Leading Your Congregation Toward God’s Vision

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Introduction to Leading Your Congregation Toward God’s Vision

We live in a world saturated with change, where the only constant is change.  Unfortunately, the church is known to be one of the last places to embrace change.  Some congregations, trying to avoid the reality of a changing world, try to live in the past.  Others attempt to grip tightly to the status quo.  Whether we admit it or not, the status quo is a myth.  In our world, in these times in which we live, everything is changing and at an ever-increasing rate.  

YOU CAN'T ALWAYS CHOOSE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES

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I have been leading a weekly study on the book of Philippians, written by the Apostle Paul while he was incarcerated for his faith. The theme I’ve been focusing on is ATTITUDE, for two reasons. First, there is an explicit challenge throughout the book to have a positive, Christ-like attitude, such as what is found in Philippians 2:5. Paul writes, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” (verse 5, NASB)

YOUR ATTITUDE IS A CHOICE!

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In looking at this picture, what do you see? Do you see a hole in the ground?

Or do you see a bale of hay.

Which one did you see first?

It is all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

Attitude is a little like this. Attitude is our perspective on things. Our attitude is the choice we make on how we see things.

WHAT IS INSIDE YOU IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND YOU!

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Our circumstances can feel overwhelming at times, can’t they?

Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed during this unprecedented time of the corona virus pandemic. Perhaps you’ve lost your job or anxious about the bills to pay. Perhaps your marriage or your family is feeling like it’s coming apart. Or perhaps temptation toward an addiction is increasing.

BETTER TOGETHER!

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In this COVID-19 season we are walking through, anxiety is at a high level. Uncertainty is always a source of anxiety. And there is so much we don’t know.

Anxiety spreads the way a virus spreads. It’s passed on person to person. And it's highly contagious.

Given the call for social distancing and stay at home orders, it can feel like we are having to deal with all the stress and anxiety alone. Isolation compounds our anxiety.

WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO THINK ABOUT AFFECTS YOU!

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Just finished my guys’ Thursday morning small group via Zoom. We’re eight guys, the majority who play ice hockey, who have been meeting for seven weeks focusing on living out our life’s purpose. 

We just began a new study of the book of Philippians. We chose this book because the Apostle Paul wrote this letter of encouragement while socially distanced, under house arrest. Paul spent four years in Roman custody, awaiting Emperor Nero’s final decision in his case. 

THE CHURCH HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

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The church is not the building! No doubt, you've heard that before.

The church is people, indwelt by and empowered by the Spirit of God, who serve God's glorious purposes by using the gifts of the Spirit He has entrusted to us.

The Corona virus epidemic has quite literally catapulted the church out of our buildings, and perhaps out of an old paradigm. Perhaps for too long we have overly associated the church with buildings, programs and performances.

YOU NEVER KNOW, DO YOU?

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Wednesday, April 16, 2020

This morning I received a text, from a number I did not recognize. The text read:

“Good morning Chaplain Harpell. My name is John.* I met you a while ago in front of the arena after I picked up my guitar. I'm the one-legged marine you talked to. I'm asking for nothing but your prayers. We recently found out that our 6-month-old daughter has cancer. If you could pray for her I would greatly appreciate it.”

Dr. Brian Harpell recently joins ACTION INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES

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Dr. Brian Harpell recently joined with the ACTION Pastor Leadership Development Program, though he has been partnering with ACTION for over a decade. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Dr. Harpell came to the United States in the early 70s to pursue his Master of Divinity degree and later his Doctor of Ministry degree, and now lives in the United States.

Real Leadership is Influence

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There is a huge difference between an authoritative boss and a trust-building, influential leader. What’s the difference?  

What does a boss do? A boss drives with authority. “I’m the boss. This is the way it’s going to be.” A boss drives with authority. Pharaoh, in the Exodus story, is an example of a boss.