Friday, October 24, 2014

Harvest University Nuggets

Hello, Friends!

This is going to be a different kind of blog than I usually post.  I am going to toss some nuggets to you - tiny, theological treats for you to munch on.  I am not going to expound on them, except for one (I can't help myself), but rather, I'd prefer that you just ingest it, ponder it, maybe even look up the scripture with it if applicable and enjoy an afternoon snack.  Sound like a plan?

This past week several of us went down to Chicago for the 2014 Harvest University.  HU is really a church planting conference, with main speakers, the Vertical Church Band and then lots of electives on church systems - elder formation and responsibilities, worship leaders track, children's ministries, soul care, women's ministries, assimilation tracks…etc.  Our whole staff was there, minus one who had a precious baby boy this week (welcome, Anderson!).  So I thought I would share some of the nuggets I gleaned from the few days down there. This is by no means exhaustive, but rather just a little snack for you to enjoy! So…here goes!

1.  Waiting for God to Move (keynote speaker, James MacDonald, from John 5)

  • God wants to work IN you (first) and THROUGH you (second) - in that order
  • Life expectancy in Jesus' time was 40 years (wowsers!)
  • The hardest part of a trial is not the depth of the valley or the darkness of total uncertainty, it's the duration
  • as pastors, we need to focus less on historical uncertainties and more on "It is written…"  (be sure to think about that one for a while…)
  • Application:
    • Take your eyes off the clock and get them on Jesus
      • dismiss the lie that there is a connection between time and relief
      • determine to wait
      • devote yourself to prayer
    • Take your mind off the obstacles and get it on Jesus
      • Three reasons why we stop hoping:
        • It's a hassle to hope
        • It's hard to hope
        • It hurts to hope
    • Take your faith off the formula and get it on Jesus
2.  Some nuggets from the Soul Care Electives
  • Every day that the sun rises is a day that God is being gracious to those who don't know Him
***This is the one I want to just throw a comment at - read it again and ponder this truth.  The sun does not rise for the righteous - life on this earth does not continue for us.  Our destiny is sure and this earth is broken. But God extends grace to the unbelievers as each day is an opportunity to repent and turn to Him. He is not late in bringing His judgment - He is patient so that all who will come to know Him actually do come to know Him.  I think we spend so much time thinking that every day is a day for God to do incredible things in our lives, forgetting that He uses us to bring the lost to Himself.  Isn't it a better perspective to see each day as an opportunity to point others to our Savior?  So every morning when the sun rises and we get another day, be reminded of God's grace on the lost…it is a powerful perspective!
  • Guilt is a judicial term - if you are guilty, then repent. But if you feel guilty, then re-inform your conscience
  • Psychology offers description, the Bible provides prescription
  • You before Me, except after C (Christ) - nice, huh?
  • Don't wait for perfection to do ministry
  • Just as prayer is a universal language, so is brokenness
  • The person who refuses to go to small group is rejecting God's care for them through the local church
  • What we believe about God is exposed during the valleys and crises of life
  • You know it's time to graduate a counselee when they are talking to others about the gospel
  • Whatever is in your heart, when it is squeezed, it will come out
  • Our enemy goes after the weak, the wounded and the isolated
  • Anything that captures our hearts, minds and affections more than God is idolatry
3.  Final Session (James MacDonald)
  • 5 wisdoms James has learned from the past 5 years
    • Friends are important but family is forever
    • Hurt held hinders happiness (Some of his biggest regrets were actions taken which were motivated by hurt)
    • Love above truth (this is not a theological statement, but well explained that basically love is greater than holding to a truth that breaks a relationship - don't get too worked up on this point.  Just remember that choosing love instead of a bludgeoning with truth is always preferable)
    • If you're wrong in the way that you're right, then you're wrong (Don't let the manner of your discipline disqualify your message)
    • Grace is never wasted
Okay, friends - that should be plenty to get you through the weekend!  


1 comment:

  1. I think my brain will explode with all this pondering!! But very critical for growth... Thanks for more homework.