My Thoughts on Charlottesville

Well, my mind is racing in multiple directions when I hear and see what has happened and is continuing to happen in Charlottesville, and how the actions and mindsets of others is permeating our country.

It’s interesting that it becomes so political so quickly. People take sides and turn on one another. But, I look at it from a different view – as I’m sure others do, too – and I say: This is a spiritual, more than a political, issue.

What do we think of and how do treat other human beings that have been made in the image of God?

The answer to that question comes down to our spiritual life and our capacity to love. What we need to try to understand and better our divided country is not a bunch of rhetoric and language; what we really need right now is a heart of love that can truly only come when we’ve had an encounter with Jesus himself.

I’m not here to present sides or analyze the situation. I’m here to say we’ve all been made in the image of God and, as a result of that, we all have value and we all belong. God wants us to appreciate the unique giftedness that he has given each of us.

So, what the events of Charlottesville and all of the back and forth has caused me to do is to pray, examine my heart, and to lead Venture church and whomever I come in contact with to connect to Christ.

Do as Christ would do – whether that means you need to apologize and admit you were wrong or to step up and speak up in order to do the right thing, in the right way, in the right time. I know am working on getting rid of my own prejudices in order to best represent Jesus and do my best to be like Him here on earth.

We all have a part to play. I hope you evaluate what you’re thinking and what you’re doing as we reflect, contemplate on, and join together to reconnect our divide country.

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So Long, Summer

This is the season of mixed emotions – vacations are coming to an end, the demands of being involved in sports are picking up, and camps for everything from band to football to pom-pom are getting into full-swing for the upcoming school year.

And now, over 120 Michigan schools are saying that they are going to star their calendar year before Labor Day. The Tourist Industry must be going nuts imagining all those end-of-the-summer family vacations flying out the window!

Isn’t interesting how things change? Personally, I was always reluctant to have the school year starting because Jeannette and I really enjoyed our four children. 

Summer was a time for us to be on our own schedule, doing different activities and living to a different rhythm than the rest of the year.

So, how do we process this changing of the seasons? Well, we process this change the same way we process everything else as followers of Christ: Every day is an opportunity to live for Christ, love Christ, serve Christ, and learn from Christ – whether you’re on vacation or on a more regular schedule.

But, I do understand the mixed emotions that families go through this time of year.

The freer schedule is beginning to pass and the more demanding schedule is coming in. So, my recommendation is: whether you’re in a van or on the beach, whether you’re going to a practice, whether you’re on vacation or returning from or trying to cram a last-minute 3-day trip in – always keep Christ first.

As it says in the greatest book ever written – the Bible – whatever you do in word or deed, do all to the glory of God.

That has a way of helping with those mixed emotions and keeping us on the right path even as we say so long to Summer and enter into the new season.

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Nothing Happens Without Leadership

We’ve all heard it before and we all know this to be true, but nothing happens without leadership. Nothing happens without someone having a vision, without feeling a call, without seeing a need and responding accordingly.

At Venture Church, we put a high priority on leadership and developing leadership. This is evident by the fact that we will take approximately 120 people, including all of our staff, to the Global Leadership Summit this week.

The GLS is an event that literally attracts 200,000+ people and it’s happening again this year, August 10th-11th. It is simulcast at over 200 locations all over the US and, in the months to come, all around the world.

The GLS a highly-impactful 2 days of training and I can’t wait to see what we can glean this year from the incredible lineup of speakers!

Because we know that there are people in our church who serve, who lead, who have generous spirits, but who cannot take off two days of work to attend the GLS, Venture is providing our own leadership training!

We are providing an incredible night for all who serve – our volunteers, our leadership, our ministry leaders and members – at Equip Night 2017!

Equip Night is happening Sept. 15th and it is sure to be a great time of food, laughter, inspiration, teaching and instruction, and a time to specifically delve into the needs of our ministries for the coming season.

All of us can be better leaders.

If you are living and breathing, you have influence and you are a leader.

So, I ask this question: What are you doing to develop your influence? How are you becoming a better leader?

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