Training opportunities

Come and join us for an inspiring day at the 2015 Spirit-led Administration conference (Saturday 25 April). There will be a wide range of seminars plus a key note speaker. It costs just £17.50 for the day, including lunch so is a total bargain. There will also be time to network with other admin folk, sharing problems, ideas and solutions. Book your place now at:

http://guestli.st/262128

The venue is The Ridgeway Centre in Milton Keynes.

If you have the time and money then the Bethel run Mastering Kingdom Administration is worth a look. It is a 12 month online course and if it is anything like their four-day onsite course is sure to be excellent. Check it out at:

http://globallegacy.com/training/mka

 

 

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Seeking the hidden things of God

After a busy weekend I have managed to take some time out today to sit in the garden,  enjoying the sunshine and the wonderful presence of God. I dug out an old notebook and found some notes I had made at a conference a couple of years back. Bill Johnson was speaking on why God hides things from us.

We know that He does not only from experience but also from the word. Proverbs 25 v 2 says:

It is the glory of God to conceal things but the glory of kings to seek them out.

As adminstrators it may seem to be an incredibly frustrating aspect of God because our focus and our gifting is on getting things done. If God can supply our needs why would He not do so swiftly rather than hiding things from us? But in that question is the key to our task-focused wrong thinking.

The truth is that God does not hide things from us,  He hides things for us.

Have you ever done an Easter Egg hunt with your children? How much more joy is there in setting the clues,  being with them as they hunt for the eggs, and then celebrating the discovery. Isn’t it much more of a family time than simply handing over the chocolate?

I remember when we at New Life Church were seeking to buy a larger building. After what seemed like ages with no solution a prophecy came that said we were on a treasure hunt and it would be a while before we found what we were looking for. In the meantime we were to enjoy the journey. To be honest I wasn’t impressed with this. God obviously knew what building was to be ours so why wouldn’t He just tell us now!

Over the following weeks though I saw more and more people get caught up in the hunt. People who didn’t usually contribute prophetically were praying and receiving pictures and words. It was three years before we found the right building,  but by then nearly everyone in the church was part of the hunt and convinced we had the right solution when we finally reached the journey’s end. God united us as a family by concealing what He had for us until the time was right.

So my question is: are you frustrated that God doesn’t seem to be providing what you’ve asked for? If so,  perhaps it is time to kick back and enjoy hunting for the treasure with Him rather than asking for a heavenly next day delivery!

 

 

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Bringing down the walls

One of the things I love about the partnership between the prophetic and administration is that we can trust God to give us supernatural solutions to natural problems. I overheard a conversation about Joshua bringing down the walls of Jericho this week, and it suddenly struck me that there was quite an administrative task linked to the prophetic word he received from God.

Joshua 6 verses 1 to 5 contains the prophetic instruction from God. It isn’t exactly what an army commander would expect to be tasked to do when faced with a walled city!

Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat,[a] and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” 

The next two verses give us the administrative response to the prophetic:

So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” And he said to the people, “Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.”

That must’ve taken a bit of organising: priests, armed men, ordinary people – it is no easy feat to get everyone in the right place at the right time. Plus, Joshua got them to this for seven days in a row. I wonder if he faced any opposition to what must’ve appeared to be a bit of a crazy plan? Maybe he even doubted his own decision to get the people to do this? If the walls didn’t fall down he was going to look majorly stupid!

Joshua’s trust in God was not misplaced, though. Reading on through the descriptions of each day the story arrives at the amazing conclusion: on the seventh day when all the people gave a great shout, the walls of the city fell down!

What walls are you facing at the moment? Rather than tackling them with natural solutions, take some time to seek God for a supernatural solution. Then when He tells you what to do – and chances are His solution will be far more creative than anything you would’ve come up with – apply your administrative skills to making it happen.

The prophetic and the administrative – hand in hand they bring down walls!

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The power of words

Tonight I find myself in a position that will be familiar to many administrators. It is a busy period and there is lots to do. There are deadlines to meet. I am tired and yet when I hit my pillow my brain refuses to switch off. Instead of sleep I find myself thinking of work, of things that must be done tomorrow, of things I must not forget.

It is at times like these that I love declarations – powerful words of Biblical truth that act like a reset button on life. There is one particular declaration that I have found incredibly effective for these sleep-stealing moments:

I speak to the raging waters in my life; peace, be still; I say to my mind; peace, be still; I say to my emotions; peace, be still; I say to my body; peace, be still; I say to my home; peace, be still; I say to my family; peace, be still ( Mark 4:39)

As I sit here, declaring this over myself, with a mug of peppermint tea to hand, I feel the stresses of the to-do list fading away. I speak to the turmoil and I say ‘Peace, be still’. I close my eyes and I visual the sea, churning waves and wild winds, seagulls screaming as they circle the water, and I say ‘Peace, be still’. In my minds eye the waves become gentle breakers, the wind is a caress  and the seagulls settle on the sand. And then I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit is here, comforting, encouraging. I hear his voice in the reclaimed quiet saying, ‘All will be well’.

We are not called to lose sleep over our to-do lists, not even in the busiest of times. When we partner with the Holy Spirit it is possible to operate from a place of peace – a place of rest – no matter how busy how schedule or the pressing needs of deadlines. Jesus commanded the raging waters to be still. We have his authority to do likewise to the metaphorical raging waters of our lives.

I came across this poem while seeking that place of peace tonight:

They raged, I raged,
I was quiet
They raged more,
I became quieter
They raged even more,
I became even more calm and quiet
They, seeing it didn’t work, became quiet
And the sea of emotions began to break the giant waves,
And once again the sea became calm and all was at peace.

We do not need to join in with the raging waters of worry or too much to do. Instead we can embrace the peace of the Holy Spirit.

Now I will return to bed and sleep peacefully, knowing that all will be well. I would encourage you, next time you find yourself awake in the small hours with your thoughts racing, to declare peace to the raging waters.

Sleep well.

 

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Following in the footsteps of Joseph

Come and work with me!

That was the invitation the senior leader of New Life Church made to me in the Autumn of 2009. The job he was offering sounded relatively straightforward – or so I thought. Mainly it involved ensuring the church office was run efficiently, getting involved behind the scenes of various church-related events, and taking on some of the administrative tasks that were stealing too much of his time. How hard could it be?

On paper not hard at all. In practice, though … Well, over the next four years the role expanded exponentially. More and more people were joining the church, and processes that were fine for 150 adults were inadequate for twice that number and more. We started to run conferences. And a Winter Night Shelter. And a School of Supernatural Life. We rented meeting rooms in our large building out to other organisations, such as the local council and the NHS. There were weddings and cultural celebrations.

Life was busy. It was complicated. And sometimes it just seemed far too difficult. Where to start when there are a dozen or more pressing demands each day?

Two years into the job I had the privilege of attending Bethel’s School of Kingdom Administration. For the first time I realised that the gift of administration is listed in the Bible alongside all those other wonderful gifts: prophecy, teaching, etc. And most importantly I realised it was possible to combine spiritual gifts. I was prophetic. I was also an administrator. These two strands of my life were not meant to be separate, rather when combined they opened the door to far more than I could ever have dreamed.

I reread the story of Joseph. He was an amazing prophetic administrator. He dreamed dreams, and then he became the administrator of the most powerful nation of his day. I don’t claim to be a modern-day Joseph. But I do know that we are not limited to only one spiritual gift.

I am a prophetic administrator. What gifts are you called to combine?

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