Archive for September, 2009

Not Ordinary but Obedient LG Study!

Posted in Bible Study, faith, Intimacy with God with tags , , on September 29, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

149463742_b2ed182edcIntroduction: Read Genesis 6:11-22

It doesn’t matter how ordinary you are, what matters is how obedient you are! We often rule ourselves out of the extraordinary because we think we’re too ordinary. But as I read about the heroes of the Bible, almost all of them had something going against them that could have become an excuse for not doing what God was asking them to do. It could be argued that Abraham was too old, David was too young, Rahab was too much of a prostitute and Mary was too much of a virgin. But despite all of these issues, God used these people because it doesn’t matter how ordinary you are, what matters is how obedient you are.

God asked Noah

In Genesis 6:11-22 we discover that God asked Noah to do something outrageous in his generation – Build an Ark. Noah’s generation was spiritually and morally compromised and God decided to wipe man off the face of the earth by sending a deluge of water to destroy every living creature and every living person, except Noah, his family and the animals God chose to be with him. Into this doomsday situation GRACE found Noah and called him to obey God to save a remnant of humanity and animals. At the risk of thinking that Noah was some kind of spiritual superman, we need a reality check.

Noah was Ordinary: Read Genesis 9:20-24

  1. What mistake did Noah made? 
  2. What mistakes have you made in the past that you haven’t let go of?
  3. How does God respond to us when we sin?

It doesn’t matter how ordinary we are, what matters is how obedient we are!

Our Generation is like Noah’s: Read Matthew 24:37

  1. What does Jesus say the condition of the world will be like when he returns?
  2. Describe the characteristics of the culture we live in?
  3. What set Noah apart in his generation?

Obedience set Noah apart from the crowd

  1. What does the phrase ‘Speedy Obedience’ mean to you?
  2. Discuss the comment “Pay the price to hear God’s voice and have the courage to obey what God asks you to do.”
  3. Can you identify something God has asked you to do that you haven’t done yet?
  4. What excuse have you been giving to God as to why you haven’t obeyed him yet?
  5. What are the potential repercussions of our response to what God asks us to do?
  6. Discuss the comment, “Intimacy with God must include obedience to God.”

Conclusion: It doesn’t matter how ordinary you are, what matters is how obedient you are!

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Servolution!

Posted in church, community, mission with tags , , , on September 26, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

3040618059_494aae86a5“… every Christian needs to serve to be healthy in their soul.” (Servolution: Dino Rizzo. 2009, Pg50)

There is one area of God’s kingdom that some Christians think is an optional extra and that is ‘serving others’. What we fail to realize is that serving others is not only a blessing for others but is incredibly important for the spiritual development of our own souls.

I want to ignite a church revolution through serving people. I want to set an example of servanthood that inspires others around me to serve others as well. I want to mobilize hundreds and thousands of people to impact the community in a significant way. I want Jesus to get all the glory as thousands of people’s lives are transformed by the simple yet powerful demonstration of the gospel.

Just recently, Activate invested hundreds of man hours and weeks of preparation into transforming a run down precinct of Maroondah Secondary College. It was fantastic to see dozens and dozens of volunteers giving of themselves to make a difference to this school who needed help and support in this way. The team building was excellent, relationships were built and the gospel was preached with simple acts of generosity and servanthood.

I believe that one of the key ways to reach Aussies with the gospel, especially in the suburbs, is to engage with needs in the local community and simply serve people. If we caught a heart to serve others and make a practical difference in people’s lives, we eventually would earn the right to speak into people’s lives in a powerful way.

Serving the Community – It not only adds value to others but it does wonders for your soul. Ignite a servolution in your church and watch what God does.

Lead the Change!

Narrow the FOCUS!

Posted in Leadership, Stress management, time management with tags , , , on September 24, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

3409904329_af7d214f7aWhen life becomes too complex you need to narrow the focus. Life and ministry has a way of expanding to the point of complexity. We start to take too many things on and before we know it, we are being pulled in too many conflicting directions. People will always put expectations upon you that don’t necessarily fit your capacity or what God has called you to do. It’s in these moments that you need to reexamine your time, priorities and relationships.

There is only so much of you to go around and there is only so much energy that you have to give away. I believe that we are living in the busiest and most fast paced eras in all of human history. All that has been promised to help us improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our lives has actually contributed to making life more complex.

One of the most important issues that pastors and leaders can help people navigate is how to approach life in the 21st Century. I’ve lost count of the amount of people I have personally counseled that are burnt out, too busy, in debt, continually sick and distant relationally. These are all symptoms of trying to keep up in the ‘rat race’ of life.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Some of us are carrying yokes that don’t fit us or were never meant for us. We need to take the yoke that has been designed for our wiring, capacity and calling. We need to go deep instead of going wide. We need to do less and discover that less is more. We need to invest quality and minimize quantity. We need to focus on one BIG idea instead of trying to communicate several ideas. We need to give ourselves to one or two things that will add the greatest value to our families, organisations and churches and stop trying to be all things to all people.

Where do you need to narrow the focus? It’s about this time each year that people get fatigued and realize the year has caught up with them. Don’t retire, just refire by narrowing the focus and doing what you do best.

Lead the Change!

iChurch!

Posted in activate church, mission with tags , on September 23, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

3791398351_e4aca52064At Activate we are introducing a powerful 3 step strategy to lead people into Jesus way of life. This strategy is otherwise known as the iChurch:

I – Invite people to a Church Service: One of the most basic ways we can connect people to the gospel is simply invite people to one of our church services where they will see and hear a powerful demonstration of the gospel.

I – Include people in your Cell Group: We have been created for community. Living in isolation is not healthy for anyone. We need to create community in our life groups and include people in our circle.

I – Impact people in the Community: Being on mission looks like generously engaging in community impact. The gospel is as much about societal transformation as it is about individual transformation.

Lead the Change!

Heroes – Rahab LG Study!

Posted in activate church, Bible Study with tags , , on September 23, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

1154746963_eade26b11cIntroduction – Read Joshua 2

Life is too short to play it safe. Following Christ involves plenty of risk and we have got to overcome our fear of standing out in the crowd for Jesus sake. Rahab was an ordinary person who did an extraordinary thing for God’s people. She had every reason to sell out to the pressure surrounding her and give into the shame of the mistakes of her past. Instead Rahab chose faith in God and courage in the face of adversity. Rahab demonstrated extraordinary faith in God, not because of what she had seen but because of what she had heard. Romans 10:17 says “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” 

3 Principles – There are three key principles that stand out in Rahab’s story. 

  1. Godly choices can involve risk – What Godly choices have you made that involved personal risk to you?
  2. Be ready to take an unexpected turn – What unexpected turns have you had to make in following Jesus?
  3. Keep your covenant with God – What is a covenant and what covenant have you made with God in the past?

Passion vs Apathy

Rahab chose passionate risk over apathy. Apathy is a state of indifference and disconnection from life. It’s so important to not let your soul be numbed by the cares and affairs of life. Choose passionate faith instead. We all have reasons to give up on life and people but followers of Jesus refuse to give in to the prevailing apathy in our culture. 

Questions

  1. Discuss the statement, “She’ll be right mate!” in the context of ‘apathy’.
  2. What do you think are the trigger points for apathy in our lives?
  3. Where have you allowed apathy to creep into your life?
  4. What is passion a byproduct of?
  5. Where do you think you can engage more passionately at Activate Church?

Lead the Change!

The Adventure of your LIFE!

Posted in Intimacy with God, ministry, purpose with tags , , , on September 19, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

2120228928_82e079f5c4Many of us are looking for adventure somewhere out there but the reality is true adventure is only found in the context of a personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Adventure isn’t a Hollywood fairy tale or a computer generated ‘virtual reality’ experience. It is a result of radical obedience that flows out of healthy intimacy with the heart of God.

Every time I grow closer to Jesus and commit to simply obeying what he asks me to do, adventure ends up finding me. The biggest breakthroughs in my life and ministry have come out of intimate obedience in my relationship with God. Not one significant event or outcome in my life came about because I chased it for myself… ouch! Take today for instance. I was attending a seminar on church planting and all of a sudden I was whisked away into an office with the guest speaker not really knowing why i was sitting there with him and as a result of a 10 minute conversation, doors and opportunities began to open for the advancement of the gospel.

God wants to exceed your expectations of adventure but as long as you are holding tightly onto your dreams adventure will elude you. The moment you let go and let God, God really will bring adventure to you, in his time. I used to fear that following Jesus with all my heart would mean I’d be bored but I have discovered something completely the opposite. There’s more adventure than you can point a stick at. Living with Jesus involves a lot of risk, faith, obedience and perseverance but it’s well worth it.

Galatians 6:9 says, “Do not grow weary in doing good for in due season, you’ll reap if you don’t lose heart.”

Lead the Change!

Formula for Success (Read This)!

Posted in church, Intimacy with God, Leadership with tags , , on September 17, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

2626561293_e6218a32dbMany of us are motivated by the pursuit of success and many of us spend time and energy looking for that elusive key or formula that we believe will unlock success in our lives. In the world of ministry, this also is a reality as pastors and leaders search for the formula that will unlock growth and fruitfulness in their Church and ministry.

My Journey

I have been one of these pastors at times who has been desperately searching for the key that will unlock growth in the Church I lead. Sometimes I think I have happened upon a key that works for a season and at other times I have been bitterly disappointed with the results of what I thought was going to be the key.

Look at a TREE

In bringing this issue before Father God over recent weeks, He gave me some fresh insight into this issue. Firstly, he brought my attention to the growth of a tree. How strong, wide and tall a tree becomes is determined by the depth of the root system of the tree in the soil. The stronger the roots are in the richness of the soil, the stronger and taller the tree will grow.

The same principle applies in our relationship with God. The stronger our root system is in God, the stronger, bigger and greater will our fruit be. Our relationship with God is the most important key to fruitfulness in our ministry (Jn 15:1-11). Our revelation of God as our Father determines the depth of our relationship with God. The more secure we are in God as our Father, the more we will trust in him and what he asks us to do.

1 Formula

There is only ONE formula for success and that is a growing relationship with God. Relationship with God involves both intimacy with him and obedience to him. Some of us put emphasis on intimacy with God but don’t put equal weight on obedience to God. Relationship with God has to involve obedience as a fruit of intimacy. So it looks like this:

Intimacy with God + obedience to God = fruitfulness of God

John 15:5-8 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit for apart from me you can do nothing… By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”

Obedience to God that flows from a lifestyle of intimacy with God produces the fruitfulness of God. Everything else is simply decorations. Stop getting caught up in trends, techniques and decorations and look straight into the face of your Father and ask the hard questions about your relationship with Him.

It’s not about how much capacity you have!

It’s easy to think that if we build capacity then we will be successful in our chosen field but there are plenty of people with capacity that don’t bear a lot of fruit (if any) because their relationship with God is weak or at very best average. Life is all about relationship with God – the condition of your relationship will determine everything else in your life.

Lead the Change!