Archive for the ‘forward thinking’ Category

Have you ever had a difficult time ending something? It could have been moving past a dream, a relationship, an employee that wasn’t contributing, a strategy or program that wasn’t working, a way you’ve always done something. This last month I started our Elder board on a journey through a book by Dr. Henry Cloud, “Necessary Endings”. In it Cloud discusses some of the obstacles that keep us from “ending” these things in our lives. Sometimes it’s because we don’t want to face reality, maybe we don’t want to admit defeat or maybe it’s just because we don’t know how. Cloud points to pruning in a garden as an example of what happens when we don’t prune the things in our life or organization. These situations end up draining energy and resources that are needed else where so there can be thriving growth.  For a Christ follower Jesus is the vine and He points to the “Vine Dresser” our heavenly father who desires to “prune” what is not helpful or necessary in our lives or in the life of a church.

As a pastor I’ve seen churches be so in love with their strategy that they could not “end” it when it was clear that it was not working. Pastor and author, Andy Stanley, states that “we should be in love with our vision but only infatuated with our method. I don’t want to be that leader that can’t see when something needs to end.

I’ve asked our elders to go on a journey with me over the next few months to pray and think through any areas that might need to be “ended”in our lives personally or in our church so that we can thrive.

What about you? What areas in your life are you holding onto that just need to be ended? A friendship, relationship, an employee that does more harm than good, a dream, a goal, a strategy? My prayer is that God would give us the courage to do what’s needed.

Pruning is painful, but necessary,

Nathan

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>I just walked out of a adoption dedication ceremony for a 13 yr old girl in our church. For her it was a long time coming, and a huge milestone for the family. Along with friends and family in the room there were several hopeful kids in foster care that are waiting to be adopted. I was overwhelmed with the feeling of pain for these kids that don’t have a Mom or Dad who will care for them or call them their own. As I prayed for the young lady that was being adopted I reminded her that she does not have to be solely defined by where she’s come from.

Maybe the family came from wasn’t the ideal family. Maybe choices you’ve made in the past seem to haunt your heart and mind still today. Can I tell you that your past is not bigger than God’s love for you. Know that God’s best for your life includes redefining who you are with His love, mercy and forgiveness. Bottom line: Where you are going is more important then where you’ve been.

Believe it,

Nathan