Faith Community Online

Discovering your SHAPE

Filed under: Tool Kit — Pastor David Mar 23, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

We have been discovering the truth about who we are. My desire is that each and every person at Faith Community Church will go from being unconscious about their SHAPE to being fully conscious of their unique calling in life. God has created us for a purpose and has actually already used our lives in lieu of that purpose. You may not even be aware of this, but He has probably already used you to help someone or be a solution to a problem.

Randy spoke to our church Sunday night at Communion,  (click here to listen) and shared with us two models of self-discovery. Rick Warren’s model is called SHAPE. To explore and discover your SHAPE,  click here. Wayne Cordeiro’s model is called DESIGN. Click here to discover your spiritual gift from his website.

Our desire is to help you discover your shape and then to develop it for His kingdom’s use right here through Faith Community Church. You may be minutes away from spiritually impacting many lives for eternity.

Until you know who you are, it will be very difficult to flow with God’s desires for your life. But once you find out the truth about who you were created by God to be, then you can unleash and develop your gifting and abilities for the glory of God, other’s good, and your own personal growth. You are His workmanship, finely crafted and developed for good works–not by good works–but for good works, or for a special service your life will offer others.

May God open up this new world to you, starting today. Get excited and enter a new world of adventure…

Sincerely,

Pastor David

Pastor: One Who Loves the People — Part 2

Filed under: Leadership — Pastor David Mar 15, 2012 @ 10:35 am

Pastor: One Who Loves the People — Part 2

“The human heart will seek to be known, understood, and connected with above all else. If you do not connect, the ones you care about will find someone (else) who will.” Dr. Cloud

Our job as leaders is to connect with our people. If we do not connect with them, they will look elsewhere and wander like a lost sheep. Those leaderless people will be exposed to great danger and loss (both in this life and for all eternity). The shepherd or pastor is one who connects with his people and provides leadership.  David was a shepherd of the people of Israel, and he led them with skillful hands (Psalm 78:70-72). David’s view of God was what shaped his own leadership. Yahweh was his shepherd (Psalm 23), and so he followed the excellent care and leadership of God. That was the leadership model he wanted to replicate?

In Psalm 23 He showed the style of leader God had been to him, and what style of leadership we must give as leaders to our people. We have seen that style in the last two articles of this magazine. Now let us continue to learn from Psalm 23 how to properly lead our people.

David says that after God guided him through the valley of the shadow of death, He had prepared for him a table of feasting. That word, “prepared” is a leadership word. “Arak” means “to arrange or set or lay in order, set in place.” God prepares before he does anything. He always tells us what He going to do before He does it (Amos 3:7). He always organizes the situation before people arrive there, He goes before the sheep (John 10:4). He is never surprised or caught off guard. He is always prepared and wants His leaders to be the same way. Our God has a plan and purpose that has been in motion before the foundations of the world. Talk about thinking ahead! Wow!

How do we prepare? Please do not be the leader who thinks they can plan their meetings or sermons at the last minute and it will all be fine (I know there are special emergency situations where we cannot  sufficiently plan ahead and God seems to work in incredible ways, but this is not to be the normal way we do His work). No, say to yourself, my people deserve better leadership than that. I met a pastor that was preparing his message for the Sunday worship on Saturday night. Fortunately he listened to this counsel and no longer does that. When we think ahead and think things through as best as we can, we anticipate what is going to happen and what needs to provided when people come to that place. How much time do you spend thinking ahead? Leadership experts say an effective leader spends as much as 80% of his time thinking ahead. By thinking ahead you create a plan that anticipates dangers, problems, opportunities, resources needed, and possibilities.

Such preparation brought David to a new place. This type of leadership provided a feasting banquet table for him in the presence of ongoing danger and multiple enemies. Our people have many enemies. Satan hates them, sin in various forms terrifies them, and their own self- centered nature haunts their every move. Besides this, the relationships they have with others can be filled with danger for others are those who are at times are mutually tormented people also pursued and tempted or under the influence of evil and/or Satan. Enemies abound around every one. Who can they trust? The leader or pastor who thinks ahead and plans for the worst is a person who creates trust. The sheep are best cared for by the pastor that looks ahead and think things through.

Now the table is set, the celebration is in full motion. Relaxed and happy sheep are laughing and enjoying each other. There is buzz in the air. I have been in churches where there was electricity in the air, and then there are churches that are dead, and quiet. What is your church like? If it is a growing healthy church it is electric. If you are going downhill and not reaching anyone, it is dead. How do I know that? Leaders who plan ahead and implement the plan, lead their ministries to growth and vibrancy. Our Chief Shepherd looks ahead and plans. Do you? Do you have a plan for the next year, or the next few years? Do you have a plan for people who become followers of Christ? Do you plan for their salvation, their obedience, their service, and their success? Or are you just hoping it happens?

Jesus was following a plan from His first day on earth, and He never deviated from that plan until He cried, “It is finished.”  What a table He has prepared for us as the result of that obedient lifestyle in following the plan. We now eat at a table of feasting and blessing all because of His determination to stick to the plan. What is your plan? It has been said, when we fail to plan we fail. So let us be like the Good shepherd and get the plan from our Father, follow that plan every day, and stick with it with all our heart, mind, and strength, until we live our last day. On that last day then we can say, “I have finished my course, and have kept the faith.” What will we hear our Great Shepherd say back to us? “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Let’s prepare tables for our people where they can eat, rejoice, and commune with each other and with God.

Father, You are the only one who knows the future. You have been there and seen what will take place. As I follow You today, lead me by Your gracious hand into that future. Help me to lead my people to follow Your wise and skillful plan until we all are fully conformed to the image of Your son.