This past week we took our pastors and wives to DRIVE 09; an incredible leadership conference at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. I had the extreme privilege of sitting around a breakfast table with 6 others pastors including Andy Stanley (the Lead Pastor at NPCC). These pastors were from all over the country; in big and small churches. It was humbling and encouraging to hear them share about God’s amazing work in their lives and churches.
The night before this breakfast, during a conference main session we had a wonderful time of worship and challenge as Andy talked about leadership, we were reminded to go back and remember our “call” into ministry, and we took communion together. It was a moving night for me. I vividly recalled the night of July 8, 1974, when God spoke to me during my time alone with Him – as He used Luke 5:27-28 to issue my “call” to follow Him in full-time ministry. I remembered the passion He put in my heart and has developed over the years to see people who don’t know Christ discover a personal relationship with Christ. I recalled the desire I have to be a part of a church that is doing whatever is necessary to reach people for Christ and help them develop as followers of Christ. I thanked God for the privilege of serving Him in many wonderful churches, but especially for the privilege of serving Him at Grace Fellowship. We’ve seen God do amazing things as so many people have made the decision to follow Christ through the ministries of GFC, but there are 100o’s around us who are not Christ Followers. Our responsibility is great.
At the breakfast with the other pastors, I got to share some of the incredible things God is doing at Grace. I also shared how I have a burden to see us do something that is so different; to be a church that sets a new standard for what can happen in rural areas. I still believe we can become a church of 10,000; not for numbers sake or so that we can be “known” – but to honor God’s name and show how great His power is among us. It may happen after I’m gone, but I believe it can happen. I want us to continually grow so we can accomplish great things together for the Kingdom in our communities and around the world.
I read this morning in my time alone with God from Psalm 106. In verse 8, the Scripture says that God did some things among the Israelites “to defend the honor of His name and to demonstrate His mighty power.” God did this because Israel had rebelled and failed to bring Him honor. My hope and prayer is that we’ll never take God lighty and become rebellious.
I pray that we’ll remain in a posture that can be blessed; that we’ll be obedient, have great faith, impact our culture for Christ, while we trust and believe God for great things. I want to see God do something in our lives and church that is totally impossible apart from Him; something extraordinary. I want us to pray “big prayers” that can’t be answered unless God does a miracle. I want us to be used of Him in such a way that through our submission to His desire/His will – He is honored through us and people all around us see a demonstration of His mighty power.
That’s just a small part of what I came away with from DRIVE 09.