Friday, May 23, 2008

If You Are Called...

Friday and a long weekend. I'm looking forward to switching to low gear for a few days.

Currently working on a production team revamp. We are growing and expanding our Sunday ministries and trying to get a handle on a volunteer/staff organizational structure that will work most effectively.

Spending so much time online, checking out other churches - particularly those with a high profile - it's easy to get derailed and work with an imagined reality. Getting down to business and defining roles and responsibilities on this project has helped me stay focused on what is, now, here, where we are. Staying true to my calling. It is what it is, not what it could be - not even what it might be. Right now, it is what it is.

Wow. I think that's rather profound, even if it did just fly out of my head.

It is what it is, not what it could be - not even what it might be. Be here, now.

I am inspired today by the passionate, focused words of Perry Noble. I heard him speak yesterday at The Whiteboard Sessions (which, by the way, I really enjoyed) and his message hit home. He's a terrific communicator, and he communicated some serious biblical truth. Some of my notes...

"Understand your call. Understand your priorities. Our first calling is to be with Jesus; He 'called to him those he wanted...that they might be with him...' "

"Our calling and our time with Jesus should shape us; we spend too much time trying to get somebody else's mail..."

"Passion and fire come from time with Jesus."

"If you are called...Jesus gives you the authority to do whatever he called you to do."

Interestingly enough, God spoke clearly to me, though Perry Noble kept calling me a man. In a room of 800+ people, most were men. White men. But there were several females. Many of them were handing out things around the room, but some were sitting in seats, taking notes, listening intently. It's not like he didn't realize that there were women there, but he sort of ignored us. Kept calling us ALL men...

...and that was weird. But God pushed past the pronoun and I heard him anyway - both Perry Noble and God. For which I am grateful.


Songbird said...

Glad you heard something; have you read Jan's thoughts at A Church for Starving Artists?

Songbird said...

Whoops, clearly, yes!

Mary said...

You are feeling better now! Gender reference is, and has been, a sensitive issue for many years. Maybe in 20 more years it won't be all about the men. You handle it well. God bless the women. My God, we all need some blessings.

Heather Z said...

Hey Beth- thanks for your comment on my blog. I actually had a very different experience than you and Jan. :) Maybe because, for better or for worse, that's my "tribe." I attend a lot of conferences like WiBo, and they are all like that (mostly men in the leadership roles and teaching roles), so nothing really seemed out of the ordinary for me. I'm kinda used to translating "men" into "all of you who preach." :)

My background is Southern Baptist, so the fact that I am now at a church serving a pastor who has encouraged me and empowered me to serve on the executive pastoral team and preach regularly-- I feel very blessed. And quite frankly, I've not personally heard any female communicators that I would have wanted to hear more than those guys. Maybe Nancy Ortberg or Nancy Beach. I know, I know, I'll get tarred and feathered for saying that. :) But I actually really enjoyed WiBo, was able to connect with lots of old friends and new friends (male, female, black, white), and was impacted a lot.

I might throw up some more thoughts on my blog later this week.