Leadership, Reflections & Introspection, That'll Preach Sayings

The Collection: October 2017

1 Nov , 2017  

The Collection

A journal entry of some of the quotes, tweets and statuses that have wrecked my over the past month. I will try to jot them down and let you in on the insight God is speaking to me. Some will be from well-known people, some are friends of mine but ALL are worthy of mentioning and deeper soul-processing.

 

“Talent and charisma may get you there, BUT integrity and character will KEEP you there!” – @jcworley

Reminds me that my character matters more than my skills and personality. How well I live our the character of my life, speaks greater volumes to keep me in line and aligned.

“In scripture, God repeatedly shows us the assigned vein connected directly to His heart. This vein is JESUS and all things flow through Him.” – @jcworley

Just pierced…. stay connected to the vein!

“Reminded today that our adversity can be our advantage. May our opposition and resistance cause us to rise and soar to new heights.” – @JasonTLaird

The people that rise against you, are there to to make sure you rise up (shoutout to the Falcons). Maybe to adversity plays a bigger role in our promotion than we wish to give credit to. #EmbraceTheResistance

“Unity values togetherness over preference.” – @isaacgross

There is by far no better statement for our culture today than these word. It (Unity) is the pressing prayer of Jesus before his ascension to heaven. We need unity not just as a nation but as believers and followers of Christ Jesus. Burn the preferences, and build together.

“Small minded leaders bash other leaders. BIG leaders promote other leaders, of all sizes, even those “more popular” than them.” – @chrisdurso

Much needed wisdom for leaders no matter the sphere of influence or sector. This will be the test to see if one goes to the next level in leadership

“Speak to people’s heart way before you decide to speak to their actions.” – @LandonPickering

THIS is for everybody — pastor, young preacher, Christian, church children’s volunteer, usher, and accountant. A leader told me a long time ago that… “relationship earns me the right to speak into people’s life.”

“The love of God compels us.” Oh to live motivated, compelled, and controlled by the Love of God alone.” – @billyhumphrey1

The radical love of God pushes us forward… this is the mandate to live by. All we do is from and by an overflowing love from God. Live in the overflow.

, , , , , , , , , ,

#tcgwky

Guest Post, Leadership, Reflections & Introspection, That'll Preach Sayings

#tcgwky – Round 2, Fight!

28 Jul , 2017  

#TCGWKY = The comparison game will kill you.

This journal series was co-written with Pastor Corey Gibson. See what he says about #TCGWKY in Round 1, Fight! of the series.

In just the last few years, I’ve been in three distinctly different seasons of life and ministry. I’ve been in the role of leading a ministry that was “small”, I’ve been in the wilderness of transition, and I’ve been in the driver’s seat of a nationally recognized movement. The idea that the spirit of comparison is exclusive, or even stronger, in any season is just as rich of a lie as that destructive sirens’ promise that better grass exists. When I worked with a small ministry, I wanted to be in a bigger one. When I was in transition, I just wanted to be wanted, the way I felt everyone else who had a platform was… wanted. And when I had somehow “arrived” into my dream position, piloting a ministry that had influenced me for years, I was still just as empty and green as I had ever been. Shades of inadequacy and hues of envy colored the way I viewed everything.

I have watched friends fall at my left side and brothers abandon calling at my right hand. And in my most vulnerable moments, I can tell you that the same spirit has not just come nigh my dwelling, she has kissed my ear on my own couch as I gaze into an iPhone wondering when I will ever “matter”. She has taken my place in bed, next to my wife, while I pace through hallways and try to develop ideas like adding rungs onto a proverbial ladder. I’ve read enough books, listened to enough podcasts, and heck even preached enough sermons about not comparing peoples highlight reels to your life. It’s easy to say “Amen” to, but seemingly impossible to escape.

I chased success like some mythical white beast, that was always just far enough from my hands that I would never really reach it. I found myself constantly pursuing something other than the pursuer, and you simply can’t live like that. All in all, I found myself subscribed to the idea that working harder was the answer. There’s nothing wrong with hard work, but my every movement became about proving

something to someone. I didn’t care much who it was, but I had an intrinsic need for validation that was achingly insufficient – all because my life didn’t look like the Instagram feeds that I had idolized. All because twitter followers somehow eluded me but migrated to everyone else. Because I couldn’t for the life of me gain a blue check on Facebook. Because I only got to speak at four camps per summer, and not ten.

There’s a reason it feels like you are always chasing… running and gasping for each breath, holding your ribs in exhaustion. Because comparison NEVER wants to you to know satisfaction. No matter how big the ministry, how influential your social clout, how perfect your airbrushed photos are, there will always be another dying star that vies for your attention. And if we do not make a conscious choice to abdicate comparison’s power of our life we will make our spiritual dwelling in the slums of rejection.

Why? Because comparison and rejection are winning dance partners, and our western-progressive-Christian minds are the ballroom. A month ago, I found myself back in this place of transition. This time not just in employment, but in calling, in residence, in economic status, what felt like every aspect of life. At the pinnacle of this change, I laid in bed one night for hours listening to the same song on repeat. “I’d rather see your stars explode” by a band called Slaves. (If you’re some hyper-purist, don’t listen, they aren’t even remotely a Christian band). But I lay there incessantly hitting “play again” all for a three-line bridge towards the end of the song where the singer says, “I’m gonna show what I’ve got left. You haven’t even seen my best. Just wait.” Somehow without me even noticing, years’ worth of rejection began surfacing and I found myself weeping, gritting my teeth and bitterly declaring those three lines of lyrics over and over again

All of that to say this, the comparison had made me believe that I would never live without being in someone else’s shadow. A predecessor, a successor, an illegitimate idol who fits into skinny jeans better than I ever have hopes for, the list goes on…

That night I made a decision that the world would see my best. No matter what it took. I persuaded my own heart to trust that I still had something left inside to offer. The only way we kill comparison is regaining security in our God-given identity. Mine is different than yours. And it’s different than my wife’s. It’s different than the pastor with 12,000 followers and it’s different than the guy’s who preaches in a living room for 12 people. We must come to a place where we unashamedly embrace our differences, where we celebrate the favor of God on our friends and on our rivals, where we cancel our premium subscription to Satan’s lies and rejoice in who we are as children of God. I’m more and more convinced daily that genuine revival and comparison cannot cohabitate. The reason is, revival and comparison are at war for who gets the glory. If we authentically desire a move of God, comparison must die.

Revival and comparison are at war for who gets the glory. If we authentically desire a move of God, comparison must die. Click To Tweet

-Johnathan Key

Johnathan is a national speaker and church consultant with a passion for training leaders to “make things better. always.” With 13 years experience in ministry, Johnathan now travels spreading fires and coaching pastors, leaders, and volunteers to understand that revival is a choice. He is a husband to Andrea, Dad to Israel, and Unashamed Skylanders collector. Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website

, , , , , , , , , ,

Guest Post, Randomness, Reflections & Introspection, Worship & Prayer

Worship: It’s not always what you think!

27 Mar , 2017  

Guest Blogger, Lucas Lash shares his thoughts on Worship…

What is worship? How and why should we even worship in the first place? Worship is a necessary part not only in church but in our very own relationships with God. Every day, each one of us worships something, whether you believe in God or not. Sometimes we don’t even intend to, but by how we think and how we use our time, we are always focused on something. It’s easy to get misled and worship those things, and by this I mean we tend to get distracted by so many things we come across in our daily lives. We go to school, we go to work, some of us have kids, or we are focusing all our attention on our boyfriend or girlfriend or even our spouses. Our schedules are so full and we cram so many things into our days that we don’t prioritize the time necessary to worship God and spend time with Him. That is crucial for our relationship with Jesus, and I’m guilty of the same thing sometimes. We fill our plate with work, sports, family or friends, and all those things are great and God blesses us with those things, but I think Jesus deserves a little more than the 5 or 10 minutes a day and then moving to the next thing on our schedule.

I wanted to spend some time pondering the question of why we should even worship God in the first place. It seems like such a small question in our faith, but it really is very significant to remember why you are worshipping God. I want to share a verse that has definitely been one of my favorites ever since I first heard it. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” If you’re a Christian, then you believe Jesus died for your sins, to take the full penalty and weight of your sin and endure the wrath of God so that we don’t have to. It’s very simple, but every time I spend time thinking about this truth it breaks me down and brings me back to the simplicity of why I am a Christian. I chose to follow Jesus because I have witnessed the love God has for all of us, and I want to share that with others and give back to God all that I have. That’s why I worship, and really it’s the only reason we should worship God. Not out of a state of fear or pressure, but out of a revelation of God’s faithfulness and love. Jesus came down to this earth and endured all the pain and suffering that we really can’t even imagine, and Philippians 2:8 says this, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” I think that is amazing. Jesus was God and He came down to this earth because He loves us, and died the death we deserve, all because He wanted to spend eternity with you and I. So again I come back to the question, “Why should we even worship God?” Well, because I believe He deserves it. He deserves every piece of me; my heart, and my life. And for what God has done for you and me, and what He is doing for us each day, I will worship Him and tell the world how awesome and great He is.

I chose to follow Jesus because I've witnessed the love God has for all of us, and I want to share that with others... Click To Tweet

When you look around the world at different cultures and religions, you see different ideas of worship and what it looks like to worship. The question of how we should worship is a strange one, but I think it’s important to talk about. Each of us are very different people, but we all have the common goal and intention of worshipping a God who deeply loves us. How we worship Him will look totally and completely different. God created us to be unique individuals, He doesn’t want us all worshipping the same way and doing the exact same thing as the next guy. He doesn’t want us to raise our arms just because everyone else is doing it, or fall on our knees at the altar just because it looks like a more meaningful experience. God simply wants us to let our walls down and fully accept His love. Once we do that, we feel that incredible comfort and peace that only comes from Him. We let everything down, and open our heart to God, and in response to that, we worship. We thank Him. We praise Him and show Him how grateful and humbled we are. Showing God our gratitude and showing Him love can come in different forms, and as I said before, it will always look different for each of us. For me, my favorite ways to worship God and to praise Him is through playing music and playing drums. I’m one of the drummers for my church praise band, and I do it because I love God, want to make music for His glory, and of course, because I love playing drums! I love skateboarding and doing art, and those things are even considered worship when you do them with the intention of bringing God glory. Each of us has passions and things we love doing, and that’s great! God gives us these desires and fires us up to do things because He wants us to be happy and enjoy this life, but He also wants us to use those passions to grow the Kingdom, reach those around us, and glorify the God who made us.

Worship is such an integral part of our relationship with God. It’s a way for us to communicate back to Him our response to His love. I definitely think He is worthy of it. Worship looks different for each of us, and I believe that’s exactly what God wants. Worship isn’t always through music or singing but it’s the way we live our lives and what we choose to focus on or direct our attention to. Worship is an amazing thing, and God is always ecstatic to hear your voice, to see your heart and your actions bringing glory to the Kingdom. He is and always will be worthy of our praise.

Worship isn't always through music/singing but it's the way we live our lives & what we focus on Click To Tweet

Lucas Lash _ WorshipLucas Lash is a 23-year-old who currently lives in Wichita, KS. His hobbies include drumming, art and design, skateboarding, and running his faith-based clothing brand “Urban Society Co.

, , , , ,

Guest Speaking, Leadership

Speaking Engagement: Vertical Chapel – Buda, TX

18 Aug , 2016  

Super pumped and stoked to be in Buda, Texas (Austin metro) all next week hanging with the team at Vertical Chapel. I’ll be speaking Aug 28th at their students ministry’s Back-2-School Event and the 1st ever MOTION NIGHT. This is a huge deal as they enter into a new season of ministry and service unto the Lord and for their community. Cannot wait to bring a great message and build relationships. From what I know, this church and it’s student ministry are contending for revival and holy movement of Jesus to be established in the church and in their community. I just love Pastors Shawn Cooper & Jason Eaton hearts and vision.. so there is nothing like being around people who are hungry for God and impacting their community/city.

For more on this church, please go here: Vertical Chapel.  And more information on the is event, please go here: MOTION NIGHT

 

MR_Corey_Gibson

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

Leadership, Reflections & Introspection, That'll Preach Sayings, Worship & Prayer

Unless The Lord…

6 May , 2016  

This was originally posted by Pastor Corey on February 18, 2012….

1Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for He grants sleep to those He loves. Psalm 127:1-2

For the past few months, I have been sensing the Lord stir something in the atmosphere. Awhile back, I was speaking 3x (November/December) on Psalms 127:1-2 and how God has an urgent need to build his Kingdom. And about 3 months before that I had a dream about that same scripture (Ps. 127) that literally woke me up concerning what the Lord was doing. Without going into too many details in the dream (on the blog), I was speaking at a large youth/young adults conference for a dear friend of mine, with some other young prominent preachers/worship leaders. And I vividly remember a complete shifting in the conference arena, as I stepped on stage after worship. After paying honor to the conference host (my friend) and joking alittle while, I immediately stated that the Lord, sent me on “assignment” to bring an offense to the conference attenders, specifically the Leaders who were there. And how they have been vying for position and status in the eyes of the world and Christendom. That a lot of the people (leaders) were there to hear more from & “rub elbows” with the prominent leaders, then from what God directly wanted to say to them. After this, I went into the context of my message which was on Psalms 127:1-2 and how we are building houses, God never required or asked us to build. Afterwards, I gave an 2-fold altar call and invitation; 1- for leaders to repent for vying for favorites and 2- for everyone else to surrender!

Fast forward to mid-December – I was sitting in an young adults life group with some of the awesomeness people alive, and I got this huge sense of heat all over me. We were discussing some changes in the ministry and where/what we see God doing. My turn comes around and I didn’t say anything… as if I couldn’t speak. Everyone else finished and as we were closing out for the night, I finally felt led to speak. I recall saying that the Lord is about to do some amazing things in our midst and that we as a ministry was about to apart of a revival in our city. Briefly shared with them on Habakkuk 3:2 and that the prayer of our hearts have to shift to seeing God revive things in our day now. That the past revivals, awakenings and movements weren’t good enough for now, we DESPERATELY NEED our own.

Now that brings me to a couple weeks ago – feeling & sensing those same stirrings in the atmosphere. Stirrings of a season of intense prayer and seeking Jesus for the revival & movement that’s about to take place in my life/ministry and in this generation, that only He can do. I find myself at the mercies of Psalms 127:1-2 once again, rendered over the fact that unless Jesus is the foundation & architect of His house we are wasting our time. A blunt but deep & serious call to ALL believers from the Lord… Here’s my rest, let me build. More and more as I read, understand & study my heart is overwhelmed and burden for the church to allow God to speak directly to us and stop “doing” church. Would love your prayers and encouragements during this time of consecration as I pray & seek a greater desire for more of the Lord… as he builds His house and watches His city! I am looking forward to this time of fasting and seeking the Lord! Even as I prep for my message next week, I’m joyful to rest in the Lord’s presence!

Man is building his house in which he wants God to furnish for man’s sake.  All the while God is trying to build His House and furnish it for our sake. HIS (Jesus) work can NEVER become OUR work until we surrender to Him &  wait at His feet. Then are we able to become co-laborers w/ Christ…
image

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leadership, Randomness, Reflections & Introspection

Some Favorite Preachers

25 Apr , 2016  

I am always asked who are some of my favorite preachers… so I wanted to list some of my favorite preachers right now.  This list are preachers outside of my circle of influence. *No particular order…

Favorite Preachers

  1. Judah Smith
  2. Chad Veach
  3. Francis Chan
  4. Jentezen Franklin
  5. Matt Chandler
  6. Priscilla Shirer
  7. Robert Madu
  8. Perry Noble
  9. Carl Lentz
  10. Rich Wilkerson Jr.
  11. Robert Morris
  12. Craig Groeschel
  13. David Wilkerson (deceased, but his stuff is heart piercing and soul searing)
  14. Louie Giglio
  15. John Gray
  16. Dustin Woodard
  17. Brian Houston
  18. Bill Hybels
  19. John Piper

, , ,

Leadership, Mind Dumps, Randomness, Reflections & Introspection

After Spring Break Mind Dump

6 Apr , 2016  

mind_dump

PERSONAL LIFE

  1. Have spent most of the last year focused on me and Jesus.. The Lord has been redefining some key things in my life such as Hope, Faith, Surrender and Joy. Cannot express in the right words how important this season has been to my life and ministry. Times just listening to podcasts, studying scripture and times of prayer/worship.
  2. For me community is everything… it keeps me out of my head (thinking negatively) and keeps me focus on what matters most – God & His people. “Community is only built when you intentional invest in others and have a give/take mentality.”
  3. Was grateful to be apart of my cousin’s wedding. Also for the time to travel and spend time in TN & GA with family and Friends

MINISTRY LIFE

  1. Have some speaking engagements in April and May. Right now, I am accepting more speaking engagements, so if you or anyone you know are in need of a speaker for this Summer or Fall let me know.
  2. I’ve had some solid interviews with some great larger churches. More interviews are being scheduled with other churches. Also working with recruiting agencies to help streamline this process and find a good fit for me. Hopefully, prayerfully, and Lord willingly I will have a new church family/home by the end of May. The waiting is such the hardest part of the search process.
  3. You can join me in praying for God’s best during this process. I have some pretty cool friends and family members who are super supportive and making sure to reach out to me during this time.

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)

, , , , , , ,

Leadership, Reflections & Introspection, Worship & Prayer

a dog and her crumbs

22 Mar , 2016  

Matthew 15:21-28 || Mark 7:24-30

  1. She was desperate (she cried out – Lord Have Mercy on Me)
  2. She worshipped (she knelt before his feet)
  3. She entered into a state of repentance

The Bible never records her name. This woman, who is identified by her nationality, understood her status and role in life. She realize at that moment that she was nothing.. And she went to the very person who could make her something. She humbled herself, cried out after him, worshipped him and accepted her position. Not a position of poverty or of sickness, or even helplessness for her daughter… but a position that would ultimately propel her into the Kingdom of Heaven… She was poor in Spirit.. Matthew 5:3

“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Jesus rewards her faith by healing her daughter. Jesus always honors the faith that seeks mercy. She had no resentment, no anger about her situation; she only knew that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah who came to heal people, and for some reason He was in her town. She sought mercy from Him. And this time, Jesus responded with emotion (“O woman” has emotional force & undertones). Her faith was rewarded. And she became one of the early Gentiles to enter the kingdom.

Jesus went into a Gentile territory with a purpose… he was making a point that his Grace and Mercy was freely given to all those who thirst for him. He was sent to the house of Israel, but they chose to challenge & reject him.

She’s asking if Jewish “bad eating habits” resulted in a Gentile blessing. Can’t the Gentiles have what the Jews rejected? She wanted to know that if the provision that were made for the Jews was refused, could even the “dogs” take part in it now?

Sometimes, we are going to have to lay it all on the line… and it won’t matter what our family or friends say, nor what our culture/world tells us. We HAVE to be so desperate and radical about the things that matters to us the most. This woman understood all of this. WILL WE? When you are desperate enough to worship in humility, and begin the process of repentance, Jesus looks passed the “identifiers” and circumstances of life and touches your now. This women’s faith saved her daughters life. What will your faith do?

 

image

, , , , , , , , , ,

Randomness

Facebook Ad

7 Mar , 2016  

Was offered free Sponsored Ad Space from Facebook/Instagram for my ministry… Friends and Student Pastors, be on the lookout for this. #NeedASpeaker #stumin #leadership #church #ministry #JesusFocused #youngpreacher

, , , , , ,

Leadership, Reflections & Introspection, Student Ministry

NEW iOS/Android Apps

16 Jan , 2016   Gallery

So I’ve released my 1st app on iOS, Android & WP10.. Go get it for the latest blogs, sermons & more. iOS Link in bio or search “iAMtransparent” #stumin #TheRiver #AliveandFree #Kalamazoo #ministry #ios

, , , , , ,