time out for announcement--
Howard Schultz from Starbucks was scheduled to speak but a petition was started to boycott Starbucks if he spoke because the feeling was that Willow Creek is anti-gay. Howard decided to cancel his speaking engagement. Bill Hybels asserts that Willow is not anti-gay and is not anti-anybody. He explains that all people matter to God and anyone is welcome at Willow Creek. They let Howard out of his contract with no penalty. Write to starbucks.com and with genuine Christian love communicate to them that our churches are open to anyone and we'd love to have him back at the summit someday. Bill also recommends we read Howard's book, "Onward." Also pray for a possible meeting with the people who started the boycott petition to see if reconciliation is possible.
Courageous Leadership for Catalytic Times--
God has called us together to prophetically speak to us.
Brenda and her husband were invited by the Anglican Church to speak in Birmingham, England about the black church in America. A Jamaican woman there screamed at them and said, "Where have you been? Why didn't you come sooner?" God used that experience to humble her and to expand her world view. She started to become a global Christian.
(video of a catalytic event--Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier)
The difference between Chuck Yeager and others before him who'd only attempted it was that Chuck resisted the temptation to pull back when the shaking of the plane started and he pressed on to completion.
Young people are global by default because of Internet connections. How have you responded to that as a leader?
Acts 1:8--the initial catalytic verse that birthed the church. This clearly sets out our mission. The mandate is to take the gospel to the whole earth. Jesus seems to suggest that there's a movement outward.
First we begin in Jerusalem (our home turf--our comfort zone). This is where we have to face our bigotry. It's where we challenge the jokes being told or take the risk to start talking about the policies that are restrictive.
Judea--people look alike but have political or denominational differences. The divide that comes between the young and the old or the able-bodied and the differently-abled.
Samaria--people who are hostile to us, foreign to us, totally other. The neighborhood where you drive through and lock your doors. This is the place of sex trafficking, child labor, corporate greed, environmental injustice. This means moving outward and experiencing the outer borders. It takes a catalytic, spirit-filled leader to go to Samaria. You need the Holy Spirit to move you beyond your natural affinities.
A Catholic priest on the south side of Chicago was disturbed by products being advertised on billboards near the schools. This priest painted over the billboards.
It takes a catalytic event to move us. Without a catalyst we stay in our own homogenous communities. Acts 2 brings the catalyst. Their souls 'caught on fire' and they began speaking with such credibility in other languages and sounded so authentically inclusive. A multinational, multilingual CHURCH was being born. From the beginning the church was intended to be a global movement.
When fear comes in the church should stand up and say maybe God is using the economic crisis to bring us together. Maybe God is moving.
Are you ready to break through your 'sound barrier'. If so--
--Pray for a divine mandate--pray "God, break our hearts for what breaks Your heart"
--Name your catalytic events--stop and ask God how His spirit is moving in our community or our country
--Mobilize people to go!--so much cultural cross-pollenization available near us. Not looking for people who will go and 'help' but people who will go and learn.
Where's your Samaria? That's where Jesus is calling you. God is trying to move us out to the ends of the earth so how about we get started now.
I believe God wants to interrupt our previously scheduled programs. There's a catalytic event breaking forth right now. Holy Spirit send us forth ready to be a global community.