The kind of meeting I want to show up to…

is one initiated by people to engage in a cause or activity they believe to be valuable enough to freely give their own time to, regardless of whether anybody else shows up. The strength of their commitment remaining unaltered by the size of the crowd.

Give me the brave weirdo crying out in the wilderness over the paid politician managing the conference of compliance every time please.

 

Originally Published Jan 2012

From the Microphone to the Meal

We were on a short term mission trip, part of a team being lead by an impressive person with a great ministry and lots of experience. We had meetings in different venues everyday where this guy would preach.

From congregations of hundreds in a ‘warehouse style’ church, to less than 30 people meeting in a garage, to the team meetings in a cafe of 8 or so people. Every time he spoke it was superb – anointed and impactful. It was clear that the size of the crowd was not affecting his performance – the energy was coming from a different source. That was impressive – particularly for a young guy hungry to learn everything I could about preaching.

It didn’t though, change my course in any particular way. I had seen it done before, helped with it myself a couple of times, and read a small library worth of books about it. The power of anointed platform ministry is alive and well.

What messed with my mind was this: Through the week we also had various meals scheduled – after-meeting events that various people had organised to show us hospitality. Initially I thought they were a bit of a hassle, a distraction from the action. When the team leader got into a potentially life changing conversation with one of the hosts though it caught my attention. When that scenario was repeated every meal for the remainder of the trip – my perspective had been well and truly altered. He had clearly been viewing the social times as an opportunity for ministry?! He operated in a very different way from the platform, yet with the same anointing – and arguably more results. I hadn’t seen that before.

The platform ministry is IMPRESSIVE and difficult to miss. Jesus did it, and the crowds were amazed and gave glory to God.

Jesus also changed the course of lives by speaking to the individual. Sometimes with a bit of barbecued fish thrown in. Different methods, same anointing. Easy to miss, difficult to build a library about, tricky to make a living from, but unmistakably used of God.

There was now something to shoot for other than just wowing a crowd.

Back to work.

 

Originally published October 2011

Grow Up

Frequently in my little GCC project I feel like I’m stood on the edge nervously dipping my toe in the water, spying on Peterson having a whale of a time in the pool; chucking kids in the air and doing lengths underwater.  Here’s his go at Matthew 5:43-48 as another way in for you:

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

Splash.

011 – Love Your Enemies

tweetThe incredible example of the King’s impartiality weens us off of our narrow tribalism and onto enemy love. It’s an extraordinary maturity.

 

100 bw

Forget your “my family + friends” infatuation – it’s different in the Kingdom of God.  The King is outrageously generous to all.  He keeps the world spinning – even for those you consider scum. He waters everyone’s plants – from paedophiles to princesses.  If you’re going to be chips off the old block: treat everyone like they’re your own – including your enemies.  Pray for them all – especially your persecutors.  Be incredibly impartial – everyone is your favourite now.  Shake hands, open your home and invite your enemy in.  Yes, this is extraordinary God-like maturity.  Yes, this is what you’re called to now.

Audio:

 

Meditation from Matthew 5:43-48.  

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