Posts Tagged ‘Seattle Church Plant’

Roughly three years ago God started assembling the cast for the greatest journey of my life time. He began bringing specific young men and women together to become the foundational pieces of a remarkable church that would desire and pursue Transformation in North Seattle by offering people an Epic Life in Christ Jesus. This team was part of a college leadership team along with a couple of others. They have had no formal ministry training. They all moved away from their families and friends to work together to start Epic Life Church.

Three days ago I got to witness this same team in a remarkable meeting as once again changes were happening.  I was privileged to sit around a room with this team and watch them speak about God’s vision for their ministries. They shared victories and problems, dreams and visions with many emotionally laden words. Each person spoke eloquently about their ministry with a beautiful understanding of the Epic Life vision and mission. It was awe-inspiring to listen to, even though I already knew what they were about to say.

They were speaking this night because of a new team that we have created called the Development Team. This new team will be a group who help the ministry leaders succeed, by encouraging ministry growth and supporting deliberate balance between the ministries of Epic Life. Its a wonderful idea and will be a fantastic team that will help Epic Life build a firm foundation. The beautiful thing is that this team is made up of Seattleites and myself. In other words, God has raised up men and women from Seattle to lead.

As I sat in this meeting listening and watching these leaders from Minnesota speak and encourage each other and interact with this new team, I sat in awe.  They were so mature and gracious and wise as they encouraged the Development Team about what they were doing and how good it was going to be. There was NO defensiveness or pride or protecting of territory. None.

I have been in few meetings where this happens. But at every Epic Life meeting this is the norm. Our meeting are all but boring meetings, they are always Epic! God has truly developed an amazing team and is now adding to it.  This speaks so strongly of the massive ministry God is establishing here in North Seattle.

Way to go; David, Jeff, Kari, Shelli, Averi, Casey, and Sam!

Daffodil in snowWe are approximately three months from our Winona departure date. Time is flying by so fast and we have so much to accomplish. My “To Do” list seems to have two items added to it every time one item gets checked off, which makes for a seemingly never ending catalog of the important. This is so hard because I don’t want to check out on my ministry and students who are counting on my leadership while I am still in Winona. It’s definitely a tough place to be. There is a new tension in my life. A desire to finish strong, here, but a longing to begin, there. The tension exists the fleeting moments of dawn; in moments that don’t seem so fleeting in the present.

Yesterday it was sunny and warm outside and it seemed that spring was around the corner and I could start planting a garden any day. Today, it’s snowing. Can’t till the garden up yet. The weather seems to correspond with my life. I am so looking forward to Spring, but Winter hasn’t ended yet.

Not to confuse Winter with a negative connotation, but as a season of beauty. I have to finish one season while the next season is presenting itself. Just like this Minnesota weather, spring one day, three feet of snow the next, melting away the next, freezing to ice the next day. It’s frustration and beauty all wrapped into one piece of magnificent art. Like a painting you have to gaze into for a while until the meaning appears. A painting of the motion of change; a boy becoming a man; the process of revelation; of snow on daffodils.

This master piece is beautiful while it’s being created. It will be so wonderful to look back one day and see and understand the sculpting and shaping of His magnum opus.

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.