Without courage, your calling is crippled. #catalystleader
Have you ever used the New American Commentary? I love using it for my sermon prep and Bible study because it is easy to read and provides tons of information! I want the whole print set but it is stinking expensive. But, get this, you can get the digital version for free! The full Old Testament and New Testament set! Here’s how:
- Go to My Study Bible
- Register for an account (it’s free)
- Enter code SDZ5JHXE3J – must be all caps
- Get the whole stinking set for free!
They even have a mobile site for your iPad or smartphone! I couldn’t believe it either. Especially, since I just bought a print version of the 1 and 2 Timothy book. I am so pumped about this that I had to share!
There is hope for you! Yes, you! God can use you regardless of what you think. Check this out:
1 Corinthians 1:21
Since God in His wisdom saw to it that the world would never know Him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.
Praise the Lord! He can use my words no matter how dumb they are. I never feel like I am saying the right thing but God uses my A.D.D. words and transforms lives through them. Too many times I let Satan get me down because I don’t know the right thing to say or even do. Do you ever feel like that? The Bible is constantly telling stories of how the Holy Spirit gives life to the words of people who follow after God.
So what about you? Do you hold back saying something for fear of saying the wrong thing? Then you are in the perfect place to be used by God. If you knew everything then you wouldn’t need Him would you? So what are you going to do about it? Keep your words to yourself or speak out?
Preach it yo!
Today’s post really smacked me in the face. I’ve read this verse before but not in a way that made me realize how much I look for approval in other people. So many times we want other people to tell us things like: “You are doing a great job!” “Thank you!” “Great message” “I really need your help” “Here is a gift card for helping out” “You are awesome” “Can you teach me this…” and the list goes on. We all want people to encourage/uplift us and to honestly puff up our heads. We love to feel loved don’t we? Listen to what Jesus says about this:
7 “When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? 8 No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’ 9And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. 10 In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’”
When I read this verse I felt a punch to my throat and God telling me, “Who are you working for?” I don’t know about you but I look constantly for that approval, those words of affirmation, something that tells me that I am doing this whole ministry thing right. But Jesus says, “stop working for people, work for only me and don’t expect anything, I’ve already given you eternal life, freedom from guilt/stress, peace, forgiveness of sins!”
This is not easy for me to swallow as my whole life I’ve dealt with this:
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
This past summer I took the Strengths Quest and my top strengths were:
You want to be very significant in the eyes of other people. In the truest sense of the word you want to be recognized. You want to be heard. You want to stand out. You want to be known. In particular, you want to be known and appreciated for the unique strengths you bring. You feel a need to be admired as credible, professional, and successful. Likewise, you want to associate with others who are credible, professional, and successful. And if they aren’t, you will push them to achieve until they are. Or you will move on. An independent spirit, you want your work to be a way of life rather than a job, and in that work you want to be given free rein, the leeway to do things your way. Your yearnings feel intense to you, and you honor those yearnings. And so your life is filled with goals, achievements, or qualifications that you crave. Whatever your focus—and each person is distinct—your Significance theme will keep pulling you upward, away from the mediocre toward the exceptional. It is the theme that keeps you reaching.
I have a long way to go. But, what I’m learning is that I can use affirmation and encouragement from others to fuel me towards Christ’s work for my life…not my own worth.
Who are you working for? Yourself? Others? Where are you seeking approval? (p.s. WordPress automatically puts a “Like this” button at the bottom of my posts, ha!)
p.s. Are you a communicator/speaker in the ministry world? Check out this article from Perry Noble about this topic when it comes to speaking.
Last time in the Crossroads series we talked about Evangelism. How much focus do we put on it when it comes to college ministry (or ministry in general) versus everything else. Today let’s talk about focusing on Discipleship.
I love meeting with students one-on-one and really focusing on what is going on in their lives. I am a problem solver and this is where I feel I can really listen to someone and help them find answers in Christ through the Bible. However, the problem is there are only so many hours in a day. Evangelism can focus on multiple students but when I spend time with a student alone it is that person for one hour and no one else to invest in.
Paul tells us to not just share the Gospel but share our lives as well:
1 Thessalonians 2:8
We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.
Jesus even said go and make disciples…not converts:
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Based on these verses are we supposed to just focus on discipleship?
Let’s start by defining what a disciple is:
Noun: A personal follower of Jesus during his life, esp. one of the twelve Apostles.
or this video:
All these things take time and I only have a small window with the students I have. How do you make the most of your time and balance discipleship with evangelism? Can you do one without the other?
The next topic was how to prepare a talk/sermon. I walked the group how I prepare when communicating to a group. This can be for a service, seminar, or even sales pitch. I pretty much used my love of the book Communicating for a change by Andy Stanley. An amazing book for those who really want to enhance their speaking and prep skills.