At the general session, some musical guests were Charles Billingsly and Brian Duncan. Later, Buddy Owens reminded us of 2 Timothy 1:12, "... I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. "
- Notice it reads "I know WHOM I have believed" (not "what"). Paul wants us to know that we need to know Christ. We need to be in relationship with Him. Head knowledge is not enough - a heart knowledge is required.
- Buddy also encouraged us to let go - to open our hands and entrust to God all of our responsibilities. It is only with empty hands that they can be filled with what God wants us to hold.
- And we need to TRUST God with these things. "Trust" is to allow someone to do something without fear of the outcome. We need to give God these things without fear of how He will deal with them.
- Verse 14 continues..."Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you - guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us." Once we let go of what is in our hands and entrust it to God, He will entrust us with what He desires.
- Did I mention that I like Buddy?
- We have a Mission - a reason God has placed us here.
- Unfortunately, we all have a Shadow Mission - something dark that we choose to do with our life that is superficial and meaningless. Our Shadow Mission usually flows out of the dark side of our giftedness.
- With this said, it is important to identify your Shadow Mission. What is it? To project a certain image? To feed your ego? Is it criticism? Control? Cynicism? A hidden life or addiction? The safety of being passive? perfectionism? You need to examine your life.
- Your church and organizations can have Shadow Missions as well. When a church starts up, It's mission is primary and survival is secondary - "we might make it, we might not." As time goes on, the Shadow Mission of survival often takes the prominent spot over a church's true mission.
- Our Shadow Mission becomes more prominent in our life (or in your church) when we lift up our giftedness over our character. Often our character cannot live up to our giftedness (some great Biblical examples are Sampson and King Saul - they could not overcome their Shadow Mission).
- Don't be in bondage to outcomes. Let it go. If you watch people bowl, what do they do when they release the ball? They lean, scrunch, twist, etc. Don't be like that. Just let it go and walk away.
- True freedom comes when my inner life is larger, richer, and more joyful than my outer performance in ministry (ouch!) A great example of this John the Baptist (I missed the real reference, but I looked up something similar). Luke 3:15 says "The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ." This was John's Shadow Mission, to garner glory for himself. John resisted and stayed true to God's purpose for him. Verse 16 continues, "John answered them all, 'I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come. the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie...'"
- Accept the joy from your true Mission and your life will be complete. There is no satisfaction in our Shadow Mission.
- John Ortberg told the story of Esther (and read it) interspersed between these other comments. Basically, he focused on the true Mission and Shadow Mission of Esther. Her mission was not to life the plush life of a queen, it was to play a role in God's plan to save the Jews. And it was Mordecai who pointed out her true mission. “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14)
- Who is your Mordecai? Who keeps you accountable? Who calls you out when you're following your Shadow Mission?
- Even Jesus had a Shadow Mission - to be a messiah without suffering. At least three times He faced it. In the wilderness when tempted by Satan, by Peter ("Surely you don't have to die!"), and again in the Garden ("Let this cup pass from me").
- But Jesus said for us, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
- You need to make the hard decisions to follow your true Mission and reject your Shadow Mission for "who knows but that you have come to your position for such a time as this?"
In addition to the General session, Andrea and I ended up taking "Creating a Flow in Worship" led my Denise Graves, "Attracting a Crowd to Worship" led my Dave Holden, and "Style Diversity: Training Your Choir to Sing Any Style of Music" led by Stan Endicott. Stan's was by far one of the most beneficial workshops for me. If you know Stan, and if you know me, you know why :-)
Finally, the evening concert featured Mark Roach (we have sung his song "You Are" several times in worship) and Mercy Me. Both were great!
Well, one more day (half-day actually). I am really looking forward to the general session tomorrow (there will be no workshops). Louie Giglio, a founder of the Passion movement, will be the keynote speaker. The featured artist will be Chris Tomlin (Yeah!) It will be fantastic.
Oh yeah, happy birthday to me...
**UPDATE: See all the PDW posts listed here...