Who are you working for?

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:

Luke 17:7-10

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:

My love language is words of affirmation:

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:

Do you know what my highest one was (and I mean outweighed the rest by a ton!)? Ya, significance which says this:

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.

Sunday’s Coming…

This was sent to me by a friend of mine, Chris Lowery.

So what happened 1,978 years ago this week?

Well, Jesus has already presented himself to the nation as the Messiah by triumphantly entering Jerusalem to shouts of “Hosanna.” (Matthew 21:1-9, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19). He cursed the fig-tree (Mark 11:12-14) and he also cleansed the Temple from corrupt money-changers (Matthew 21:10-19, Mark 11:15-18, Luke 19:45-48).

The following happened on Tuesday of Passion Week:

  • The cursed fig-tree is found withered (Mark 11:20-26)
  • Jesus personally confronts the authorities and defends His claims to be the Messiah. The Sanhedrin challenges Jesus and He answeres in parables. (Matthew 21:23-22:14, Mark 11:27-12:12, Luke 20:1-19).
  • Jesus answers question about Caesar and taxes (Matthew 22:15-22, Mark 12:13-17, Luke 20:20-26).
  • The Sadducees question Jesus about the Resurrection (Matthew 22:23-33, Mark 12:18-27, Luke 20:27-40).
  • The Pharisees ask Jesus which commandment is the most important of all (Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-34).
  • Jesus recognizes the widow’s gift (Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4).
  • On the return to Bethany, the disciples continued to ask questions. Jesus stops at the Mount of Olives across from the temple complex and provides detailed prophecy about the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple due to the rejection of Him as Messiah by the Jewish authorities (Matthew 24:1-25:46, Mark 13:1-37, Luke 21:5-36).
  • Judas Iscariot contracts with the chief priests (Matthew 26:24-26, Mark 14:10-11, Luke 22:3-6).

“It’s Tuesday, but Sunday is coming!”

Catalyst 2010 – Most impactful moments pt. 2

So Catalyst 2010 was incredible. I never thought that I would be impacted by Beth Moore (see previous post), just being honest.

Catalyst also provides some of the most worshipful times I have ever been a part of. As a result of Gungor being at Catalyst this year, I have not stopped listening to their album because it reminds me of the time when I was worshiping God without worrying about people around me. It was incredible. Check it out below.

Then check out Perry Noble’s thoughts on 1 Kings. This wrecked me because when I give up on myself I forget that God never gives up on us. Even when we think that nothing is happening, God never stops working. Wow!

God was not satisfied with a portion of His grace

John 17:22 – I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.

I was reading the devo in my Logos iPod app (I mention this because I can’t find the online version to link this to) this morning and realized something. Christ gave it all. God was not content until we had everything that He has.

Think about it. Even if God had given us just a small portion of everything He is and has, we would be singing His praises. We would be dancing with joy and worshiping Him. Even if God had just given us crumbs from His table we would’ve received an immense amount of grace. However, He wants us to sit with Him at His table and share His food.

There is not one room in his house the key of which He will withhold from His people.

Christ was not satisfied until His bride, who is as rich as himself, was a joint-heir so that we might have an equal share in the blessings. He didn’t have to go that far…but He did.

When I stand before the throne
Dressed in beauty not my own;
When I see thee as thou art,
Love thee with unsinning heart;
Then, Lord, shall I fully know –
Not till then – how much I owe.

What are you doing today to realize how much God wants you to be with Him?

How God uses leaders in the church

I was so BUMMED that I didn’t get to go to Catalyst West this year (or ever!). However, I did follow it on Twitter and kind of felt like I was there. One of the things that most caught my eye was that Mark Driscoll had his notes on the Resurgence website even before he spoke (even though he kept telling everyone that he wasn’t sure what the message would be about). My favorite thing about Driscoll is the amount of Scripture he uses to truly be the basis of his topic.

These notes in particular caught my eye as I am dealing with some crap in my life and need some direction from God asap! Maybe they will help you as well:

The basis of the message was “11 Things God Does for Church Leaders.

Driscoll talks about how many ministry leaders:

  1. Burn up – physically
  2. Blow up – sinfully
  3. Give up – practically

I believe that this happens because so many things tell us to rely on ourselves instead of the one who put us there. As I was watching 30 Rock last night, I realized that I constantly tell myself that I shouldn’t be here because I didn’t earn being a BCM director (the episode of 30 Rock was all about “affirmative action” to make sure they hired all the racial discriminations to satisfy the critics! hilarious!). I still struggle with being humble…that’s a whole different post. The contrary is that God places people for His ministry…not ours. Check out the 11 things:

1. Jesus is the Senior Pastor of the church.

1 Peter 5:4 – “And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”

2. The Holy Spirit chooses leaders for the church.

Acts 20:28 – “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”

3. God gifts leaders of the church.

Ephesians 4:11–12 – “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”

4. God empowers leaders for the church.

1 Corinthians 15:10 – “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

5. God encourages leaders in the church.

2 Corinthians 4:1 – “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.”

6. The Holy Spirit speaks to leaders about the church.

Acts 13:2–3 – “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”

7. God gives wisdom to leaders over the church.

2 Timothy 2:7 – “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”

8. Jesus joins leaders as they discipline in the church.

Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

9. God answers leaders’ prayers for the church.

James 5:14–15 – “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”

10. The Holy Spirit falls on Bible preaching in the church.

Acts 10:44 – “While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.”

11. The Holy Spirit says no to leaders of the church.

Acts 16:6 – “And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.”

Some good stuff here…what do you think? Which ones do you resonate with/feel empowered by? Which ones do you struggle with?

For me I really struggle with 4, 5, 9 and 11 because I just am so analytical that I need to “see” things. I am so glad that he used number 8 in context! Finally!

I really try to hold on to 1, 3 and 7 instead of working in my own futility!

How to be a professional speaker

Recently a friend of mine from Defender Ministries asked me what it takes to be a “professional speaker.” I guess I either know a lot about conferences or am just a conference junkie (I vote for the second option). Here is my response for anyone looking to do this:

First, I refer people to Michael Hyatt’s blog post about this: http://michaelhyatt.com/2009/09/so-you-want-to-be-a-professional-speaker.html

Granted, it is more for business people but you can still glean some good tidbits of information. Renown helps. If you look at people we have brought in or even the Catalyst conference. Almost every person has written a book or is just well connected, well almost every person.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Start a blog, be annoying on posting and linking to other blogs (Google ranks you higher when you are linked from other blogs and when you link other blogs to yours). Keep up on the blog, but make sure it is simple, can be subscribed to and is updated regularly. This is something I’ve been doing for a while check out some like:

Some good examples of well followed blogs are:

2. Get your book published and promote it by giving away free copies through Catalyst, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc to get exposure. Make sure it is listed on Amazon first so people can learn about it as well as on its own site. (i.e. http://www.defenderministries.com/amazingsuperawesomebookwrittenbycoolpeople)

3. Start small, offer to speak with accolades from others for free (just ask for travel money, or even give that for free). Offer to sponsor conferences with free swag.

Hope this helps someone.