By: James Green
James Green is the Associate Pastor of Cape Bible Chapel. Below he weighs in on a few things he learned at the Catalyst Leadership Conference last week.
Last week, the Pastoral staff at the Chapel (and our wives) had the enormous blessing of attending the Catalyst Conference in Dallas, TX. We had been to a Catalyst conference before (sans wives) and knew that the encouragement, wisdom and practical suggestions would flow freely, however, I was more than thrilled to come back with a tremendous amount of great ministry tips, as well as several challenges to evaluate where God has me and what He has me doing in light of His Kingdom.
Let me share just a few of the important things I gleaned on our trip:
-Even though our Student Ministry pastor is 32 years old (Pastor Andy celebrated his birthday on the trip) – he still thinks it’s funny to sit in the back seat and whine, “Are we there yet? How much longer? Are we almost there?” Not funny, Andy…not funny.
-Trying to pick a dining establishment that everyone in a large group can agree on could probably provide internship level credit in conflict resolution and management at a lot of seminaries.
-There is truly never a good time or place to have a flat tire (but certainly having one a mile from your destination at midnight in between a three lane highway and an on ramp is not a good time and place!).
-Jesus sent the disciples out in two’s – and that was pretty darn solid instruction. It is richer and much more rewarding to travel in community and to have folks available to bounce ideas and takeaway points around with.
-Finally, having learned (or been reminded) of all those truths – there has been one thought that has been continually reappearing in my prayers and when I’ve journaled since our return. Andy Stanley, the Senior Pastor of North Point Community Church, in Atlanta challenged the conference crowd with the fact that the greatest contribution some of us may make in this world, for His Kingdom, will not be something we have done; but instead, someone we may raise.
I think this resonated deeply with me for two reasons. First, because of the life stage of our children (having a 14, 13, 10 and 7 year old provides us with an almost infinite number of teachable moments each day!), but also because of our desire at Cape Bible Chapel, beginning this fall, to focus our ministry efforts on intentional discipleship; of joining God in the challenge from Matthew 28:19 to make disciples.
My daughter Macy has a sweet, sweet, missions minded heart. For the last several years, she has always chosen to undertake projects (lemonade stands, dog walking services, bake sales, etc.) to make money to give for missions. She has been a huge inspiration and example for Christina and me! I wonder what God will do in the future with a fearfully and wonderfully made heart like hers? Maybe the biggest impact we will ever make for God’s Kingdom will come through Macy – through us, as parents, intentionally equipping our little girl to desire to know God more and love Jesus more every day of her life – and then see what He does through her!
But I also know the challenge for me involves continuing to develop the mentoring and discipleship opportunities I am blessed to have. There are a few guys I have been meeting regularly with for years – and I know that I have not challenged some of them to go out and find guys to disciple! They have become content with being discipled, but they have not figured out how to close the circle and intentionally pour into others – and I haven’t helped push them out of the nest. Maybe the greatest impact for God’s glory will come from someone who is discipled by one of the guys I have been meeting with?
The opportunities are all around us. This fall we will get very intentional about the disciple making process – because it is important to God and for His Kingdom. I hope and pray you will join in the process, for God’s glory!