Jason Young Guest Post: Divine Delays

Your schedule is no doubt full.  I know mine is.

Have you ever been running late to catch a flight only to discover it is has been delayed?  Have you ever “randomly” met someone and thought this conversation was meant to be?

I think we all have.

One lesson I have learned is that there are both divine appointments and divine delays.

When the divine delays takes place, sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is hang in there.  These moments build spiritual endurance and character.  I also know they can be humbling moments that once again remind me that God is running this place.  Looking back, God’s delays irritated me at the moment but now I see them as pictures of His kindness and greater desires.

I think as leaders, we must take the time to understand His appointments and seize those moments.  Simultaneously, take time to understand the power of a delay.  This move will set you and me up for better opportunities to leverage our influence.  However, do not just sit idle in the delay.  Keep moving forward where the appointments are given.

I recently heard someone say that God often hides things so we don’t see them in order that we will see what is better.

“Jason is a lifelong friend that I have the privilege of sharing life with. He is a leader among leaders and I encourage you to dive into his blog at JasonYoungLive.com.”

4 Things Needed To Grow Your Church: by Artie Davis

1. Let God grow you.

The cruel fact of church leadership is this. You can never lead others to a place you have not yet arrived.  So the challenge will always be, not to learn the newest trend or process, but to become more intimate with God. You don’t want a crowd of babies, but a brigade of warriors begging for a fight!

2. Let God grow others.

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn, as a young leader was that God is the only one that can change someone, I cant! I know it would be super cool to have that power…ZAP> Thou art now a sacrificial giver! Cool, yeah, gonna happen? Not! You do what God has called you to do, and don’t take it personally if people don’t respond the way you expect.

3. Let God grow others through you.

Now, as a leader, it is our calling to hear from & follow God, and challenge others to do the same. So one aspect is this… ALWAYS look for opportunities to replace yourself! You MUST develop leaders around you, if not your church will implode. Not matter how lofty your thoughts are about yourself, you are not the next Rick Warren, or a spiritual machine that can never break down. There will be no greater honor for you as leader, than to replace yourself… Several times over!

4. Let God grow the church.

I remember one point of being so discouraged. I didn’t know why some people weren’t coming, why we weren’t growing as fast as “I thought” we should. God slapped me with these 2 back hands… Jesus said “I will build my church” & “the Lord added to their number daily.” I was quickly reminded this WAS NOT my church. This is Jesus’ church, and He will grow it as He sees fit. My job is to hear and follow Him, like this… “He has told you old man what is required of you, to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with Me.”

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Over the past several months I have had the pleasure of getting to know Artie Davis. Artie is the Lead Pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, SC. Under his leadership Cornerstone Community Church has exploded in the Orangeburg area revolutionizing the local church culture. He is also the founder of Pray2k, a passionate movement to plant Multi-Ethnic, culturally relevant churches in smaller communities & The Comb Network which equips Multi-Ethnic churches and leaders with tools and resources necessary to reach an ever changing culture.

Thanks Artie for sharing your insights on church growth with us! Make sure you follow him on Twitter for daily insights and to connect with Artie.

Cornerstone has experienced tremendous growth since its birth in 1995 with 35 people. Today the church baptizes between 30-40 people each month, and has an average worship attendance between 1500-1700 people.

5 Vision Casting Mistakes: Guest blogger Mac Lake

Strong vision casting is absolutely essential for moving an organization toward the fulfillment of it’s mission.  That’s why leaders must be consistent in casting a convincing and compelling picture of the future. But sometimes when we actually open our mouths to cast vision we’re prone to some common mistakes.  Here are five to consider as you think about your next vision casting opportunity.

  • MISTAKE #1  Too Much Information – While it’s important for you to know the details of the vision don’t feel like you have to share ALL the details with everyone.  When you share too much information you can actually dampen enthusiasm rather than inspire following.   Rule of thumb: The bigger the audience the fewer the details you need to share. You can let them know there is a strategic plan, just don’t feel like you have to share the step by step details with the large crowd.
  • MISTAKE #2 Emotionless Presentation– There is nothing worse than casting vision in a monotone voice.  You may not have a charismatic personality but you can still find a way to enthusiastically express your vision through your personality.  You have to cast vision with passion or others wont be convinced that you’re convinced.
  • MISTAKE #3 Credit Hog – it’s always tempting for a leader to take full credit for the vision.  But when we shine the light on ourselves we take the light off of the vision.  Rule of Thumb: When casting vision use the word “we” more than “I”. Show the listener(s) how they fit into the vision.
  • MISTAKE #4  Trigger Happy – You may have a great vision but if you cast it at the wrong time you may do more damage than good.  For example if you’re new in the role remember this principle: People buy into the visionary before they buy into the vision.  Take the time to do the relational groundwork, build your credibility, demonstrate authenticity, give people time to know you as well as know your vision.  Take time to get key influencers behind and bought into the vision before casting it from a big platform.
  • MISTAKE #5  Unbelievable – Sometimes leaders cast a vision that’s so big that the average person just can’t grasp it.  Rule of thumb: the more previous success you’ve had the bigger the vision you can cast. Our senior pastor Greg Surratt is one of the biggest visionaries I’ve known.  I always jokingly say he thinks with more zeros’ on the end than I do.  But his previous successes from years past allow him to cast a much bigger vision today.

What vision casting mistakes have you witnessed in the past?

Through twitter, conversations, a pizza, and a visit to Charleston I have had the pleasure of getting to know Mac Lake. I want to personally thank him for being a guest blogger and sharing his thoughts on casting a vision. For those who do not know Mac let me assure you he is the “Real Deal”! If you have any chance to connect with him I want to urge you to take advantage of it. Read more about my visit with Mac and Seacoast church here! You can also check out Mac at MacLakeOnline.com.

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