I can't believe its October already. We've got a house we need to sell this autumn! Prayers VERY much appreciated in this regard.
I'm continuing to adjust and I think this blog is going to become a little inward-lookng and narcissitic (? is that a word?) if I say much more about life in a new city. I'm constantly right on the edge of not feeling like I belong, missing friends so painfully, but at the same time burning with excitement about the new things beginning here.
I was at the Global Leadership Summit on Friday and Saturday and got a lot from it once again this year. The two talks I found most stirring (and that I can't get out of my head) were by Gary Haugen on Courageous Leadership and Craig Groeschel of lifechurch.tv, on Finding IT
Gary Haugen heads up the International Justice Mission. Absolutely breath-taking stuff - investigating injustices (wrongful imprisonment, for example); swooping in to literally free slaves from backbreaking employment, and release children from prostitution and trafficking rings. But they sort out aftercare and long term placements as well. Do check out the website here and consider supporting it prayerfully or financially.
Craig Groeschel (aka Tom Cruise look-a-likey) is the Senior Pastor of Lifechurch.tv, a multicampus church of 25 000 people. I was overawed by the way these guys do church; it's just culturally way outside my little experience, (satellite link up! worship set of exactly 18 minutes! DVD recording of senior pastor preaching shown simultaneously at each site! Staff team of hundreds!) Craig Groeschel's life script was truly inspiring and his honesty and hunger for God infectious. And the fact remains that 14 years ago the church had 30 members.
In this session, Craig Groeschel described "it"-the intangible something that some churches have and some don`t. When "it" is present, lives are transformed. When "it" is absent, ministries feel dead. Although "it" cannot be manufactured, Craig outlined four qualities that tend to be present in churches that have "it." He explained that many churches do great things but are lacking something, which he defined as "it".
My take on this session was that Craig's talk was encouraging the listener to engage in a radical persuit of God; in the words of Tommy Tenney: be a "God chaser"; that we would never be satisfied with the middle road, the easy life, the "just enough".
In fact, I want to post here Craig's Franciscan Prayer with which he ended the session:
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.