Amanda and I had a really good on line discussion about being all in. Here are some thoughts from that discussion.
One of the things God has been telling us as a leadership team is that we need to stop taking a census of what we have in our own strength. Taking a census causes us to become self-reliant rather than God reliant (this is an allusion to the story of David in 1 Chron. 21). God has also been telling us as a church that we need to be “All In”
One of our biggest temptations is to allow little distractions inside the church to distract us from our “All In” call.
As leaders we need to stop being so concerned about those things which distract us. In some ways focusing on the little distractions, the things which “bug” us, is just another form of census taking.
We need to stop focusing on distractions. As leaders, we need to take a stand against what is distracting the congregation and help them gain the same mind of pushing past those distractions.
When we allow ourselves to be distracted by things that have no eternal value simply because they are not to our liking, we allow the enemy a foot hold to steal our ability to be “All In”. In that moment we step out of answering the call of God.
Well as predicted, the blogs last week about being “All In” elicited some really interesting conversations.
J. Says: I guess the idea of being “All In” can be taken in two ways. Number one it can be taken as applying to me being “All In.” That is fully dedicated or committed to a particular cause. It can also apply to everyone else around me in regards to who I accept or receive into my life. It can refer to my level of openness and my heart of love for people that I allow “All In”, if you see what I mean.
The way I understand being “All In” is in the first way. When I am “All In” to something it means I am fully committed to pouring all my heart, soul, mind, strength, talents ability and love into the thing I am “All In” towards (this is a definition spoken to me by Meg Kelly at the Cornerstone Cafe last Sunday). That right there is the definition of holiness or sanctification.
Now when I am truly “All In” with Jesus, that causes me to open my heart to others. I cannot love Jesus and hate others, period! Any level of hatred or dislike towards others in my heart indicates that I have an area of disloyalty in my heart towards Jesus who is desperately in love with all mankind. My love for others actually shows how “All In” I am with Jesus.
Well we are at the art show to finish setting up, but Amanda and I are trapped in the car because of the rain and hail coming out of the sky. We tried the whole “Peace be still thing.” It just got worse.That blue blob is the dumpster four feet in front of the windshield.
The term “All In” has been coming up a lot over the Easter season. We have the example of Jesus being “All in” for us. We are asking our congregations to figure out what being “All in” for Jesus means to them. I thought it would be a good idea for the ministers of the Vicarage to sound off with their definitions of the term “All in”. Maybe it will spark some interesting conversation with our on-line community.
For me being “All In” is an act of worship. I’m not talking about the “singing a good Bethel or Crowder song” type of worship. I am talking about Romans 12 worship.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
For me being “All In” is being game for whatever it is that God requires. To be “All In” I have had to hold everything in this world with a light touch. To be “All In” I have had to be willing to go places I never would have chosen and do things I perhaps wouldn’t have considered myself capable of and yes even wear things I never would have chosen to wear.
Being “All In” for Jesus means that when I count the cost, I have predecided that no cost is too high in finances, work or reputation. It is the willingness not just to say “hallelujah!” but to live “hallelujah” which is an audaciously loud and even seemingly foolish life for Jesus.
Why would anyone want to be “All In” for Jesus or God you ask. Well it is like the missionary/ martyr Jim Elliot said:
J says: This term “All In” has been coming up a lot over the Easter season. We have the example of Jesus being “All in” for us. We are asking our congregations to figure out what being “All in” for Jesus means to them. I thought it would be a good idea for the ministers of the Vicarage to sound off with their definitions of the term “All in”. Maybe it will spark some interesting conversation with our on-line community.
What does it mean to be all in….as a minister now a days.
I have been thinking much on the word SACRIFICE this week. Perhaps it is because it is the Passion Week. The week Jesus chose to go to the cross and sacrifice his life for mine. Perhaps it is because I am on a new life and health journey. Whatever the case the word gives me great pause, and I wrestled with it all day yesterday. I sat on my porch for 2 hours talking to the Lord about it, having trouble with words is usually not a problem for me. But this one is big…And the question that kept haunting my mind was “What are you willing to sacrifice to reach your destination/goal?” In truth I have sacrificed a lot for my work to date.
When I worked in the entertainment industry, I sacrificed time with friends and family, hours of sleep, having a relationship because I couldn’t imagine doing what I did all 12 to 14 hours a day and then coming home and having to take care of another human.
As a missionary my choices and sacrifices have been of a similar ilk. I have sacrificed precious time with friends and family to go to another country and do the work the Lord has given me to do. I still have no significant other (and that is OK for now. I hardly ever feel lonely or alone). I have made many good friends, and frankly have a whole other family in the Netherlands that I now miss when I am away. So going home there or coming home here to the USA, I sacrifice precious time with them to go and do the work God has me to do. But the truth is I have never wanted to call it that. I have always said “I made a choice”, when in reality I am sacrificing pieces of my heart to do this work. So all that being said…what “being all in” in this season of my life mean…. It means embracing the sacrifice; being the odd man out in my family, never really fitting in like I used to. Doing what I can while I am here, knowing it is coming to an end, so don’t rock the boat too much. It means loving them enough to let them be the unit they have become, and looking in from the outside a bit and loving the time I am given with them, not wasting a minute feeling bad about it. It means keeping up with my new family in the Netherlands, staying plugged in, so when I return God can continue the work He began. Trusting God has both of my families and all my friends, near and far, in His hands and is taking good care of them. It means, embracing the work the Lord brings to my hands with joy and wonder. I will never understand why He chose me, why He sacrificed His life for mine…and so I serve Him with all I am and with all I have so that others may know the life changing, life giving love of Christ.
In this season of life, Being all in, means sacrificing my will for His, my desires for His, my life so that He may shine through it. May I forever be His conduit of hope and love