Follow Me

Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

John 21:19

OBSERVATION

TODAY'S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I thank you for reaching out to me. Thank you for having a plan and purpose for my life. I pray that you will help me follow your lead. Increase my boldness to take steps into new territory. I ask for confidence and peace in the days ahead. I will follow where you lead. Amen! Amen!

Accelerating in Leadership

…pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly (accelerate)and be honored...

2 Thessalonians 3:1

2023 is a year for all of us in the Oregon Ministry Network to accelerate our leadership. In February, our OMN Team will be gathering at eight locations throughout the state to share some of the tools that will help us make this a reality in the days ahead.    

A few years ago, I was having a conversation with one of my former pastors and mentors. He was a man of vision and very clear on his responsibilities to lead forward. During our meeting, my pastor friend looked at me and asked, “What are you planning to do in the future?” Now understand I have just led one of the most significant building projects in our church’s history. It was the biggest thing I had ever done. I was looking to enjoy it now simply, and he was asking, “What is next?” I responded, “Well…I’m just trying to survive!” He pressed me more, “I know all you accomplished, and I’m proud of you, but what are you dreaming about now? What is the next step in your mission and vision?” For the next few minutes, my beloved mentor challenged me not to stop dreaming. I now look back and realize he was spurring me on to keep leading forward. 

For us to accelerate as pastors and leaders in 2023, we must pause to reconsider our God-directed mission and vision. Why did God place you where you are? What has he called you to do?

Great pastors and leaders need to know three things regarding their mission and purpose.

  1. Clearly understand the WHAT. Ask, what is the central mission and purpose of what I am doing?
  2. Clearly understand the WHY. Ask, why is this central mission important, and why am I doing it?
  3. Clearly understand the HOW. Ask, how will the central mission be accomplished?

I recently spoke to a couple considering their next steps in ministry. After discussing a recent disappointment in ministry, we all concluded that God was preparing them to turn what appeared to be a setback into a setup for an extraordinary new assignment. We left the conversation full of confidence that God was directing their steps and they would accelerate. 

Psalm 37:23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives.

I am going to suggest that in the next couple of weeks, you carve out a few hours or a day to get alone and prayerfully contemplate your current role and responsibilities. Here are some coaching suggestions:  

  1. Take time to refresh your personal mission statement (God’s calling).
  2. Take time to identify one or two new things you want to pursue in 2023 (God’s vision).
  3. Take time to discuss with two or three trusted friends your written mission and pursuit (God’s counsel).
  4. Take time to reset a timeline to begin, evaluate, and complete your new efforts in 2023 (God’s timing).
  5. Take time to begin by taking the first steps needed to stay on mission and fulfill your dreams (Your obedience).

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

That You May Believe

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John 20:30-31

OBSERVATIONS

TODAY'S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I thank you for your son, Jesus. I praise you for the power of signs, wonders, and miracles in my life. Today, I look to you for guidance and wisdom. I look to you for provision and protection. I look to you for opportunities and open doors. I will give you the glory and praise. In Jesus' mighty name, amen!

It is Finished

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19:30

OBSERVATIONS

TODAY'S PRAYER

Father, I stand in awe of your great love. I refuse to be dragged down or defeated by the past. I refuse to be overwhelmed by the present. I refuse to be fearful of the future. I will choose to rest in the assurance of God’s great love. I will live in victory and vitality because Jesus said, “It is finished.” Amen! Amen! Amen!

The Truth

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

John 18:37

OBSERVATIONS

TODAY'S PRAYER

Father, I thank you for giving us the truth, the life, and the way. I choose to build my life on the certainty of Jesus’ identity. I choose to follow the truth and not the persuasive ideals of man. I pray you will take me into a new season of fruitfulness and fulfillment. In Jesus’ name, amen!

My Prayer

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me."

John 12:20-21

OBSERVATIONS

TODAY'S PRAYER

I thank you, Lord, for your powerful prayer for all who follow you. Today, I pray that there will be unity in your church. I pray that we will experience a fresh wind of revival and renewal. I pray for my brothers and sisters in the faith. Protect and provide for them. I refuse to get sidetracked by unimportant divisive matters. Help me to contribute to the healthy growth of your church. In Your powerful name! Amen!

Accelerate

...pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored...

2 Thessalonians 3:1

Every year since becoming the Network Lead Pastor, I have specifically prayed for a theme word and scripture to be an anchor for the year.  Through prayer, contemplation, and conversations with those closest to me, the Lord has faithfully provided a word to rally around.  These themes have always provided clarity for me personally and unity for our Network efforts.    

I am excited to share that 2023 is no exception.  The Theme I feel the Lord has for us as a Network this year is Accelerate.  As soon as I heard the word in mid-2022, I sensed in my heart it was to be our rallying word for 2023.  ACCELERATE!    

In recent years there has been a deceleration or decline in the momentum of many ministries across our Network.  Caused by the interruptions and distractions of a pandemic, many have been hit hard by discouragement, disappointment, and decline. They have become common themes.  However, I am convinced that God wants to counter the frustration and uncertainty by rallying and raising His Church in Oregon with power and revival.  He is calling us to rise with confidence and courage.  I believe the Holy Spirit wants to accelerate our vision and pace and take back what the enemy has tried to steal.

Come quickly, all you nations everywhere. Gather together in the valley. And now, O Lord, call out your warriors.

Joel 3:11

Accelerate implies the increase in speed and counters reluctance and faltering in our motion.  In a practical sense, acceleration implies us tuning out distractions and quickly responding to God’s directions.  It is picking up the pace and moving with more intention and focus.

...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2

I believe this is the word for us in 2023.   I am convinced it will usher in a fresh move of the Holy Spirit in our ministries and the impact our local church and ministries will make in the coming year.  Please don’t coast through another year, but as one of my mentors would often say,  “Go for God!”

Action Items:

  1. Take the first week of January 2023 to fast, pray, and see what God will do.
  2. Write down three actions you can take to improve your relationships in your family.
  3. Write down three actions you can take to improve your leadership skills.

So the word of God spread. The number of discples in Jerusalem increased rapidly...

Acts 6:7

Overcome

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

OBSERVATIONS


TODAY'S PRAYER

Father, I have encountered tests, trials, and troubles in life. I praise you for giving me peace amid the storm. Thank you for giving me a path to victory. I choose to not be overcome but rather be an overcomer. I look forward in faith that every need will be supplied. Help me to have a breakthrough!

In Jesus’ name! Amen!

Greater Love

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.

John 15:12-14

OBSERVATIONS


TODAY'S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I thank you for loving me beyond words. Thank you for showing me how to love you, others, and even myself. I pray that you will help me express your love in my words and actions. Help me to be alert to those around me who have needs. Help me to be an encouragement. Fill me with your love today.

In Jesus’ name, amen! 

Ask Me for Anything

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

John 14:12-14

OBSERVATIONS


TODAY'S PRAYER

Father, I thank you for your hand in my life. I thank you for having a wonderful plan for me to pursue. I pray, today, your purpose shall be done in my life. I pray for every need that I have to be met. I pray that you will open doors of opportunity. I pray that you will make a way where there seems no way. I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice in praise.

Amen! Amen! Amen!

An Example

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

John 13:15-17

OBSERVATIONS


TODAY'S PRAYER

Almighty God, I praise you for loving and caring for me. Thank you for giving me a pattern to follow when it comes to others. Thank you to those who have extended to me love and support. Help me to treat people with godly respect and graciousness. Help me to live out my faith in a way that brings honor and praise to you. I give you my needs and concerns knowing you are already at work. I move forward with confidence and assurance that everything is going to be alright.

In Jesus’ name, amen!

Light

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.

John 12:46-47

OBSERVATIONS


TODAY'S PRAYER

Gracious Father, I come to you with a grateful heart. Thank you to those who have pointed me to Jesus. Today, I ask that you light my way so that I may make the right decisions. Help me to take the next step with courage and confidence. I pray that you will lead me to the right people and the right situations. Give me favor with those I converse with today. I claim your promises and presence.

In Jesus’ name, amen! Amen!