Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pit Happens

Thursday, February 21

The Creative Church Conference kicked off this morning with Ed Young giving two talks on betrayal and sharing principles about being betrayed from the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. He talked about being pushed into the pit of betrayal and in ministry, there just isn't any way around that happening. That's why Ed said, "Pit Happens!" He quoted TD Jakes who said, "There's always a Judas at your table and they will always be close enough to kiss you." Below are some of the principles we learned about betrayal:

Betrayal strikes at critical times (Genesis 37:3)

Betrayal comes from those closest to us (Genesis 37:4)

Betrayal is fueled by jealousy and envy (Genesis 37:18-19)

When someone betrays you, they will always lie about you (Genesis 37:31-34)

When betrayed, don't look down or around...look up (Psalm 40:1-4)

Ed Young also shared that when betrayal occurs, it is the devil tipping his hand that a future blessing is coming. Through Joseph's betrayal, an entire country was saved from famine. Through the betrayal of Jesus, we have been saved from the penalty of sin. That's why when we are betrayed we have to get beyond asking, "WHY ME?" and instead ask "WHAT NOW?"

Ed talked about the need to forgive those who have betryed us as Joseph did in Genesis 50:20. He also taught us that one of the benefits of betryal is that it separates the PLAYERS from the POSERS. You discover the difference when you are betrayed by watching and seeing who will believe the lies of the betrayer spoken about you. I have personally experienced the pain of betrayal in minstry more than once and I am sure that I will find myself in that pit again...probably more than once. As a result, this was a very beneficial morning for me.

After lunch we heard from three speakers. The first was Mac Richards who pastors a church in Austin, TX. Mac shared s0me very good principles about how to fire people and the need to measure our staff on the stuff that matters (Proverbs 27:23). I think the staff sitting near me got nervous with the fury of notes I was taking during Mac's talk on this topic.

Perry Noble spoke next. He pastors a great church in Anderson, SC. Some of our staff went with me last year to his UNLEASH conference. From the story of the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17, Perry reminded us that what we do as church leaders really matters. The enviroments we create every Sunday matter. The vision we get from God and lead our churches in following matter. And most of all, Jesus matters. Perry made a great statement regarding those who will say, "We want more depth!" Perry said this, "You are only as deep as the last person you served!" I like that!

The day ended with Brian Houston speaking. Brian is the pastor of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia that is most known for their praise and worship. Brian talked about leadership that empowers people. He made a statement that was a golden nugget for me. He said, "See the wealth in the people that you have!" He talked about being in Uganda and trying to take a picture of an elephant with his own face in the picture frame as well. When it was developed, all you could see was his face. You could not see the elephant at all. I was greatly convicted as Brian reminded us that the only way we can miss the elephant (representing the value of our people) is if we are too big oursevles for the frame. Now that one will leave me thinking all night long! When it comes to Grace Church, can I see the elephant or am I too big for the picture?

I hear it is suppose to snow back home tonight! Figures...I love the snow and the only time it happens all winter is when I'm in Dallas! But here is a warning...if it snows, watch out for "Snow Snakes!" If you don't know what that means, ask me when I get home. Perry Noble told a hilarious story about "Snow Snakes!" I don't think I will tell it from the pulpit as it could offend a few but if you ask me to tell you the story personally...I would be glad too!

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