Minggu, 28 Maret 2010

Get Real, Get Right, For the Next Generation!

Get Real, Get Right, For the Next Generation!
By Robert Ricciardelli www.vision2advance.com

What The Young Leaders of This Next Generation Need.

I was able to spend a weekend recently with a group of 92 men of valor. Their ages ranged from about 18- 70, and they represented more than 10 nations. It was a safe environment for all to come together in a deep relational way to discuss the issues of today, the church of today, and the direction we need to be moving towards for tomorrow.

I particularly took notice of the leaders in the generation that is coming up after me. They are passionate, and they are committed to living a life for God’s glory. They are radically in love with Jesus, and just as radical about changing the impotent ways of what they perceive about today’s Christianity. They want to be a part of birthing real communities that increasingly look more like family, and less like corporate America.

I also was amazed at how talented these young men were and how equally they were wrapped with humility. One has preached in over 450 cities around the world, and yet was amazed at Father’s continual use of Him. This young man has no formal Bible education, He just knows Jesus. He does not have degrees or pedigrees, but He is filled with the Spirit of God. Even at a young age, this man has been wrecked in a great way for the Kingdom of God.

Here are just a few of my take-aways from our time together…

They just want to be heard!
This generation carries a much-needed voice for today. We need to hear the sound of God through their perspective worldviews. They are not perfect, but are being perfected. They remind me of David’s 400 men, who all at some level had been marginalized or had lives of no reputation. The Holy Spirit inspired each of them for the King and the Kingdom, much like these young leaders of today.

Servant Leadership
This generation of leaders is not enamored by stardom, but by righteousness, authenticity, and humility towards God and mankind. Many of them commented that they do not look up to leaders who desire “Superstar Status”. They do not want to be viewed as merely armor bearers, because they have their own purpose, and want to engage in the battle. They want to walk beside those they can learn from, and fight alongside them the good fight of faith. They will serve leaders that seek to serve and not seek to be served.

Authentic Fathers
Many of these men are looking for fathers of the faith that will be real with them. They want dialogue, they want the truth expressed through real relationship, and not some religious hierarchical chain of command. They want leaders to answer questions that they may be afraid to ask. They desire intimacy with leaders who live transparent lives that manifest the idea, “Into me You See”

Kingdomized Gender Equality
The married men grasped the fact that their wives were partners in every possible way for the Kingdom. In some cases their wives might even have a greater public voice or influence than themselves, and they were okay with God’s will in such matters. John Wayne is not their hero, Jesus is, and Jesus gave women the right to be and to do all the things God may call a man to do. In the Kingdom of God there is no male or female, but obedience and recognition of each one’s calling and assignments. These men get this. The single men there are trusting God to reveal their partners one day, and have the heart to allow their partner to flourish in all the things of God.

Another quality I observed was the amazing ability to honor those in authority, but with an incredible lack of fear towards men in authority. There was honor and yet little fear. One young man was also writing a biblical research paper to one of his mentors to challenge some paradigms and ways that may not be God’s best. They do not fear tomorrow. They are passionate about how the Father may use them to bring solutions to humanity in whatever part of the world the Lord sends them into.

Our Father is speaking to fathers
We all must do everything we can to embrace the young men and women who will lead the future generations. Some final thoughts:

* We must repent if we have gotten in God’s way in how we have related and imparted to them
* We must set a new course in how we relate with them going forward.
* God is making it clear that He only wants one Superstar, and that is His Son Jesus. All other Superstars, please step down. God has proven that He can make a way for you to step down if you need it, but please listen to His voice today and step down.
* Remove the fear of man from your life, ask the Lord and seek wise counsel if necessary.
* Have a righteous fear of God, and only obey His voice for the training of these young leaders.
* Ask the Lord for His perspectives regarding how you may be choosing those you are working with. Have you disregarded some based on human understanding?
* Do all for the glory of God and remove all hidden agenda’s.

Senin, 08 Maret 2010

The One Answer I Never Expected

The One Answer I Never Expected
By James Ryle www.truthworks.org

“All things work together for good for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

There was a question that had lingered for years in the back of my mind, and I knew that my father was the only person who could answer it. And when the opportunity came for me to ask him, his reply was the one answer I never expected.

Here is today’s excerpt out of Released From the Prison My Father Built.

“Dad, which prison were you in?”

“I was in the Central Unit,” he replied, unaware of all that was lingering behind my question. The moment I heard his answer my countenance dropped. It was not the same prison unit I had been in. I had thought for sure it was going to be the same, and had envisioned preaching rousing sermons about being in the same prison that your father was in; you know, the old “like father, like son” thing. But none of this mattered now. His answer changed all that.

“Which prison were you in?” he then asked me, not knowing how my mind was racing.

Somewhat dejected I replied, “I was in the Ferguson Unit, near Midway, Texas; just down a ways from Huntsville.”

My dad’s expression changed immediately. He went from being curious, to being stunned. His mouth dropped open, and he looked at me in disbelief. Gathering himself he then said the words that would forever mark my life.

“Dear God, son, I built that prison.”

“What?” I replied, “What do you mean, you built it?”

“They used prison labor to build the Ferguson Unit,” dad answered. “I was the welder on the work crew. I welded the bars when that prison was built.”

As dad’s words hung there in the air, the Lord Jesus spoke to my heart, “James, I have set you free from the prison your father built. Now I will use you to set others free from prisons their fathers have built. Go home to your friends and tell them what great things I have done. Tell them how all things work together for good for those who love Me and are called according to My purpose.”

My mind raced back over the years and grappled with the astounding thought that the Lord had somehow orchestrated this entire matter. No, He didn’t make my dad a robber, nor did He make me a drug dealer; and the tragic wreck wasn’t His doing, it was mine. And He didn’t want me to run away from the orphanage, but I did it anyway.

God does no evil to any man; rather, He is the God who works all things after the counsel of His will; the God who works all things – yes, even bad things – together for good for those who answer the call to His higher purpose for their lives. And He had been at work in my life all those years even though I didn’t know it.

I sat there amazed, and am still so to this very day. My father welded the bars of my prison. How extraordinary is that? From one point of view it is very extraordinary. I mean, what are the chances of that ever happening to anybody? Extraordinary indeed.

But, from another point of view it is rather ordinary; in fact, it is sadly common. Virtually everywhere in today’s world there are sons and daughters in prisons of one kind or another, which their fathers have built. Prisons of fear, addiction, rage, hatred, ignorance, shame, and confusion; just to name a few.

A dad mistreats or neglects a trusting child, and the strike upon that tender soul is as solid and lasting as the iron bars that were welded by the heat of my father’s torch. A cruel word spoken in anger, a nickname given in jest, a rebuke blurted out in public or a cold shoulder in time of need – these mindless acts of senseless dads forge the framework of solitary confinement for boys and girls the world over. And the vicious cycle repeats as these wounded children become broken parents with “welding torches” in their hands, passing on the torment to yet another generation of unsuspecting kids.

A father’s influence in his children’s lives is powerful and inevitable, whether for good or for bad. This fact has been repeated throughout history time and time again.” (Excerpt from pg.21-23, Released From the Prison My Father Built, James Ryle, 2010) Get Your Copy Today