Shifting Gears - Staff Teaching
Staff and Leadership • Sermon • Submitted
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Thank each of you for shifting your schedules to accommodate the rhythms I want to establish with our team. Prior to Covid, in our past season, I used to look forward to our monthly staff meetings in the same way I look forward to Sundays. It gave me the chance to share vision, devotion, etc. I got away from that, and I am sorry. I ended up perpetuating the very cycle of was sent here to disrupt.
Meetings focused on output without adequate input leads to a corporate culture.
Going forward, I will never require of you, what I haven’t deposited in you. Meetings like this are meant to shape culture. This is why we are recording it. The goal is when we have meetings that expose my heart, vision, and culture, I want it captured for those that will join the team later.
What I need for you to do is listen, lean in, and receive.
1 Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.” 2 But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3 You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.” 4 Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” 5 Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” 6 And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. 7 Then the Lord told him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.” 8 But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it?” 9 The Lord told him, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 So Abram presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however, cut the birds in half. 11 Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away.
5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.
I want to spend a few minutes talking to us about progressing through the will and plan of God. I have entitled the topic, Shifting Gears.
Heavenly father, we thank you for your presence. I pray that you speak to us today. Give us open eyes, open ears, open hearts. In the name of Jesus, amen!
I vividly remember the first time I bought a brand new car off of the lot. I mean, a car that I knew what color and options I wanted. I was focused. I wanted a burgundy/maroon car, cream interior, and a sunroof. It also had to be a stick shift, manual transmission. Here is the problem, I had no clue on how to drive a manual transmission. My dad had one, but I never learned. I went to a library, got a book on how to drive one and literally internalized how to do it.
I showed up at the car lot, negotiate with the dealer and had him take me on an open lot and let me figure out how to drive a stick shift. It was a small parking lot so I really never got out of 2nd gear. Now the deal is done, I am driving home, which is a 45 minute drive and I am excited and terrified at the same time. Mainly because I had no idea what I was doing. Stopping and starting were so scary. I finally made it to the highway and that is when it got interesting. I made it to second gear then third but had no idea of what to do after that. The engine got louder, it felt different. I finally shifted gears. The same thing happened for the 4th gear and 5th.
I had to learn to recognize when it is time to shift gears. Shifting gears meant knowing when do down shift to maintain power. Shifting gears meant shifting up to gain and maintain power. It used to be rough. Shifting gears isn’t always easy. Driving in traffic, trying to eat, talk on the phone, where all challenging. Because my hands are already full, but I need to shift gears, I need to engage the power. The more I recognized the moment, the smoother it got.
God has all of us on a journey. This journey is one where we have to keep moving forward. We have to walk by faith. We have to shift gears even when our hands are full.
When it comes to capitalizing on the hand and power of God, call and momentum, you have 3 options:
Slow it down
Shift gears and lean into it
Abram to Abraham Context
Abram to Abraham Context
Abram did all 3 except, stop it.
Abram was called by God in Gen 12. He was called to be set apart. He was called to represent God to a deeply pagan world. At the time, the world revolved around having an heir. Someone to carry on your name and legacy. We even see that this level of thinking led to the demise of Babel in Gen 11:4 where they say, let’s make a name for ourselves! Nonetheless, it was the culture at the time that your children would be carriers of your influence and legacy. Abram is set apart and begins his journey, trusting God. It wasn’t easy: denied his wife in Egypt, Drama with his nephew Lot (separation and rescue), encounters Melchizedek, a Christ like character that foreshadows the Royal Priesthood, Jerusalem, temple worship, and generosity. Melchizedek remind Abram of that favor on his life, blesses him and sends him on his way.
Abram is tired. He is frustrated. Up to this point, he has endured battle after battle. All he wanted was a son. God speaks to him and tells him to keep his head up, He is with him. Abram says it doesn’t feel like it. He is going to take matters into his own hands.
God takes him outside…as long as you stay here, you can’t see what I have for you out there!
He shows him another perspective
He shows him another plan
He shows him…more than he could ask or think
God’s vision is bigger than our comfort. This caused Abram to shift gears!
We have endured a great deal. We had to down shift quite a bit. It has been powerful. Each week, we have these Melchizedek moments where the peace, power, presence of God blesses us to move forward.
However, now it is time to shift gears. God is showing us something beyond our current view. We can either slow it down, stop it, or lean into it and shift gears.
3-4 hires (kids, XP Ministry, Groups/Outreach, Creative)
Find Next Location
What is Required?
What is Required?
Invest in self. (God-self-family)
Invest in others (Time-Talent-Treasures)
Invest in church (Make it better - Grow, don’t maintain)
Lead from the Front
Be a culture carrier
Actively participate in church, groups, gatherings, equip, meetings, etc
Sit in the front
Keep Moving Forward
Abram still struggled at times. Taking matters into his own hands. Shifting gears requires sacrifice. He kept moving forward. He made mistakes but God still said, you will no longer be Abram, you will be Abraham. Keep moving forward.
Today, the local Milky Way galaxy (of which our sun is a part) has been found to contain over 200,000 million stars. What an astounding result! If somebody could count three stars per second, after 100 years he would have counted less than five percent of this number. Andromeda is also visible to the naked eye. It contains 1 trillion stars. While it is hard to get to get an accurate count of how many Jewish and Christians believers there have been throughout all time but estimates say around 5-6 billion. That still doesn’t scratch the surface of how many stars Abraham saw that night.
God’s vision for us is always bigger than us
God’s vision for us is always bigger than our comfort
God’s vision for us is always bigger than our vision for ourselves