Monday, February 08 2021
Today...I want to begin a major recruiting effort in our area. To follow and embody the everyday ways to love your neighbor and change the world in the BLESS strategy, I am asking you to join me in the #UNITE714NKY campaign. The campaign is designed to recruit at least 1,000 people to commit to praying every day at 714 AM/PM (twice a day). That prayer is to be focused on: 1) PERSONAL AWAKENING (Praying: “Awaken in me the ability to see where YOU are missing from my life.”) 2) FOR LOST LOVED ONES/FRIENDS by NAME 3) REVIVAL in our Community/Nation.
This campaign is built around II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and restore (Heal) their land.”
The NKBA hosts a website: www.prayNKY.com You will go there and complete your basic information on a Google form to become a part of the team. That will include you in weekly prayer requests that will be sent out (for you to for you to submit) as well as scriptures and prayers to guide you. Those updates will occur every Wednesday. You will be able to receive these requests in the manner you choose (email, messaging, etc...). There is NO END here...it is simply the FIRST STEP in an overall strategy to BLESS NKY! To do that we BEGIN IN PRAYER (B.L.E.S.S.). WE NEED PRAYER WARRIORS who are committed to PRAYING DAILY over these needs. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer. It can be just a moment...or longer...that is up to you.
We have a Facebook page: PRAYING FOR NKY. GO and LIKE that page if you have not. That will be another place that we will disseminate information, etc...We will hold weekly virtual ZOOM Prayer Meetings on Thursday nights. Everyone who signs up will receive a weekly invite to the ZOOM Prayer Meeting and we will attempt to broadcast that LIVE on our Facebook wall. Once a month we will plan to have a MONTHLY meeting that will be LIVE and in person for those who feel safe to do so (taking all precautions) and we will broadcast it LIVE on Facebook. The first of these will be held in March. But our first prayer meeting will begin February 11 at 7:00 PM EST.
What can you do? 1) Go and SIGN UP! 2) Invite others to join 3) Set your alarm on your smart device for 7:14 AM/PM each day. If you need some help toward that, ask someone. But WE ALL NEED A REMINDER!
When you are ready to expand this, you are encouraged to go to: www.pray4everyhome.org This is a website that the NKBA uses and joins with other believers around the world to pray for our neighbors. When you sign up, again, basic information, NO financial info, you can get a prayer list sent to you each day with five neighbors who live near you to pray for. You can expand that to as many as you want, but begin in your JERUSALEM, where you live! You can sign up under the NKBA and it will enable us to know that you are engaged and it will track all our partners and prayers across the region.
Why am I doing this? Because our communities are in desperate need of REVIVAL...of SPIRITUAL AWAKENING. We need a REPENTANCE that addresses the issues that plague us from abortion to racism. Healing ONLY COMES FROM GENUINE REPENTANCE. And the ONLY WAY THIS HAPPENS is when the PEOPLE OF GOD HUMBLE THEMSELVES and PRAY...BEGIN IN PRAYER...the first step of the BLESS strategy.
You are encouraged to purchase a copy of B.L.E.S.S 5 Everyday Ways to Love Your Neighbor and Change the World. The authors are friends of mine, Dave Ferguson and Jon Ferguson (Brothers) who founded Community Christian Church in Naperville, IL. (Chicagoland). You can get it at amazon.com or christianbook.com (paperback or Kindle). I am delivering copies to pastors all around the NKBA. I am posting about it on Facebook and other social media platforms.
This is a plan that is DESIGNED TO FAIL unless the people of God rally together toward this end. SO, I prayerfully leave it in your hands and ask for your help! We are #BETTERTOGETHER
It is my great honor to serve Christ and our churches.
Your Lead Follower,
Thursday, January 28 2021
Leading a church is more confusing, frustrating, and complex than ever. I believe the local church needs to DOUBLE DOWN TO FOCUS ON OUR specific JESUS MISSION of each local church in the Jerusalem where God has placed you. Our clear and stated MISSION must be identified (in a short clear statement and the NKBA has tools to help your church do that). That MISSION needs to align with a CLEAR VISION and SPECIFIC STEPS for each congregation and church member.
My calling is to support and help our churches be the BEST they can be at making disciples (who make disciples to the 3-4-5th generations) and BLESSing our communities (BEGIN in PRAYER, LISTEN, ENGAGE, SERVE, SHARE our STORY). So, here are my challenges to every NKBA church and church member along with a starting list of things I believe you can expect in 2021.
I will be doing a Pastors Town Hall (on Zoom and later in person) the first Tuesday of each month at 8AM and 8PM (first one on January 5) so as to give every pastor an opportunity to schedule and engage with other pastors in our region/state.
I will be providing a monthly VIDEO UPDATE which will be provided to each church/pastor and will be shown on all our social media platforms (NKBA Facebook wall, Praying for NKY Facebook wall, NKBA You Tube Channel, Instagram (10K4NKBA) and our website (www.nkbaptist.org). This will include a story of MISSION to share with your church on social media or in one of your services. It will also include a short teaching on some NEXT STEP opportunities/resources provided by your NKBA to assist your churches.
I am looking to recruit 1,000 PRAYER WARRIORS to join in #UNITE714NKY. This is an individual commitment to set your smart devices at 714AM and PM each day to pray by name for people who are lost and far from God. You can sign up at: www.prayforNKY.com or on our Praying for NKY Facebook wall. When you do, you will receive regular updates via text or email (your choice). Our focus in the NKBA each day will be the promise of II Chronicles 7:14, “IF MY PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND PRAY AND SEEK MY FACE AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, THEN WILL I HEAR FROM HEAVEN AND FORGIVE THEIR SINS AND HEAL THEIR LAND.” SO...I NEED YOUR HELP! THIS WILL ONLY HAPPEN WITH YOUR HELP!
I want to challenge EVERY NKBA church to be involved in an intentional effort to PRAY FOR EVERY HOME in our region and to TAKE THE GOSPEL TO EVERY HOME in 2021. We will join with other Kentucky Baptists in this effort with TONS of FREE RESOURCES for every church. Each church can call secure a kit/access to all resources. We are using PRAY AND GO developed by Dr. Thom Rainer and Church Answers, which is a step by step plan to PRAYER WALK (or DRIVE) and leave a door hanger (initially) with your church information and a contact number for people to call and share prayer requests and personal needs..
NOW...here is what I think you can expect in 2021....
UNCERTAINTY...duh....Even with the vaccine, there are many questions and hesitance related to the virus. This will continue to extend to impact every area of our lives for a season. Normal is being redefined as we speak.
INSTABILITY...We will continue to make changes...PIVOT (which we have a great free 30 day resource for churches to develop a plan....30 days at a time) and recognize this season will continue to be challenging for churches and pastors. WE MUST REMAIN WITH OUR FOCUS ON OUR MISSION and NOT be distracted by other things.
OPPORTUNITY-This is why I have made the above challenges with #UNITE714NKY, PRAY AND GO, and THE GOSPEL TO EVERY HOME in 2021. We have a once and a lifetime opportunity for a once in a generation spiritual awakening to see more people follow Jesus than in recent memory. I am praying for 10,000 NEW BELIEVERS over the next ten years (#10K4NKBA). I will be re-issuing a church challenge for each church toward this end!
Conversion growth (new disciples) will IMPROVE in 2021.
Average church attendance and giving will decline 20-30% from pre-pandemic levels. This will not happen to everyone and if your church is the exception....be glad.
MODEL REBOOT...this is something I will talk about more next month.
Churches that focus on ENGAGEMENT not ATTENDANCE will THRIVE!
Massive growth of Dual ministry/Bi-vocational/Co-vocational ministry. Less churches will be able to afford a full-time pastor/staff.
NINE of TEN churches in North America will self-identify as being IN NEED OF REVITALIZATION.
Main line denominations will see their greatest decline in 2021...a continuation of the past decade. People will leave dead churches in search of LIFE! Places where JESUS is worshipped, HIS MISSION is central, and the BIBLE is preached in all it’s authority.
I look forward to the days ahead. I believe our most challenging as well as our GREATEST DAYS are ahead!
It is my great honor to serve alongside you in partnership in the GOSPEL.
Your Lead Follower,
Thursday, October 01 2020
I don’t know if you have heard or not, but there is a lot going on these days....
*Schools going back to in-person classes
*Churches expanding their in-person offerings
*The Economy is struggling, Unemployment is still high, Suicides are rising, Family abuse cases are rising in homes, Addiction numbers rising...AND it’s an election year and our nation is extremely divided. There are a lot of things to distract us and occupy our thoughts, prayers, and attention.
To bring it down to the local level, the NKBA is providing resources to your church and inviting you to join churches across the Northern Kentucky region to “PRAY AND GO.” This is a simple commitment by your church to prayer walk around your community, leave a door hanger to let people know their family/home were prayed for specifically and leave contact information as you ask if they have any prayer requests or needs that the church could assist them with. Right now about 15 churches have committed. Will your church? We hope this will be a step toward looking ahead at 2021 as we join with other Kentucky Baptists to take the GOSPEL TO EVERY HOME. (More information on that to come).
October is also a month devoted to recognition of Association Missions. We have a weekly prayer list that is printed in this newsletter and will be posted daily on our Social Media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). We want to highlight and give thanks for the great work our ministry partners are accomplishing across the NKBA. Please use this prayer list and the WEEK OF PRAYER FOR ASSOCIATION MISSIONS IS 18-25. We are asking for your church to take a special offering to help our inner city mission partners: The Moore Activity Center, The Cornerstone Fellowship (feeding breakfast 5 days per week, dinner three days per week), the HOPE Feeding Ministry (at FBC Covington, 9th Street doing numerous lunch meals), and The Lighthouse (at Oak Ridge). Our goal is $20,000 to evenly divide among these four.
Our Association theme for October and for our November 2nd annual meeting is FOCUS: MAKING OUR MISSION MATTER! What are our next steps to engage our lost communities with the Gospel of Jesus? All of the information for the Fall Meeting is listed in this newsletter. Your prayers are appreciated as are your continued giving to the NKBA.
Despite the pandemic, this has been a great ministry year for the NKBA. Listed below are a few of the things that YOU have made possible by your giving! Help us finish this year strong!
1) Through Disaster Relief helped FIVE families begin to rebuild in the aftermath of the flood in Nashville, through our partner on the ground, 3:18 Fellowship, under (former Erlanger Baptist) Pastor Dwight Moody ($5,000).
2) Supported NEW CHURCH PLANTS: Good Shepherd (Korean/Asian), Emmanuel Chapel (African Immigrant), Mercy Ridge (Dry Ridge), New Reality/Life Recovery Center (Addiction), Living Church (Network of House Churches), Cincinnati Chinese Church (NKY Bible Study), Iglesia Cristo La Luz Del Mundo (Covington), Erlanger Hispanic, and Zion Chin.
3) Carried out an association wide 40 Days of Prayer leading up to virtual Easter services.
4) Helped 13 churches apply and secure over $400,000 in PPP (forgiveable) loans to assist payment of staff during Covid-19.
5) Assisted multiple churches in establishing online giving portals through a partnership with InJoy (John Maxwell’s old company).
6) Provided step by step guidance to Pastors for options to many churches to begin online/streaming of services and encouraging pastors to use social media to expand their reach for the Gospel.
7) Helped source equipment for parking lot services. (FM/AM transmitters)
8) Helped churches without social media presence to establish Facebook and new Websites during Covid-19 as well as help churches set up ZOOM accounts.
9) Held weekly Pastor Town Hall meetings (via Zoom) to provide guidance and interpretation for application of CDC guidelines and re-launching of services during pandemic as well as providing encouragement for Pastors.
10) Developed a comprehensive resource page (www.nkbaptist.org) for all things related to Covid-19.
11) Provided resources for Pastors, Staff and family to receive counseling services.
12) Helped provide 20 families with generators and other supplies in LA after Hurricane Laura (Lake Charles, LA). (Estimated $16,000 in goods) Delivered through our partner Trinity Baptist Church in Lake Charles, LA. (Video up on Facebook)
13) Provided training to pastors/churches move to a 90-day strategic schedule for moving churches forward in the pandemic into 2021 (through AUXANO).
14) Helped eight churches complete church revitalization and revisioning plans through CHURCH UNIQUE and GOD DREAMS (from AUXANO/LifeWay).
15) Developed a Covid-19 social media strategy with resources for churches to use to encourage prayer and community during the pandemic.
16) Helped coordinate the distribution of 16,000+ (and counting) meals to the Homeless and disadvantaged in Covington through The Cornerstone Fellowship and First Baptist Church 9th Street Covington (HOPE Ministry). 5+ first time decisions and baptisms to date. Investment of $6K to date.
17) Helped coordinate and raise funds for feeding International Students (and providing gift cards totaling $3K, which led to multiple Gospel conversations and new Bible Study groups among Internationals) at NKU during the summer with WMU and Josh Skipper.
18) Launching a “Pray and Go” strategy to equip and prepare churches toward prayer walking all over Northern KY in preparation for taking the Gospel to Every Home in 2021
(in conjunction with the Kentucky Baptist Convention).
19) Coordinating Christmas Backpack giveaway through local partners and churches. Our goal is 1500 backpacks that will be delivered directly to those in need in our region (Cincinnati/NKY) along with a personal Gospel presentation. (Collection the week of October 26, distribution before Christmas).
It is a great joy to serve as your Lead Associational Missions Strategist. I look forward to seeing many of you face to face on November 2 at Fort Mitchell!
Saturday, August 01 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shake and shape the world, so much sickness, death and economic destruction. Our first concern should be the hurting, but often our thoughts turn more inward. I am concerned about life after the pandemic, but maybe not in the way you may think.
As your Associational missionary, I am first deeply committed to following Christ and join Him in accomplishing His clearly stated mission. I wrote in last month’s journal that “If our agenda is anything other than glorifying Christ by fulfilling the Great Commission and the Great Commandment we will get derailed into matters that divide us rather than unite us. Those commands bring us together.” It is to that end that I will always seek to serve.
While many say that “things will never be the same” I am less concerned that the church will forever changed by this pandemic but rather am more concerned that we will snap right back into our old ways. In my lifetime as a student of history and trends, the best predictor of future behavior is the immediate past. Ed Stetzer writes, “While history doesn’t always repeat itself, it does tend to rhyme.”
WE MUST NOT GO BACK TO NORMAL. Instead, we must learn and take the BEST of what we are seeing now and continue those things (like live streaming our services) focusing on small group discipling, reaching people street by street in our neighborhoods, and using other online technologies to accomplish some meetings and allow people to be at home instead of away from home.
WE MUST CONTINUE TO DEPLOY THE CHURCH. Small Group/Sunday School leaders/Deacons are functioning like servant leaders/lay pastors to engage and care for the flock. I have seen people caring for one another more. I think God could be using this time to raise up NEW LEADERS (I Timothy 3) for a NEW NORMAL. I don’t want to go back to our consumer driven church that exists on the preferences of members like a country club.
WE MUST APPRECIATE GATHERED WORSHIP BUT NOT MAKE IT AN IDOL. Gathered worship IS one of the marks of a biblical church. When it was taken from us, it was hard. But look at how people have DEPLOYED in serving! WE
DON’T WANT TO LOSE THE SCATTERED CHURCH AS WE RETURN TO THE GATHERED CHURCH!
We have been given a chance in a fresh, new way to JOIN JESUS IN HIS MISSION! It’s a chance to be better and do better. Let’s not miss this...the eternity of countless souls are at stake.
I love serving alongside you.
Tuesday, May 12 2020
I know nearly everyone is struggling mightily with the quarantines and social distancing caused by COVID-19. Nerves are growing short. Tempers are beginning to flare. Nationwide, the most increased occurrence in crime over the last month has been a spike in domestic violence. Suicides are on a steep rise. Drug and Alcohol abuse is even MORE rampant.
This is unsustainable. We need a new perspective. We need an attitude of praise.
I have enjoyed partaking of MANY services while at home and I am extraordinarily impressed with how our Pastors have adjusted to a new season on ministry using social media. One of the Pastors I love to hear is the incomparable senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, GA, Dr. Crawford Loritts. He spoke on the power of praise in the midst of COVID-19. His focal passage was God’s deliverance of Judah from 2 Chronicles 20.
The following are 7 Benefits Of Praise During The Coronavirus COVID-19 as provided by Dr. Crawford Loritts:
1. Praise gets our focus off ourselves and back on God.
2. Praise brings us to a place of humility.
3. Praise makes the enemy run.
4. Praise leaves no room for complaining.
5. Praise makes room for God’s blessing.
6. Praise invites God’s presence.
7. Praise also paves the way for God’s power and brings refreshment to our hearts and minds.
This is the mindset we must take as we continue toward re-entry in our churches. Much planning is taking place to help every church prepare so that we can have a safe place for people to gather in the coming days/weeks. Each church will make making decisions about meeting and addressing the guidelines from the CDC and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
It’s too easy to lean into being critical, calling into question the motives of others and feed into the hate and negativity that already exists on all types of media. WE HAVE TO BE DIFFERENT! WE HAVE TO BE BETTER! THIS IS THE TIME FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD TO STAND OUT with a VOICE OF PRAISE....HITTING OUR KNEES IN PRAYER...AND SERVING OUR COMMUNITY THROUGH ACTS OF THE GOSPEL THAT POINT PEOPLE TOWARD JESUS! So many wonderful stories are being told through our churches and the great sacrifices that are taking place to help our vulnerable population! Watch our Facebook wall for story after story on this!
In the meantime...let’s adopt an attitude of PRAISE as we re-enter our buildings and take that spirit of PRAISE back into our communities! THAT may be the greatest result of COVID-19 to the local church...WE EMBRACE THAT THE CHURCH IS AT IT’S BEST WHEN WE ARE SCATTERED! It has made us appreciate the opportunity to GATHER.
I hope you are following the 40 Days of Prayer many of our churches have been involved with during this time as we pray for a cure, for those who are hurting, for those who are lost and far from God, and for God to REVIVE HIS CHURCH! As I write this today we are 20 days in...I am looking forward to what is next and I commit to following Christ each step of the way with the spirit of PRAISE for all that he has done...all that He is doing...and all that He WILL DO IN US...THROUGH US...and DESPITE US!
I love this song by Hezekiah Walker: “EVERY PRAISE IS TO OUR GOD, EVERY WORD OF WORSHIP IN ONE ACCORD...EVERY PRAISE...EVERY PRAISE IS TO OUR GOD! SING HALLELUAH TO OUR GOD! GLORY HALLELUHAH TO OUR GOD! EVERY PRAISE, EVERY PRAISE IS TO OUR GOD! GOD MY SAVIOR! GOD MY HEALER! GOD MY DELIVERER! YES HE IS YES HE IS!
I can’t wait to hear the voices of praise as we GATHER and as we SCATTER!
Friday, April 10 2020
JIMS JOURNAL APRIL 2020
WOW...HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED IN THE LAST THREE WEEKS! It beckons me to think back to Esther 4:14 (CSB) “If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”
Former General Colin Powell wrote that “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”
We are in phase one of this crisis. We have not seen the worst yet. We are in a TRIAGE situation where we are scrambling to determine how we operate while we are out of a regular meeting pattern (The expectation is a minimum of 8-12 weeks). TRIAGE involves stabilizing your local situation. It means you hit PAUSE (NOT CANCEL) and PIVOT. We are not going to be able to do things the way we have always done them, but we have a great opportunity to try some new methods to communicate the greatest story ever told at a time where I believe people are going to be seeking HELP, HOPE, PRAYER like never before in my lifetime. This phase will ideally last (for those who are proactive) 2-3 weeks.
Phase two is we look to RENORMALIZE. We are going to prepare and plan for a “NEW NORMAL” as a people moving forward...to join Jesus in His mission. We can either choose to join Jesus or we will be left behind. PERIOD. Each year over 4400 churches close. I expect that number to be over 10,000 this year. Much of that will depend on people’s willingness to join Jesus in His mission to redeem a lost world. (see my four M’s later in the article) Phase three is to MOBILIZE. I said earlier that we are not at the worst of the crisis. Currently, as I am writing this, we are about two to three weeks away (into late April). It is impossible at this moment that I am writing this to see into a crystal ball and tell you how long it will take churches and our nation to recover from this. In the meantime, while we are assessing and doing triage and seeking to create a new normal, the mission of Christ goes on. We have ministry and mission ongoing in our communities that is going to be more important than ever. Those of you who have food pantries, your need are going to intensify exponentially. The same will be true of clothing rooms. Our inner city missions, the Moore Activity Center, The Cornerstone Fellowship (Covington), First Baptist Covington Ninth Street, Ninth Street Baptist (Covington), Oak Ridge and others are regular feeding sites for the homeless and children who are out of school (Help us add to this list by reporting any activity in your community). We are going to need to rally around them to help these missions through a season nobody expected. This is true of ALL our missions, including your Association staff and all the LOCAL ministries we support. The NKBA is taking immediate steps to cut back our budget 20% to anticipate possible shortfalls and then evaluate every 30 days. BUT AT THIS TIME NO NKBA missions (ongoing) are being negatively impacted. The NKBA is totally dependent upon the gifts of our churches to
continue supporting a wide range of ministries in our region, including our church plants and language missions (Chinese, Burmese, African Immigrant, Hispanic, Korean).
The fourth phase is FUTURIZE. This is when we can truly begin to recover and re-emerge as a NEW, leaner, more efficient, more focused ministry arm for Christ, taking back ground that has been lost and advancing for the cause of Christ!
All of this can be framed around the following: MEETINGS (using digital and other formats) that we will adjust with our delivery system, MESSAGING (using phones, social media, and everything at our disposal to communicate HOPE, POSITIVITY, ENCOURAGEMENT, HELP, and to NOT ADD TO ALL THE NOISE already going on in our media driven society. Most of that produces fear and panic and we need to encourage FAITH and PRAYER! MINISTRY (looking at local needs in mission, resourcing families and parents, to tell the story of Jesus in the way we LIVE, LOVE, and SERVE!). Connect with local schools and agencies and work hand in hand to build bridges of relationships that lead to Gospel conversations with a serving towel over our arms. Finally, MONEY. It takes money to do ministry. But we are being forced to look at this in a new way, from new ways of giving (online, etc..) to talking about money from a biblical viewpoint, of GENEROSITY and stories of God’s amazing grace in difficult times. We serve JEHOVAH JIREH-GOD IS OUR PROVIDER! IN HIM WE TRUST!
Here is my prayer for you all:
May the Heavenly Father, God of Creation keep and sustain us in all ways and at all times, including the next few weeks and months of uncertainty. May the Savior Jesus Christ, in whom all things hold together, grant us healing by His miraculous power to bring life and health out of what is intended for death and suffering. May the Holy Spirit soak us with the peace that passes understanding. And may the Church recommit to dependence on God’s provision in all things and at all times and recommit to joining JESUS in His redemptive mission like never before. In Jesus name, Amen.
Follow our social media pages:
Facebook: NKBA Northern KY Baptist Association and Praying For NKY
Instagram: 10K4NKBA (Jim Woolums)
You Tube Channel: Northern Kentucky Baptists
Our greatest days are ahead! Pray with us...pray for us...and let’s take back ground that we have lost and claim it for JESUS!
Your Lead Follower, JIM
Monday, February 03 2020
I’ve been reading Will Mancini’s new book “YOUNIQUE: Designing the Life that God Dreamed for you” and it has been just rich with some great instruction. Here are a few thoughts I felt would be good as we are at the front end of the “Roaring 20’s.”
Parker Palmer, in his book Let Your Life Speak, makes this statement as he recounts evaluating his life around mid-life: “I realized that I was doing an incredibly noble job of living someone else’s life.” Those words are haunting. For far too many of us, those words name exactly what we sense to be true deep inside. Who we have become and who God designed us to be are two very different people. With all the best intentions in the world, we have nobly become someone we are not.
Professor Howard Hendricks (who has done more for Christian education than just about any other person over the past 100 years and was Professor of Christian Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary) knew just how easy it was to become someone you’re not. So to help his students think about their lives, he would draw a funnel on the chalkboard. At the top of the funnel he would draw several Xs and tell his students, “These are all the things you can do. ” Then he would draw one large X at the bottom of the funnel and say, “This X is the one thing you must do.”
After Professor Hendricks let the diagram sink in, he delivered his lesson. “The more successes you have in your life, the more can-dos fill up the top of your funnel. But most opportunities are distractions in disguise. If you’re not careful, you will spend your entire life doing all the things you can do and never find the one thing you must do. So what’s the one thing you must do?”
What burns within you that you can’t deny? What lives in you that you must let out?
Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “The two most important days in life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
I don’t know about you, but as I head into this decade (and it may be my last of serving in this capacity) I can’t afford to be a lesser version of who God created me to be. I want to be EVERYTHING He created me to be! The ONE THING I MUST DO? BE THE DISCIPLE OF JESUS HE CREATED ME TO BE...as a father, grandfather, friend, and Barnabas (son of Encouragement). That means LIVING, LOVING, and SERVING like Jesus. No time for the things I CAN DO, but all my focus has to be on the ONE THING I MUST DO! How about you?
Your Lead Follower,
Tuesday, January 14 2020
Helen Keller, a great woman of faith who, though both blind and deaf, left a lasting legacy in our world, was once asked if there was anything worse than being blind. Her response? “Yes, being able to see but not having any vision.”
It’s a remarkable statement if you think about it. Here was a woman who couldn’t see but had so much vision for her life. It’s a statement that pierces through the ability that so many of us often take for granted every day and points us to a greater reality that too few of us ever really take hold of. We know how to see, but we lack vision.
When it comes to seeing and vision, clarity is essential. Which is why so many of us wear glasses. Even if we don’t have any problems with our eyesight, most of us wear glasses of some kind. Some of us wear prescription glasses because we are near-sighted or far-sighted. Lots of us wear sunglasses, because on a bright summer day the glare of the sun keeps us from seeing clearly without them. Some of us wear fake glasses, because we believe we look more scholarly or just plain better with glasses on. But another pair of glasses we sometimes wear is 3D glasses.
Whether we are headed to watch the newest release of Star Wars, Avengers or Toy Story, there is just something that comes to life when we watch these movies in 3D. The glasses look and feel a little goofy at first, but if you have ever tried to watch a 3D movie without them you know just how important the glasses are. Without the glasses, the film is more of a blur than a movie. But with the glasses on, everything comes into focus.
I think that what happens in the theater also happens in our lives. Too many of us are watching a 3D version of our life in two dimensions. God is writing a story in our world and wants to write the story of our lives that leaps off the pages of Bible and into the places we live, work, and play. But for many of us, all we see is a blur.
What do you see when you look at your life? For some of us, all we can see are the obstacles, challenges, and opportunities that are standing right in front of us. We’re living kind of near-sighted...able to see clearly what we’re facing right now but incapable of seeing beyond it. For others, we live kind of far-sighted...with a clear vision for the future, but all the obstacles we face each day get in the way of us arriving at a preferred future.
But what if we all could live with a vision for tomorrow that not only inspires us to our future but helps us know what do right now? What if we all could live with 20/20 Vision for Life? Aware of who God has made us to be. Completely committed to what God has called us to do. Compelled by an exciting picture for the future, one that makes the future more than a wish. What if your future was a God-dream that not only came into greater focus and became more real each day but also left a legacy beyond the years of your life?
This is 20/20 Vision for Life. Since this IS the year 2020...what better time than to seek out a clear vision and to hear the call to live your life for all that God designed it to be. It’s a call to stop settling for a lesser version of you than God had in mind when He crafted you in His imagination before you were born. It’s a call to get a clear view of who you are and what you were made for. It’s a call to step into that version of you with the kind of confidence that not only changes you but the entire world around you. See, God has been having a dream about your life from the beginning of time. So why settle for anything less? This is 20/20 Vision for Life, and it’s time for you to get a clear view of the true you.
The NKBA will have a Training Day on January 18 from 9AM to noon. Training will be provided how you can use God’s Word and Will Mancini’s new book “YOUNIQUE” to help others to find clarity in their personal mission. I look forward to embarking on a great journey in 2020 with you to join Jesus in His mission!
Your Lead Follower,