If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
Archives For Thoughts
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
One of the keys to developing leaders – at any level – is seeing people not as they are or as others see them, but as they could be.
God wants our conduct to be an example to others. If the way we live doesn’t back up what we proclaim on Sunday morning, we’re not only deceiving the church – we’re misrepresenting the God we claim to be worshiping I don’t ever want people who see me lead worship publicly to be surprised by the way I live privately.
Our varied skills should function like a frame around a classic painting. If the frame is too bold or extravagant, we’ll hardly notice the picture it displays. On the other hand, if the frame is cheap, shabby, or marred, we’ll wonder why such a masterpiece is surrounded by junk.
The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasures you have brought into other people’s lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.
We worship leaders can struggle with discouragement when we miss an entrance, play a wrong chord, or forget the lyrics. We can feel elated when everything goes well. But God isn’t listening to the sound of our music or the quality of our performance. He’s hearing the sound of our hearts.
If you’re involved (i.e. serving) in a church, you’ll know that it is Easter this weekend. Heck, you’ve probably been working towards this weekend for weeks now. OK, some of you haven’t, as I’m still getting visitors arrive on my blog searching for Easter set lists – geeessh!
You also probably know that more people than normal usually turn out for church on Sunday, all dressed up in their fancy clothes. That’s all great. These folk already know about your church. They already know what to expect because they are churched folk, even though they only come for Christmas, Easter, weddings and funerals. I’m not downplaying this – it’s still super to see all the old and new faces together.
The thing is, the people you really need in your Easter service are still at home, on the street, in the bar, at the gym, fishing, working, sleeping, doing the same thing they do every Sunday morning (or whenever you happen to hold your services). They do not know the significance of Easter. It’s not a big deal to them and we need to understand that.
In fact, I’m fairly sure I could find some of my neighbors who have not even heard of Easter. No joke. Can I name all of the Muslim or Hindu holy days, or even tell you what they are about? Nope.
I’ve been struck recently by Peter’s vision of all the animals in the sheet, and how God needed to show him that it was OK to reach out to a certain group of people. I mean, God had to show Peter this?! Come on Peter!! God is for everyone and everyone needs God. Simple as that.
So this year, in addition to inviting your neighbors, and those friends that never come, challenge yourself to invite people you wouldn’t normally invite. Invite people you wouldn’t think would even be interested in church. Invite people you never even talk to. And do what I did this year and invite people you don’t even like!
And if you’re embarrassed to invite people to your own church, invite them to another church down the road! Ha ha! Don’t hold them back from a possible encounter with Jesus!
Someone is reading this and thinking, “yeah but you should be inviting people all the time, every week“.
That is very true. However, there’s something special about Easter. The church focuses on so many things throughout the year, but at Easter the whole global church is in FULL-ON celebration mode. High five anyone?
We talk about God’s unconditional and unfathomable love for us. We talk about Jesus’ sacrifice for all of us. We talk about HOPE. We tell stories of rebirth, restoration and renewal. We celebrate that the tomb stone rolled away and Jesus rose from the dead! We celebrate that new life and new beginnings is available for everyone.
So church person – Invite! Invite! Invite!
If you don’t normally go to church, or you’re new to the area and don’t have a church home, come visit us at STORYCHURCH this weekend. We do church just for you. And come as you are. You don’t need to go buy fancy clothes for one day. Come and hear the greatest story ever told, and get ready to let Hope in.