Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Harder road, more fruit

I was recently struck by a quote from Alex Kendrick. Many of you know Alex from his movies like Facing the Giants (2006), Fireproof (2008), and most recently Courageous (2011). A friend of mine (another Alex) introduced me to a wonderful resource called I AM SECOND--a collection of short films detailing some amazing testimonies. Alex Kendrick's story is one of them. The film opens with Kendrick speaking these words:
God said something to me. It's like He spoke to me so clearly I heard Him word for word. And He said, "Alex, would you rather have an easier road with less fruit, or a harder road with more fruit?"
You know, when God asks us a question He's not looking for information, He's looking for a response from us. He's eliciting faith within us. When I heard the question God asked Alex Kendrick, it resonated so deeply within me that I responded with tears. I have believed for many years this very thing: God is doing something hugely significant through Leaders 4 Life, but the path to get there will be long and difficult, kinda like the old Elvis song, "True love travels on a gravel road."

The last few years have been really hard for Lisa and I and our team. There have been difficulties of many kinds--relationally, financially, and organizationally. In January our personal checking account balance registered $2.63 before a check came in. February wasn't much different. I'm not asking you for money, because money won't necessarily solve the things we're going through right now. We're not worried about it either, so please don't you worry. My point is this: we walk this long, difficult gravel road because 1) God has called us to and, 2) because we know at some point God will intervene in a big way. And God has already been intervening. In quiet but significant ways, God has started healing those fractured elements in our lives and in our ministry. In the meantime, we remain faithful, consistent, and we set our faces like flint toward the goal of establishing and creating this mission.

So I ask for your prayers. In this next season I want to spend some time praying about the next step for us to take. We feel ready. Our faith has become stronger and stronger and our confidence in the mission has never been higher! We believe now more than ever that God wants to do something significant through this ministry entrusted to us called Leaders 4 Life. We believe it cannot be stopped by trial or tribulation, although our unfaithfulness would surely have a damaging effect. So, our trust in God to come through cannot be quenched!

Here is the short film on Alex Kendrick's story: Alex Kendrick - I Am Second

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We Need Your Help! Major Changes happening

It has been nearly two months since my last blog post and there are some major changes to report.

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others" is a motto we strive to live by. While we have a wonderful community scattered around the globe, the community we have been developing here locally in Phoenix is still fairly thin. So after much wrestling in prayer and listening to wise counsel, I have decided to begin pursuing full time pastoral work here in the U.S. We don't see this as a step backwards at all, but we believe such a move has the potential to create a community of people who are passionate about mission.

So, I need your help. Pastors know churches looking for pastors. Please forward this blog post to your pastor, asking if he knows of any churches looking for a pastor. If you yourself know of churches which are passionate about mission and which are looking for a lead/senior pastor, teaching pastor, or mission pastor, please let me know! I would love to talk with them.

A second major change which has occurred is that our church here in Phoenix with whom we have been trying to partner over the past couple of years has lost its pastor. Earlier this month I had the privilege of preaching on the first Sunday we were without a pastor. I addressed what Scripture says a church should be looking for in a pastor. You can listen to my message The Good Pastor in its entirety, or you can listen to a short clip below. Thanks for your help in passing the word along!