Posts Tagged ‘confidence’

This past Sunday we, the leadership of Epic Life Church, had a meeting that should be told in the annals of time in the history of Epic Life. I got the opportunity to sit around the room with young men and women, mostly in their 20s, and discuss passionately the future of Epic Life Church, the church God is establishing here on Aurora Ave. in North Seattle.

I have been in many “church” meeting in my life and am continually amazed at the level of maturity in the leadership at Epic Life. We are seriously in the trenches right now because of our lack of financial bounty. We have to make some serious choices to decrease spending, none of which seem good, especially since we don’t spend.  Without going into the nitty-gritty of the choices we have to make I want to describe what’s happening.

God is taking a group of common men and women stretching and pull them, beating them up, applying pressure and strain on them in ways most would run from. But none of these leaders are running away. Because of the strength of the team we are being built up in ways many people may never allow to happen in their lives. We are in the trenches right now and its scary. But that is exactly where God wants us. He is doing his work in us, recreating each of us and setting a firm foundation for the months and years to come.  The outcome will be bright and beautiful and quite miraculously amazing.

Thank you God for counting us worthy to be stressed in this way, to be forced to depend on you, and to be strengthened.  This is the stuff from which heroes are born, from which great leaders are created and from where humble confidence becomes natural.

Thank you Father for counting us worthy.

An Epic Week

Posted: June 24, 2008 in Seattle Church Plant
Tags: , ,

This is it. Our final week in Winona, MN.  Half of our team will be leaving for Seattle on the 30th of June, right around the calendar corner. The rest will be out by the end of July, Brandon and Carissa will be out right after their child is born. This is a crazy week packed full of more things than a human should be capable of accomplishing in a twenty-four hour day.  While we are packing our lives into brown cardboard boxes, we are preparing our rental property to be left in the hands of a manager, cleaning my office out at Pleasant Valley Church, having dinner nightly with friends to say goodbye, traveling to three different cities to raise funding partners, and trying to spend time with our boys so they feel like they are part of this.

It is so good to be in God’s will and walking in his footprints with confidence.  We get the privilege to be on the front row of his miraculous.  Wow.  We are clay in the potter’s hands, he is molding us to accomplish his work and we are useless without him. May we be used completely for only his purposes and none of our own.

Live Life Loud.

Confidence has been on my mind a lot lately and in many different arenas, mostly because I see a great abundance of a lack of confidence in the people who are around me. I see my young boys lacking confidence in their academics, sports and skills. I see students who are timid, even scared to stand up for what they believe in their writings, their talk and their walk on and off campus. So many people live in a non-confident world, a constant feeling that they are not good enough to do something great.

I see this glaringly in my own life in the sport of volley ball. I love playing volley ball! It’s a sport that I could seriously play every day of the week and not grow tired of it. There is something about the sport that thrills me. But I would say that I am definitely not great at the sport. The league team I am part of right now is a good team, probably the best team in the league. Honestly I am the worst player on my great team. Some games I play really well. I get a terrific set to which I can approach and smash it down under the ten foot line, but mostly I only hit the ball with a medium swing, slightly timid. I have a confidence problem. If I was confident in my ability and was truly able I would hit the ball hard every time I attacked it.

To become truly confident I must practice, a lot. Confidence and practice must go hand in hand. Practice coupled with confidence will always result in superhero ability. I have had people tell me that if I just have enough confidence; if I just speak it out loud then it will happen, I will become great. Wrong. Confidence without practice will result in Pride and failure. I can be confident that I can speak Spanish but until I learn, “practice,” Spanish I will never have the ability.

The opposite is true also. “If you just practice enough you will be the best volley ball player there ever has been. Well not exactly. Practice without confidence will result in timidity and failure, this I have seen in my life and many others. People who know the “material” but don’t have the confidence to “speak” it.

If we are able to mix our practice with confidence we will be able to accomplish great things. As we travel to Seattle to plant a church we have to “practice,” learn, read, discover, ask, listen, etc. and mix this practice with the confidence that God is with us and is calling us into this. It is within this symbiotic coupling of confidence and practice that we will be completely successful.

I am trying to figure out what term to use to describe this symbiotic relationship. We can’t call this practiced confidence because that would infer that confidence only comes out of practice, it doesn’t necessarily. Some times we have to be confident just so we can practice. But we can’t call this confident practice because that would infer that we have to be confident to practice and that just isn’t true. Some times we have to practice to gather confidence. It needs to be a word that speaks about the relationship of practice and confidence; neither being more important that the other.

Maybe it should be called pracadence – that sounds like something you would wear in your mouth when you’re old. Confitice? Sounds like some thing the boarder patrol might do to you. Hmm I’ll have to think about this.

Whatever it is called it is something that we need to embed in our lives. Knit confidence and practice together with a strong bond, you will never be disappointed.