Last week I was in Orlando for the Synergize 4 conference. It covered a range of topics ranging from church leadership, connecting with your community, caring for your family, working together within the Church, inviting people to the table, etc. Here are a few of the thoughts that resonated with me.
40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. (Luke 4)
Jesus was intentional about connecting with people. This is what drew the crowds to him, they knew within that connection was healing, hope, and wholeness. So much so, individuals went out of their way to bring their family, friends, and neighbors to see him. What does that mean for the Church today?
the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. (Luke 3:2)
The “wilderness” is a powerful place throughout scripture. There are a number of significant things that happen there and come from there. We see an example of this in chapter 3 of Luke’s gospel where two important voices speak from the wilderness.
8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
You might be familiar with the concept of repentance, feeling bad for something you did wrong and wanting to do what is right. Repentance is often described as the number 180, as in doing a 180-degree turn in the opposite direction. The fruit, or result of repentance is more than feeling bad and sorry but what exactly does it look like?
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. (Luke 2:4-5)
Joseph traveled to Bethlehem because of family. Mary went with him because of family. They traveled together because they had committed to each other to be a family. Often times it comes down to family.
Change can be scary. Trying new things can be unsettling. Leaving the known for the unknown can cause quite a bit of anxiety. Fear can be a powerful motivator but if it keeps us from innovation and creativity, then it becomes a powerful master.
My word for 2014. Webster’s Dictionary defines it as: to hold the attention of; to induce to participate; to bring together; to do or take part in something. There are a number of different ways I hope to engage in the coming year but these will be the main ones: social media, writing, speaking, and face-to-face.