I’ve never been a big fan of reading books. I think it stems from my school days where they made you read books in English just so they could make you write an essay on them (that’s what it felt like to me anyway!) I was the kid who’d much rather be out playing sport or watching sport on TV than reading a book.
As I’ve got older I’ve begun to appreciate books more and more. I’m a practical kind of guy so I tend to prefer non-fiction books, ones that I can sink my intellectual teeth into and really learn from. At the moment I’m busy reading books that are rocking my world and challenging my thinking. My new found enthusiasm for reading led to me getting my eyes tested and I was told I need reading glasses, so I’m eagerly awaiting them so I can continue the book I’m half way through ;o)
The book that’s rocking my world at the moment is called “IT: How churches and leaders can get IT and keep IT” by Craig Groeschel. This simple book reminds us that in order to do what God wants from us we need to keep things real. We need to be authentic followers of God and remember that all we do should be for His Kingdom, His Power and His Glory. Life and ministry is about expanding God’s Kingdom not our own and Craig offers some very practical tips and examples on how to do that. Craig’s 4 main points are:
Keep a laser focus
People and churches that are following God’s will, that are totally in the place where God has for them, that have ‘IT’ have a laser focus. They seek God for the specific tasks He has for them to do, right here right now. They focus on doing a few things with excellence rather than a ton of things just average. They throw all their passion, enthusiasm and drive behind those things God is calling them to do and they do them with excellence
See opportunities where others see obstacles
You will very rarely hear people and churches with ‘IT’ saying “if only we had more money/bigger hall/more staff/theatre seating/etc…etc… THEN we could do amazing things for God…” . They know that Gods has already given them everything they need in order to do the tasks He is calling them to right here right now. Craig states than God often guides by what He doesn’t provide. We should be looking at what we have been given and how we are to use that for God’s glory.
Failure is not an option, it is a necessity!
People and churches that have ‘IT’ are prepared to fail. It is through our failure that God will teach us what works and what doesn’t and guide us to the task He has for us. God uses our failed attempts to train and hone us for the task ahead… imagine the things we would have never learnt in our lives if we hadn’t failed! As leaders and Christians we need to find our assurance in the Truth, we are Children of God. We need to shake off the failure, criticism and hurtful comments that often come with failure and step up, learn from them and move on. Craig’s key phrase here is; Shake it off and Step Up!
Ministries that have ‘IT’ have leaders that have ‘IT’
We need to be authentic followers of God, focused on seeing His Kingdom expanded, not our own. It requires us to be passionate followers of God, who will do anything to see His Kingdom grow (rather than ‘our’ churches). If we are following God, seeking Him and have ‘IT’, our ministries have a great chance of having ‘IT’
The good news is that God wants us all to have ‘IT’ and He wants to give ‘IT’ to us. We need to seek God for His will, purpose and direction for our lives and our ministries… the challenge has been issued!
I’m praying that God will continue to give me the courage to let Him rock my world, challenge my thinking and allow Him to transform me to be more like Jesus.
What about you? What are you reading at the moment that’s rocking your world?