Archive for August, 2009

Get out of the Way – LG Study!

Posted in activate church, Bible Study on August 31, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

770557316_164a25f8caIntroduction – Read Acts 1

“I am my biggest problem.” My biggest problem isn’t the downturn in the economy or the opinions of others but myself. If there is someone who is going to get in the way of the Holy Spirit having his say, it isn’t my wife or kids, it’s me!

We are own worst enemies. John Maxwell once said, “If we could kick the person responsible for most of our troubles, we wouldn’t be able to sit down for weeks.”  Most of our problems stem from getting in the way of the Sprit having His say in our lives and ministries. The Bible confirms this to be true. Page after page reveals that humanity does a great job of getting in the way of what God’s intention was for an individual (Adam & Eve; Moses; Saul; Peter).

Acts 1

In the first chapter of the Book of Acts the disciples are in a transition time in their relationship with Jesus. Jesus has died upon the cross, risen from the dead and appeared to his disciples several times over a 50 day period. Jesus is about to ascend to heaven and be glorified by his Father and he gives his disciples instructions about what to expect and what they are to do. In this passage there are several insights into how we can get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit have his say.

6 Insights – How to get out of the WAY and let the Holy Spirit have His SAY!

  1. Wait for God’s promises to come to pass (v4) – Sometimes we can miss what God has for us because we are too hasty and impatient. When have you not waited for God and what was the outcome?
  2. Trust in God’s sovereignty (v6) – There are some things in God that are none of our business. God has a sovereign plan and we need to rethink the way we approach our lives in light of God’s sovereignty. Discuss this idea, “What you cannot control is what God is using to shape you most in your life.”
  3. Look out for the signposts (v8) – Keep a lookout for the signposts God gives to you. What are some examples of signposts has God given to you in the past? What signs is God giving you right now?
  4. Stop looking at where God has been (v10-11) – We get in the way when we get stuck looking at where God has been rather than where God is going. Where is God leading you in your life?
  5. Devote yourself to prayer (v14) – Prayer is the air we breathe as believers and oxygen to our souls. Where do you meet with God regularly and what does your prayer time look like?
  6. Go, where God is leading (v24-26) – Don’t try to get God to bless what you are doing but start doing what God is already blessing. Where is God already leading in your life?

Lead the Change!

Dealing with Death!

Posted in Family, purpose, relationships with tags , , on August 30, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Dying is not a topic that you hear talked about much because it doesn’t make for great dinner conversation…and for good reason. However, all of us have to face it and deal with it. 

Just yesterday I visited my dying grandmother in palliative care. In a matter of a couple of weeks her liver has failed, she has lost considerable weight and she doesn’t even look like my gran…but her eyes still communicated love and tenderness to me like they always have.

I had the privilege of spending a little time with her as she approaches the last days of her life. I began to recall fond memories with her, thanking her for what she generously contributed into my life. My gran has left a legacy for our family of love, faith and strength. Even though she couldn’t talk with me, her eyes communicated for her. As I prayed with her and told her I loved her, her eyes began to well up with tears and you could tell she desperately wanted to say a few words to me…even though she couldn’t.

What  a privilege to spend the last moments with someone and pray for them as they get promoted to heaven to be with Jesus face to face forever! My gran loved Jesus and believed in Jesus and will be eternally rewarded by Jesus very soon. Her life wasn’t in vain, she fulfilled her purpose.

What about you? Are you making the most of every day? Are you living with a sense of urgency and an eternal perspective? How are you treating your family members? Do you know with certainty where you will go when you die? 

Death may not be a popular topic to talk about but it is an important issue that you need to process now. Don’t put off thinking about it because life travels faster than you think. Death has a way of putting things into perspective. Whatever you are going to do, do it now because life is short and eternity is a long time

As I think about my grandmother I close with the words of a song from Steven Curtis Chapman, “We can cry with hope and we can grieve with hope, because we know our goodbye is not the end. There’s a place where we’ll see your face again.”

Jesus said in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Lead the Change!

Bloom where you’re PLANTED!

Posted in attitude, faith, Leadership, ministry, mission, Pop Culture with tags , , on August 29, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

2539870636_11c383da7fToo many of us think that adventure and excitement is somewhere out there rather than just right where we are. Too many people leave their home and church to find that elusive fulfillment in a far away place. The reality is this kind of thinking is a misnomer. 

There is not a place called ‘THERE’ that is the answer to all your problems here at home. The reality is you take you with you everywhere you go. God’s blessing is not on geographical places or churches, it’s on the people in those places. Churches, families and businesses suffer when people jump from place to place to place never dealing with the issues and opportunities that are right in front of them.

For all of the emphasis on ‘GOING and making disciples’ in the Scriptures there is also a need for us to realise that going and making disciples can actually look like STAYING in the City, Church and Community you find yourself in and making disciples right where you are. I want to be someone who makes staying in the same church, community and city the trendy thing to do. Why? Because you are not going to bloom if you are not planted right where God has positioned you.

Stop looking for adventure somewhere out there and begin to live the adventure of your life right where you are. Build the church you’re in, love the family and friends you’ve got and give yourself to the community you already live in. It takes maturity to stay where you are and make the most of it. Immaturity is demonstrated by inconsistency in words, deeds and relationships.

Some people think that to have an adventure you’ve got to go to the world but when you bloom where you are planted a world of adventure often comes to you. BLOOM where you are PLANTED!

Lead the Change!

Look out for the SIGNPOSTS!

Posted in faith, Intimacy with God with tags , on August 27, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

241256203_d5c73ae82bIn Acts 1:8 Jesus said to his disciples that there will be a sign when the Holy Spirit comes upon them = Power for witnessing! Now we know that God’s power is given to us for the purpose of mission but we can also see in this text the need to observe the sign posts that God gives us for our lives.

We need to be on the lookout for the sign posts God gives to us if we are going to stay on course with God’s plan for us. I was driving on eastlink heading to an appointment and I missed my turn off twice in the one trip because I was distracted by my phone conversation (Hands free of course). 

Some of us miss the turnoffs God has for us because we are distracted by the cares and affairs of this life. Distractions are a major strategy of Satan’s to lead you away from God’s will for your life. God gives you signs when He is wanting you to do something or head in a certain direction. They can consist of Prophecies, Sermon insights, Scriptures, Inspired thoughts, encouragement, etc. Look out for the signposts and pay attention to them. Don’t miss your turn off and be faithful to God’s plan for your life.

Lead the Change!

Activate 2020 LG Study

Posted in activate church, Bible Study with tags on August 26, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Introduction – Read Zechariah 4:1-10

Zechariah 4:1-10 was the text we used for the launch service of Activate Church in 2006. It’s a prophetic vision of God’s plans and intentions for Israel and intended to be a source of encouragement for Zerubbabel and Joshua (Israel’s leaders) to complete the building of the temple.

God’s Plan for US!

just as God had a plan for Israel, so too today Jesus Christ has a plan for His Church. Opposition will come against the Church but it’s in these times that we need to hear the word of the Lord and keep our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the author of visions and dreams and in Proverbs 29:18 it says, “Where there is no vision, people perish.” Without clarity of direction we will cast off restraint and perish. Found within this prophetic vision given to Zechariah are 6 insights to encourage us to fulfill the vision God has given to us.

6 Insights

  1. We need to WAKE UP to what God wants to do through us (4:1) – Before there is a great awakening in the world, there needs to be a great awakening in the church. What do you need to wake up to to be ready for God to use?
  2. We need to SEE CLEARLY the vision God’s given us (4:2) – You can’t possess what you can’t see. Can you see the vision God has for us and what part do you think you could play in it?
  3. We need to PARTNER with the Holy Spirit in us (4:6) – God’s Spirit will bring about what human power and intelligence cannot. Where do you need to get out of the way, so the Spirit can have his say?
  4. We need to CONQUER BY FAITH the challenges before us (4:7) – With every new level, there’s a new devil wanting to attack us. Challenges will come and go. How are you going to face the obstacles in your way?
  5. We need to WATCH GOD complete what He started in us (4:9) – Whatever God starts in your life He intends to complete (Phil 1:6). Where do you need to trust in God to complete what He started in you?
  6. We need to REJOICE at God’s goodness to us (4:10) – God rewards those who refuse to settle for less than what He’s promised. He has poured out his favour upon us and we are not limit him by our thinking. Where in your life do you need to break out of the box of limited thinking?

Lead the Change!

Do MORE by doing LESS!

Posted in book review, church, Leadership, ministry, mission with tags on August 24, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

2802881741_b187d6c530I have a fixation with growth. I love growing personally as a Christian and a person and I love seeing Churches, organisations and other people grow as well. Unfortunately with growth comes complexity. As Churches grow bigger more stuff gets added to them and if you’re not careful it can actually slow growth down. The same thing can happen when you grow personally as well.

That’s why I want to encourage you to do more by doing less! In his book, “Deliberate Simplicity” Dave Browning writes about 6 powerful principles that can minimise the effects of instutionalisation and increase the momentum of your own growth and the growth of the organisation or group you lead. The 6 principles are:

  1. Minimality: Keep it SIMPLE – It’s not about the hours you put in; it’s about what you put into those hours. Focusing is about making choices, and that means deciding what to leave out as well as what to leave in. The secret of concentration is elimination.
  2. Intentionality: Keep it MISSIONAL – Keep asking the question, “What business are we in?” Be intentional about staying focused on the main thing you exist for.
  3. Reality: Keep it REAL – Say goodbye to impression management and say hello to candor. Love God, love people and come as you are…really.
  4. Multility: Keep it CELLULAR – Always ask, “What if…?” It’s a dangerous question but an important one if you are going to keep growing. Multility is a commitment to creating multiples of some thing rather than multiple versions of that thing. 
  5. Velocity: Keep it MOVING – Live with a sense of urgency. Time is short and now is the time to act. Develop the ability to move from idea to implementation quickly (By the way Activate’s growth has come from this one principle).
  6. Scalability: Keep it EXPANDING – Keep people scattering out rather than focused in. Develop an “arrows out” theology that keeps people moving out rather than staying boxed in.

Lead the Change!

Don’t turn on the dark yet!

Posted in church, Church Planting, mission with tags on August 23, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

3312832157_786076d04bWe need to be reminded continually of the urgency of the age we are living in. As a follower of Christ, I am constantly aware of the eternal reality that awaits all of us. Hell is hot and forever is a long time and Jesus has called us to GO. We have a responsibility to reach as many people as we possibly can, as quickly as we possibly can.

The story is told of a dad who had just tucked one of his young sons in bed for the night. As he walked out of the bedroom, he reached for the light switch. His son called out, “Daddy, don’t turn on the dark yet!” This is what we are to pray to our Father too.

The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 calls us to be aggressive and take risks with what God has put into our hands. Jesus’ answer to how we are to live in light of His return is, “Go for it!” We’re not to wait around. we’re to get busy. We’re not to wait for instructions. We’re to take initiative. We’re not to live in fear but we are to proceed in faith.

Jesus said, “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.” What more do you need? Get busy doing what is in front of you. Don’t worry about a target group, just go! Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” 

Too many of us Aussies are sitting around waiting for someone to spoon feed us and it has created a culture that is self-focused and numbed to the urgency of the age we live in. The Church is a sleeping giant that needs to awaken to the call to Go. “Father, please don’t turn on the dark yet!”

Lead the Change!