Our whole lead team--plus Selah--attended the ARC conference at Church of The Highlands in Birmingham, AL this week. It was incredible. It's a ministry that helps plant local churches. The Well, our church, is an ARC church. It was so exciting, inspiring and relieving to be in a room with hundreds of other lead teams and pastors who have gone through what we've gone through. Just when you think you're the only one who's ever endured hardship in an area, God brings along someone else who's endured twice as much. During each one of the sessions, we heard from a different pastor who shared some of their experiences and lessons from planting their churches. It's so encouraging to see the fruit of their labor and know that our work is not in vain, and what God said will come to pass.
It was also so informational for me. The Worship Pastor at Highlands is an old friend of ours and we were able to reconnect with him while there. I took home so many new ideas and concepts that I know will take myself and our team to a new level in our worship. My prayer for this trip was that God would increase my faith to match the destiny He has prepared for me. Here are some of the concepts that I caught while there:
1. While God said that the Israelites would possess the promised land, they still had to fight 31 kings to take possession of it. It's the same with us... we have been given the victory, but there will still be battles to fight.
2. Sometimes our most feared enemy kings team up together... like the king of insecurity and the king of rejection.
3. It's ok to be where we are, at the place we are. Our journey... my journey... is different than anyone else's journey.
4. Because of Christ, I am more capable than I think I am.
5. Give honor and respect to others in ministry--even ones you think haven't earned the right to be there. (Squash resentment and ask forgiveness.) You haven't received honor because you haven't given it.
6. Partner with and learn from others who have gone before you. But keep God as your primary teacher. Don't be afraid to do it differently.
7. Sometimes you're so big in the frame, you miss others in the picture. Just like Elijah asked the widow to do, use the oil in your own house. Great churches and great worship teams are not built on the talents of one, but the sacrifices of many.