Friday, June 29, 2007

Buzz Conference - Craig Groeschel - Session 6

Let me begin by saying, WOW! Craig Groeschel's message today was powerful. Mark asked him to speak a little about the book Confessions of a Pastor. If you are in ministry or plan to be this is a must read. I was reminded today of why I liked the book so much when I read it.

He started be saying the he hopes that we will all pray "Disturb Me." If God is already distubing us, pray "turn up the heat."

He said today that his making a new confession. "My name is Craig Groeschel and I am a practical Atheist." A practical atheist believes in God but lives as if he does not. He said that it affects both his personal life and his ministry.

Isaiah 29:13-14 They honor my with their lips but their hearts are far from me, but I once more will astound them . . ."

In the early days:
-A professor once told me to protect the pastoral mystique and never let people see that you have any problems; speak and act like a pastor should.
-The way I was doing the work of God was destroying the work of God in me.
-God spoke to me and said you have become a full-time pastor and a part-time follower of Christ.

Wrong Beliefs of a Practical Atheist:
1. Our effort is better than God's power -
-If I will just do a good enough job God will bless my ministry
-This leads us to think "I am not good enough or God did not come through."
-If you blame yourself for the decline you will take credit for the increase.
2. We start to believe that our private life will not affect our public ministry.
-One sin or point of vulnerability can take you out.
-You will never be able to sustain for the long haul unless you become authentic.
-We stand up and do it in his name but not his power.
3. We believe that we must please people more than must please God.
-I was raised in the people pleaser mindset
-We need to use culture as a hook but we must speak to culture.
-We often drift without noticing. Like you do playing in the surf on the beach, after a while, you look up and can't see the place where you started out. You lose your first love. I got to the point where I didn't like people.

Sir Francis Drake's Prayer "Disturb Me" Was one of those transformation points.

I used to get so nervous when I speak that I would throw up before I speak. Now I have a practice where I always take a step forward before I start. I have learned to symbolically step out of myself and into God before I speak.

Things I learned to step into:
1. Spiritual Disciplines - Scripture, prayer, fasting
2. Realm of Faith - You hear a vision from God so big that if God doesn't come though you will fail. Bet the Farm.
3. Authentic Confession - To God for forgiveness; to man for Healing
4. Intentional Accountability - a minister will ever outgrow his ability to be accountable - it is your ability to accept correction
5. The boldness of preaching God's Word

Craig is not living as a practical atheist now, but like a sober alcoholic I still have the temptations and could slip back at any time.

He does not prepare his sermons too far in advance because he always has to preach out of what God is doing in him.

We overestimate what God wants to do though us in the short run but we underestimate what God wants to do in us in the long run.


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2 comments:

paul said...

Dude,

You have posted incredible notes! They're so comprehensive that I almost feel obliged to pay for them... almost! ;-)

Thanks for sharing!

Paul

Ken Witcher said...

Maybe I can set up a Paypal account to ease any sense of guilt that readers might feel.