
  2. Scan the horizon. Someone is always on the way. You won’t notice what God is providing if you aren’t looking.
  3. Make yourself available. Be willing to be inconvenienced.
  4. Decide to fail a lot. We usually fail when we aspire to not fail. You won’t succeed unless you fail frequently. Take on the counsel of G.K. Chesterton. “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.”
  5. Pray that when they leave you won’t hold it against them for long. What am I saying? It’s common to part ways with a mentee under stress. It happened with Paul and those he coached in the Book of Acts. Don’t be surprised if the same thing happens to you, at least for a time after you part ways.

At the end of the year some time ago I gave a message on a few year-end reflections I had cloaked around “My Biggest Mistakes of the Year.” To my surprise more listened to that message than any in the previous year. The following year I did the same with fresh, new mistakes. Again, there was an enthusiastic response. I continue to make this a year-end message, but I am now doing an enhanced version online for some of my sites – thus what you are now reading.

On the surface of things, it may seem a little dark to ponder one’s mistakes, but I don’t see it that way, and neither does God. In the Bible, God consistently choose people who were prone to make mistakes yet went on to be stellar examples of lives strongly lived.

Peter, for one, was a mistake maker who went on to great things. His mistakes didn’t impair him from greatness. He took risks that often led to failure but always left a deposit of faith in him. He was able to walk on water when the others were afraid to step out of the security of the boat. He failed after a step or two, but he received an amazing installation of faith just the same.

What you read here are my confessions from this past year. Each of them is an area where I blew it but then made a mid-course correction along the way.

Click here or on the above image to download the PDF.

Focus on the future

October 7, 2011 — Leave a comment
Did you know that Apple stock purchased in 1997 has gone up 9000% to today’s market? I came close to investing heavily in Apple at around that time. I felt led of the Spirit to do so but made a fatal mistake – I consulted an expert who knew all about investments. The famous words spoken by a Christian money manager were, “What’s an Apple?” A couple of years later I felt a similar leading but made the same mistake of consulting this expert. I explained that the iPod had just been on the cover of Time magazine. His response was, “What’s an iPod?” (I was on my second one.)
Lessons learned:
  1. It’s probably not good to confine decisions to Christian professionals (strike probably; insert your own stronger word as you see fit)
  2. There’s no point in punishing ourselves for missed opportunities. Nothing will change as a result. List your learnings and move on.
  3. God’s leading always trumps the experts – ALWAYS, no matter what your age, experience and field of endeavor.
  4. There are always going to be more opportunities in the Kingdom of God. God not only owns all the gold and all the silver, because he is the Creator of opportunities. For those who are relatively free from fear doors will open passages we can walk through. I’d much rather have future opportunity than merely the present accumulation of goods. Goods come and go (mostly go). Opportunity is going to open amazing doors and prove that God is who he says he is.

I read Romans chapter 2 for years before the light went on with an important verse one day – 2:4b. “The kindness of God leads to repentance” (NASB). A powerful force is released in the lives of others when we do a small thing – when we show the kindness of God in a practical way, even when that kindness is done in a seemingly small way.
Your acts of kindness release a desire in those served to repent. The problem we face in evangelism is we can try to talk people into changing their hearts when God isn’t initiating the change. That’s a tough sell. I love this verse because it promises that what we do leads to a “radical change” as the Message puts it.

I’m no evangelist

September 28, 2011 — 1 Comment

I recently took the online inventory commonly referred to as the APEST put together by Alan Hirsch and company (TheForgottenWays.org). I scored as a Shepherd-Prophet and not an Evangelist! In reading the SP combo I realized I have always been one who sought to passionately lead people to do things more than doing those things myself. Makes sense. I’ve always said, “My desire is to get people to do evangelism more than for me to do evangelism myself” so that test summary seems right on target.
That’s true for all the five-fold gifts. They are given “to equip the saints do the work of the ministry” more than to accomplish that work alone.
Now go do the work that matters – however you’re wired.

Page 1 of 512345