Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What I’m Reading Today: Acts 5:12-42

Taking the role of “leader” brings with it many challenges. The challenges some people think of right away are challenges that I would consider relatively superficial (i.e. balancing time commitments, massaging personalities and ego to keep folks motivated, networking, etc.).

Some might look at that list of things and think they aren’t superficial because they require a lot of talent and energy. For me, however, there is a whole other area involved that makes those things look small by comparison.

And what is that area?

For me, that area has to do with whether or not an idea is grounded in MY vision and agenda or whether it’s an expression of God’s vision. That is the most important (and most challenging) work to accomplish.

So why is that issue important?

Well, time after time in my life I have leapt into projects and nearly killed myself trying to realize them. Rarely did I ever stop at the beginning and ask, “Is this dream bigger than myself.” I would try to make such projects happen – even if that meant ignoring the obvious (i.e. that the resources weren’t appearing). Consequently, I often became frustrated and bitter.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown in my capacity to be more honest about my pursuits. Rather than try to force things, I’ll simply present ideas and watch to see if they grow and expand. That’s exactly the type of process I’m in now as I work to pull together members from the community to plan a 50th Anniversary Celebration for the Appearance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in The Valley. The celebration will occur the weekend of January 14-17, 2011 – the 50th anniversary of when Dr. King preached at the church I serve and then delivered an address to the community titled “The Future of Integration” later that afternoon.

Last night we had our first organizational meeting. After getting the word out, I wasn’t sure exactly who (if any) would show. Nor did I have a specific event of what the event should look like. At the end of the meeting, we had representatives from five community agencies involved and the seeds of a vision that will include somewhere between five and seven activities for that weekend.

I know the planning process will take many twists and turns. I am confident, however, in the wisdom contained in today’s passage from Acts – the portion where the author(s) quote Gamaliel as saying in response to the apostles activities: “If this program or this work is merely human, it will fall apart, but if it is of God, there is nothing you can do about it…”

Today I would invite you to explore various aspects of your own life – in particular projects that you are focused on. Are there any projects that you have been fighting or trying to force to happen? Projects that are draining your life and your energy? If so, maybe it’s time to ask yourself, “Is this project simply an expression of MY hopes and dreams or does it reflect something bigger than myself?” The answer to that question can either propel you further into the realization of the project, or help you let go of it.

By the way. If you would like to track the 50th anniversary celebration, you can do so in one of two places. If you are on Facebook, you can join the group “50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s Appearance in the Valley”. Even more information would be available if you go to and join the group “50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s Appearance in the Valley.”

Til next time…

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