Archive for April, 2010

What TOWER are you building?

Posted in goals, purpose with tags , , , on April 29, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Genesis 11:4 “Come let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

We are all building something. The question is what are we building and whom are we building it to? Some Christians think God has an issue with success. I don’t think God has an issue with success. Abraham, Joseph, Daniel and Paul all were successful in their endeavors. I think God has an issue with us pursuing success without him as the source and inspiration of it.

If you are driven for success of any kind and your drive cuts across your personal relationship with Christ and a healthy soul, you’ve grossly missed the point of life. Life is first a relationship with God. John 15 tells us that out of this relationship, fruitfulness follows as a natural byproduct. Some of us have it the other way round. We are seeking fruitfulness and ignoring relationship and you wonder why you are frustrated. It’s because you weren’t primarily built for success but relationship. Then we have to acknowledge the motivation for relationship. I used to meet with God for what I could get out of him, now I connect with God for just who he is and that he loves me and I love him. Its from this foundation that all fruitfulness follows.

In the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 mankind decided to build a monument to themselves and the core reason for it was pride and fear. Wherever pride lurks, fear abounds as well. Mankind’s insecurity was the source of their inspiration to build a tower. God came down to check things out and observed their unity of spirit, language and potential for turning the impossible to possible. God has created us with the capacity for absolutely amazing feats and accomplishments but when we attempt to build towers without God we end up in confusion.

God confused their language and created an environment of chaos that dispersed mankind everywhere over the face of the earth. Was God insecure and threatened himself by mans ingenuity? No, God is God and he ultimately created mankind. What God was concerned about was his creation building a tower and accomplishing great feats without acknowledging who God was and the grace God had given to them to even attempt such a thing. Man when left to himself, due to the default of brokenness, will always build towers to himself, rooted in pride and fear and ignore God all together.

So, what tower are you building and to whom are you building it? Your tower could be your career, your ministry, your hobby, your possessions – house, car, clothes, cash or your image and reputation. There isn’t anything wrong with these things but there is something wrong in our hearts that turns these things into idols and weapons of destruction when we use them to feed our pride and fear.

God wants to be the source of everything we do and build in our lives. We are God’s creation and as such are dependent upon God for our next breath. God gave us the ability to build towers but he doesn’t want to be ignored in the process, he wants us to acknowledge him as the source and his will as the director of our building efforts.

Lead the Change!

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i58

Posted in activate church, mission with tags , , on April 28, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Isaiah 58:6 “Is not this the fast that I choose…”

“The fast you’ve chosen, you perceived would get you the results you desire but the fast I choose for you will get the results you desire.” GOD

Sometimes in life we find ourselves in contradictory circumstances to what we expected and thus turn toward heaven and ask God questions like, “Why aren’t you answering my prayer? What have I done to deserve this? When is this situation going to be turned around? How is this going to be resolved? Why aren’t you helping me out here?”

The last 12 months have been a wilderness experience for me and I have asked God a lot of questions like the above, including, “What have I done wrong? Why is this happening to me? What is going on?” As I am coming out of this season and gaining clarity on a whole bunch of stuff in my life and ministry I have discovered that God is not obligated to bless my sacrifice and my attempts to get his attention (prayer & fasting). My motivation for why I do what I do plays a big part in whether or not God listens to me. It’s not what you do, it’s what you do out of what God asks you to do. 1 Samuel 15:22-23 confirms this idea when Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?”

Isaiah 58:6-7 (read it) reveals the fast that God rewards. There are so many incredible promises in this scripture that follow our commitment to embrace the fast that God chooses for us. I had an encounter with God over this passage recently and at Activate we are going to apply it by embracing a vision initiative called i58.

For 7 days straight starting the week of June 14 we will be mobilizing the entire church around:

  1. Distributing food to hungry people
  2. Giving clothing away for free to people who need them
  3. Opening the VAULT (Community centre) 5 days with church members rostered throughout day
  4. Staff meetings cancelled and out of office visiting the sick, in prison and every member of church

God spoke clearly to my heart to “Saturate and overwhelm local community with LOVE.” We are currently working behind the scenes to mobilise the entire church around i58. On Sunday May 23rd we will be launching i58 at Activate. Keep a lookout for i58 and start to gather non-perishable food and clothing to distribute during i58.

Lead the Change!

Building the Future!

Posted in culture with tags , , on April 28, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

At Activate Church we have been going through a process of re-clarifying and articulating what our core values are as we move forward into building our future. I want to share with you what we have observed are the most important values in our church culture.

There are 3 basic levels of culture: 1 – Visible things (What you observe on the surface. First impressions last); 2 – Values (Just under the surface and inform what is visible); 3 – Assumptions (Deepest level of culture and becomes what is assumed in people’s hearts and “the way we do things around here”)

A core value is a standard, principle and marker that informs what’s most important in our culture and what we are not prepared to compromise upon. Every church and organisation have core values that inform the culture and atmosphere of how it is run. These values are supposed to be a filter by which you make decisions upon, recruit potential leaders by and inform the activities of your ministry.

Once you have clarified your core values, you then need to decide how you are going to imbibe the culture and help people embrace these values as assumptions. You can do this through stories, symbols, visuals, teaching, example, social media and publications.

At Activate church we have 3 CORE VALUES and we express them in the following ways.

We VALUE:

  1. Biblical Life
  2. Innovative Leadership
  3. Authentic Relationships

Over the next 4 months we will be communicating these values at every level of the church and intentionally imbibing the heart and soul of the church in what is most important to us. In August I will be teaching a 4 week series on these values and what we are going to be building the future upon. This series will be accompanied by visuals, stories, examples, life group studies and social media to reinforce the culture we are wanting to become stronger in and it will culminate in a Building the Future offering for our future facility needs.

I hope you’ve found this blog helpful for your own context and that it has stirred your thinking about what it is that you VALUE!

Lead the Change!

Your a VOICE not an ECHO!

Posted in Identity, purpose on April 25, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Read Matthew 3:1-6

Buckminster Fuller once said, “All children are born geniuses; however 9,999 out of every 10,000 are swiftly, inadvertently degeniusized by grown ups.”

When you were born the doctors were listening for the sound of your voice because your voice was a sign of life and breath in your body. In the natural your voice is an instrument and medium of expression.

In the spiritual your voice is your life message that God’s spirit expresses himself through. The word INSPIRE comes from the latin word Inspirare and it means to breathe life into another. When your spirit is born again, God’s spirit breathes life into your soul and redeems your voice to what God originally intended it to be. Life is a journey of God removing the blockages in the pipe of your soul so that you can embrace your voice and then breathe life into others life message so they can embrace their voice.

The word echo means to repeat or imitate something or someone else.¬†Unfortunately too many of us echo and imitate what everyone else is doing. One of the reasons we do this is because we don’t like ourselves. I understand what that is exactly like because I’ve spent may years of my life not thinking well of myself, thinking I am not good enough for God. The second half of the great commandment says, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.” You can’t love others if you first don’t love and like yourself. When you are insecure in who you are, you have no choice but to echo what everyone else is doing to feel significant and valued.

John the Baptist is known as the voice and his voice distinguished him from the crowd. Like JB your voice distinguishes you from the crowd. Your voice can connect with people my voice can’t connect with. Don’t settle for being an echo when God created you to be a voice.

Your voice is a discovery not a decision. JB didn’t wake up one day and decide to prepare the way for the messiah to come in the spirit of Elijah. JB like you and I discovered and bumped into who he was and what his life message was. QN: What have you discovered about who you are?

Your voice is your holy discontent which is your passion that stirs your heart and moves you to act. I am passionate about awakening people to who God created them to be and when I see people living beneath who God created them to be, it fires me up. QN: What is your holy discontent?

Your voice has a narrow focus to it. You can’t be all things to all people but you can be one thing to some people. God births in each of us a specific message to a specific people at a specific time for a specific purpose. QN: Where in your life do you need to narrow your focus?

Your voice requires you to walk through the wilderness to get it. JB’s voice was heard as a cry in the wilderness because the wilderness is where God silences all the other voices where you can only hear one voice…the voice of the Spirit of God. QN: Are you going through a wilderness experience at the moment? How are you responding to God’s Spirit in the midst of it?

Your a VOICE not an ECHO! Rest in the work of the Holy Spirit in your life to move in you and make the unique sound you were created for.

Lead the Change!

Core Convictions!

Posted in character, Spirituality, values with tags , on April 20, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

“If you don’t know what your non-negotiables are, you won’t negotiate anything. You’re afraid to let go of anything because later you might discover that was a non-negotiable. When you don’t know what’s really important, you treat everything the same. Adaptability is not the result of a hollow core, but of clarity and conviction about what is at your core. Don’t confuse being rigid and unchanging with having convictions.”

Erwin McManus, Author of Wide Awake

Too many of us are like coconuts, hard on the outside and hollow in the centre. We need to be more like peaches, soft on the outside but solid as a rock in the middle. Your core convictions shape everything about your life. They are the standards, principles and values that inform everything you do and how you operate as a person and as an organisation. Without core convictions you set yourself up for a fall because you have no bedrock foundation of beliefs you can point to and say, “That’s why we do what we do around here.”

Core convictions allow you to adapt and be flexible on everything else outside of your core convictions rather than being rigid and needing to control. I want to be an empowering leader but to do so I need to be clear on what’s most important to me and the church I lead so I can empower people around me.

What are your core convictions as an individual, for your family and for the church you are apart of? Think of what constantly is visible, what is important to you and what has become an assumption in your life and you will have arrived at your core convictions. Select no more than 5-6 and put them clearly before you and be mindful of them as you live your life and don’t violate them when faced with pressure to do so, otherwise they are not your core convictions. Methods change, convictions don’t.

Lead the Change!

Preaching @ Destiny Church

Posted in Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

For anyone who is interested I am preaching at Destiny Church Melbourne in Dingley on Saturday night 5:30pm. Look forward to seeing you there.

Explore Your Motivation!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 16, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

One of the things that has helped me get to the root cause of various issues in my life has been to honestly ask myself why do I want to do this or that? The motivation behind why you do what you do has everything to do with the outcome of what you actually do.

This can be a very scary question to ask and habit to adopt because it forces you to be brutally honest with yourself which depending on your answer affects your external environment including work, finances and relationships.

Very few people are willing to examine their motives for why they do what they do but I believe it is essential if we are going to be a congruent and ethical person in how we live our lives. If we were honest with ourselves too many times we do things to please others, to prove ourselves, to get approval, to avoid the pain of confrontation and what’s sad is we can live our whole lives and waste a lot of time doing things out of a wrong motivation.

God didn’t create you to live like this. He wants you to be completely comfortable in your own skin and not live from a sense of ‘have to’ but ‘want to’. Ask yourself the hard questions and don’t excuse yourself out of giving a gut level honest answer, no matter how bad you may think it is. This exercise will do more for your self-image and confidence than most other things you do.

Lead the Change!