Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NWLC Notes: Day 4 (1 of 2)

"Above and Beyond the Common: Pastoring With Guts in the 21st Century" Workshop by Steve Berger - Thursday morning July 24, 2008. Steve Berger, is a church planter and lead pastor of Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork, Tennessee. His workshop focused on the courage that pastors in 21st century need to have. His workshop was outstanding and worth the whole conference. Here are my notes:
  • Being a pastor is getting more difficult. The life of a pastor is not for wimps. We are loosing 5,000 pastors a month in America. They're quitting, stopping, retiring. It takes backbone in the face of the furnace to stand up and be a pastor.
  • Caleb pastored people in difficult times. God says two things about Caleb in Numbers 14:24. God says "He has a different spirit; he follows me passionately." This is important, because God continues to repeat it up to 6 times. Caleb followed God fully, passionately. He had a different spirit about him.
  • In Numbers 13-15, it is the account of the Israelites coming upon the promised land. But as we know, most of the leaders sent in to survey the promised land while it was still inhabited by its native peoples - they were discouraged and convinced they couldn't take the land.
  • The others WERE in positions of leadership, yet they were negative, doubtful, and fearful. They had no guts in their leadership. They had a spirit of minimizing themselves and maximizing the enemy. They minimized their trust in God and maximized the challenge before them. If you surround yourself with negative, complaining people, it will destroy your ministry.
  • But God had promised the land. And Caleb knew this. He quieted the people and reminded them, "we are well able to take the land." Unlike the other leaders, Caleb had a different spirit about him. He believed God.
  • Pastors - believe the dream that God has placed in your heart that people have stolen. Believe in God. Don't worry what you will look like if things don't come through. There must be risk - it cannot be done without it. God has no problem putting you in the position where if you don't have Him, you are going to fail.
  • It's going to cost us something and we need to count the cost. We are called to something higher.
  1. Caleb was a TRUE leader.
    When Joshua and Caleb surveyed the promised land, they brought people that were known as leaders, but they were only leaders in title. Caleb had a different spirit about him. It showed up in his actions and lifestyle, as well as his title. The church doesn't need leaders in TITLE only, it needs leaders in ACTION. Leaders that are willing to step out and go for it.
  2. Caleb was a man of faith.
    In the midst of opposition, Caleb quieted the doubts of the people. He inspired action - not hype, but real faith. He displayed true leadership from vision and calling. He got peoples sight right. With the Spirit, we are able to hold on when everything is in chaos. If you are leading people, you have to give them opportunities to see God come through. If you are starting a church, you must do so with a serious faith DNA. Believe God for financial needs, giving people opportunities to give. Trusting God to come through unlocks faith.
  3. Caleb was a man of holy frustration.
    Numbers 14:6. They tore their clothes. God has trusted you to make the call that a common person would not. Sometime you need to make a whip and drive people out. You need backbone to do the right thing. Be a man of passion. Say the right thing. Speak the word that brings life.
  4. Caleb was a man of persistence.
    Numbers 14: 7-9. Caleb spoke to the congregation over and over. "The land is ours. The Lord is with us. Do not fear." We often say, "but I've said that before." But we need to continue to communicate the vision over and over. Do not get weary in well doing. Keep people's eyes on the prize, not the problem. Challenge people to greater heights.
  5. Caleb was a man of passion.
    Numbers 14:8-12. "I wholly followed the Lord, my God." At 85 years old, Caleb is ready to go in and take the mountain. It was a Braveheart moment. Who knows what might happen, what God might do, if we start passionately believing Him? Who knows what might happen if God moves? Believe! The church goes as the pastor goes! If the people don't see passion in you, they are not going to have it.
  6. Caleb was a man who left deposits in others.
    Numbers 15:14-20. Caleb left an inheritance for the next generation. He left a KINGDOM IMPRINT on others and helped them fulfill their destinies in Christ. He was a mentor.