Leadership Conference '08, Part 1

This passed Sunday thru Wednesday, I had the priviledge of attending the Leadership Conference at ResLife Church in Grandville, MI. It was awesome, amazing and incredible. Pastor James, our youth pastor, Sandy Chaffee, Pastor James' assistant, Zach Porta our worship leader for the youth, Erik Plachta, who plays on the worship team, Becky Chaffee, Sandy's daughter, and myself all went down Sunday morning after 2nd service. I missed church that day because the weather was so bad; freezing rain! Jeff had gone to first service because he was on midnights and our plan was for him to go to first service to take care of the sign-ups for the Acquire The Fire trip coming up on Feb. 29. Well, with the roads being so bad, he suggested I stay home until it warmed up enough for the ice to begin melting. He came home after 1st service, and drove me back to the church around 1:00 pm. We left about 2:00 pm and arrived, safely, a little after 5:00.

The 1st session began with John Maxwell who started Maximum Impact, a Leadership training program. He spoke for about 1/2 hr to 45 minutes. He spoke of knowing our purpose in life, and to follow our passion! He said also, which has meant a great deal to me and changed the way I think about all I do, that we need to do and work on what we do well! Stop working on your weaknesses! That's amazing to me because I think we've been taught all thru school that we need to 'work on our weaknesses' I.E. you get an A in math but a C in English, and what's the first thing we're told? "Well, you really need to bring that English grade up". Hmmmmm. No, it's okay for one's strength to be math but not english or vice-versa, or whatever the case may be. Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't work at being the best you can at whatever you're good at, and that you shouldn't put effort in to do your best, nor excusing laziness. I'm just saying, as was John Maxwell, that you should focus on what you are good at!

So, that got me to thinking, really thinking about what I'm good at??? I know I'm 'good with people'. But, how can I focus on that, grow that, and use that for God's kingdom??? I know I have a heart for youth ministry and a passion for them. How can I focus on that passion and use it more for God's kingdom? Jeff and I are involved in the youth ministry as adult volunteers and we are focused on that, but what can we, I, do more of? Those are just some of the things that I've been thinking about since the conference.

The next speaker, on Monday morning, was Pastor Duane Van der Klok, Senior Pastor of ResLife. He spoke on the Kingdom of God and what that means. It is a non-political spiritual entity. Let me is a NON-political spiritual entity. It is NOT a religious entity, it is not LIKE a Kingdom, it IS a kingdom. Another very interesting point was "we do not exist to take care of the needs of the people of the people in the church. Ephesians 4:12 says; "The purpose of the believer is to build up the Kingdom of God". It is our job to build up the Kingdom of God, to increase it, to bring into the Kingdom of God the un-believers. That is why the church exists! And Jesus is not interested in being politically correct! Christianity is NOT about YOU, it's about the Kingdom of God! Daniel 2:44 says the church today is the manifestation of the Kingdom of God on Earth. Isaiah 63;2 says the church is called to disciple the nations, not rule them.

After Pastor Duane was Brian Zahnd. He is a very interesting speaker! He was a little hard to take notes on, so I didn't get many, but his message was basically "Being a Christian in America" and how that looks and what it means. If you click on the link above, you can listen to the podcast from Sun. Feb 17 (if you do it soon). Anyway, basically he talks about the fact that we invent the "personal Savior", we privatize our Savior. The Kingdom is NOT private! We, in America, have become, and Pastor Brian puts it, an Ez-cheezy-cotton-candy-Christian.

That's all I have time to write about now. I will try to break this up into 3 or 4 different posts, so that:
A. they are not too long
B. they are not too long...


God bless, and I encourage you to click on the links here in my posts to check out the speakers we heard!

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