Thursday, February 22, 2007

C3 Session #2

Craig Groeschel, Life Church, Oklahoma City, OK, 5 campuses, 16,000 people on Sundays, gives his stuff away for free. The inventor of the Q&A messages series I love so much.

Message title: "You're an idiot"

Acts 4:14, "ordinary and unschooled." People marveled at the preachers and Christ followers who were, what the Greek translates as ignoramus, otherwise known as idiots. I know, I was shocked at first also, but I am now proud to be an idiot. For Jesus of course.

Q: Who does God most often use to turn "what if" to "what is?"
A: Insecure, risk taking, pain enduring idiots.

Craig did a remarkable job of unpacking the insecurities leaders live with, the uncertainty behind every big decision and the pain felt when things don't go as planned. He spoke of success and failure as if both are necessary, which of course they are.

Craig said something profound to all of us who are insecure and have failed a time or two. He said, "God has called you to do something amazing and you're tempted to bring your resume of failure to him." As if God is unaware of our limitations.

Craig said something amazing to all of us who bang our heads against the wall when things decline. Listen business leader. Craig said, "If you blame yourself for the decline, you might be tempted to take credit for the increase." It's funny how we blame ourselves when we lose, but we give credit elsewhere when we win. Isn't God the giver of increase? If He is responsible for increase, you are not responsible for decrease. Then who is you might ask? Here is a thought, its not who, it's what. Things go wrong all the time, doesn't have to be personal, just wrong. Fix it and stop blaming others and yourself.

He asked us to ask ourselves, "In what area of ministry are we dangerously secure in our own knowledge and abilities?"
Craig said something inspiring to every Christian on the planet. He said, "To really follow Jesus you must be willing to live in a perpetual state of discomfort."

He encouraged us to 1) never stop taking risks, 2) be obedient in the small things and 3) recognize small obedience leads to big opportunity.

He asked us to ask ourselves, "What faith risks is God calling you to take?" He challenged us to recognize that the sum total of all Jesus did was not to make us safe. To really follow Christ will require faith risks.

He then asked us, "What painful decision have you been avoiding?" He encouraged us to "embrace the pain" because as a leader pain increases. He quoted his mentor, "The difference between where we are and where God wants us to be is the painful decisions we need to make." or "You'll not outgrow your threshold of pain."

He told stories of his own pain, how leaders close to him had betrayed him, how people misquote him and dis on the vision God has given him. And then he said the most important thing I have heard about the challenges of leading people. He said, "Play hurt, stop whining about it and get int he game." I like that. Makes minsitry at the level of reaching deep within, even when it is difficult and going for it 100%. I like that kind of leader, I want to be that kind of man everyday.

Craig is a straight shooter, no BS man of God. I am serious, it was the first time I have ever heard him live (watched a lot on line) and I have to say it was a fantastic and inspiring message, to turn "what if" into "what is."