How will you make your mark? MinistryDirect.com recently hosted an online conference around this idea of making our mark. I really enjoyed listening to other church leaders share how God is leading them to make a difference. So I decided to make a Wordle word cloud on how I plan to make my mark. You can see videos from other leaders here. Why don’t you creatively share how you’ll make your mark?
Archives For personal journey
It’s been interesting how many personal comments I’ve received from round one of this blog idea. I think more people are wrestling with sorting out some of this stuff than I realized. Ultimately, I think it’s a good sign when people are asking the “how should I apply this”questions.
One notion from round 1 was the idea that digital connectivity can actually be dangerous. As I was processing this with another church leader we began talking about how this can play out in the church world. I’ll admit that it’s fun to see what God is doing across our country, but should we begin to worry when everyone’s vision begins to look the same? In all honesty I think it’s hard to discern if God starting a movement or if digital connectivity has allowed us to hear from others in place of God. I think we just have to be careful that as we celebrate what God is doing in one place that we don’t just assume that we need to import that vision into our situation. Again the same thing can happen on a personal level. We can get so enamored with the momentum or blessing on what someone is doing that we lose focus on the unique calling God has for you and me. Obviously we can learn from other, but we have to be careful to seek God about how to apply that in our situation. I have learned a lot on this topic from Craig Groeschel. He points out that if we want to reach people that no one else is reaching that we have to be willing to do things no one else is doing. My point is that digital connectivity can fight against that.
It’s a battle that’s been rolling around in my mind for the last 6 months.First, a little background information. We’ve all observed how spiritual isolation can foster hyper weirdness – compound cults are just one example. Now, I’m noticing how on the other side of the spectrum, hyper digital connectivity can bring about convolution and confusion.
It’s a privilege that in a typical month I get to listen to messages from Mark Driscoll, Andy Stanley, Steven Furtick, Bill Hybels, Craig Groeschel and others. But can so many messages actually be detrimental?Take for instance what happens when God seems to be speaking two seemingly mutually exclusive messages to His Church at the same time.
About six months ago I began to follow what God was doing in Francis Chan’s life. God has used Francis to challenge Christians with the truth that we’ve got to be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus. He has been a refreshing voice in a culture that easily gets complacent and resists change.
Then this fall we were blessed to have Christine Caine speak at our church’s women’s conference and Sunday services. She shared a good word about the importance of “Embracing Your Place.” You can listen to her share this message at another local church here. Now this is where the confusion could easily enter. As a Christ follower, do I need to leave everything or do I need to stay in my current place?
So here’s my takeaway. The most important thing we can do is to stay close to Jesus and be obedient to what He is asking you to do. Celebrate what He is doing in and through others, but remember that their model or methods is not the next step for you.Get to your next step by looking to Jesus first. For instance, you don’t leave your “place” or stay in a “place” to hear from God. You hear from God first about going or staying in a place. I’m afraid if were not careful we can easily elevate a place, a person, or even a method to the level of an idol in our life. Really, this is only the tip of the iceberg on how I’ve personally been processing this. I hope to have a couple more posts on how this has all sorted out in my life.
Here’s how Steven Furtick processed this same issue.
A New Decade
2010 was a pretty crazy year for the Wakefields. In April I turned 30 and celebrated 5 years of marriage on the same day. In August I wrapped up my final class in pursuing my Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership at Evangel University. In October I transitioned from my role as Director of Creative Services at James River Assembly and started in my new role as a Church Consultant at AG Financial. In November, our daughter, Katelyn, turned two and in the same month I got a great 10 point white tail buck with my bow (just had to throw that in). It’s crazy to look back at a year like that – a year of change and a year of excitement.
2011 is a start of something pretty exciting. After pretty much spending the last decade of my life and ministry investing in a local church, I never would have imagined that I would now be working at AG Financial. What’s amazing is how I get to interact with churches, pastors, and leaders each week. One thing I love is to see the diversity of churches. In just 90 days I’ve been blessed to work with a church of 160 in Larned, Kansas, a church of over 1,000 in Olive Branch, Mississippi, and a church of around 4,000 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. God is doing something really cool through each church, and it’s really incredible that I get to be a part of helping churches see their vision become a reality. With each interaction I am personally learning so much and pick up so many ideas. That’s the reason why I even started this blog. I just wanted a central place where I could keep track of all that I am learning. When I look back on last year I never could have imagined where God would take me. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2011 – the people I’ll meet, the projects I work on, and the dreams I’ll see turn into reality.