Re-post from Jenni Catron
Every year I grow to understand myself a bit better. My strengths become clearer. My passions are more easily defined. I know better what I like and dislike.
This is mostly good. I have greater clarity on my purpose and calling and am less compelled to chase the dreams of others. Most of the time.
But I’m also realizing that the better I understand myself the more opinionated and less flexible I’ve become.
Phrases like “That’s the way I’m wired” or “I need to play to my strengths” are quick to roll off my tongue.
And while I firmly believe we need to chase diligently after an understanding of our unique gifts and passions (our Clout if you will), I can’t help but fear that my seemingly clearer picture of myself is inhibiting me from pushing myself to grow.
Do I chase knowledge with the same fervor as I did a decade ago?
Will I put myself in new and uncomfortable circumstances to stretch my thinking and my comfort zone?
Am I trying new things, engaging different conversations, meeting new people?
While purpose and clarity are incredibly important, watch for the drift in your life to become complacent in your clarity.
As you begin dreaming and planning for 2014, I encourage you to consider these questions.
How can I chase knowledge in a new way?
What new environments do I need to explore?
What new things can I try?
What different conversations should I have?
Who do I need to meet?
New knowledge and experiences will continue to add layers to the clarity of who you are and who you are becoming. Don’t let your clarity lull you to complacency. Keep growing. Keep learning!
About Jenni Catron: Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville. Founder of Cultivate Her. Loves great books, the perfect cup of tea, playing a game of tennis with her husband and hanging with her dog Mick.
What are the key leadership roles that will take your church into its preferred future? Bill Hybels shares his leadership insights.
As many of us are putting final touches on our Christmas celebrations, teams in Haiti and Mexico are preparing to open their doors to the last two GLS events of 2013! We resume the GLS season on January 10 in Taiwan and by March 2014, an additional 11,000 leaders will experience the GLS.
During the past few months, we’ve heard incredible stories of God’s provision, protection, and movement in the lives of leaders from every segment of society around the world. We have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate!
Please continue to pray for the global impact of churches as they present the gospel message that tells about the King of Kings who brings lasting justice, peace, and redemption to our broken world. Thank you for the investment you and your teams are making in developing Christ-centered leaders. You are critically important in seeing God’s Kingdom restored on Earth.
Despite threats of violent opposition, leaders in Toluca, Mexico celebrate the third year of the GLS
After last year’s GLS, threats against the members of the Steering Committee and their families forced them into hiding for a few months. While we can’t mention the name of the pastor/businessman who leads the team, he took on the challenge to expand the GLS despite violent opposition and the risk it would be shut down.
He sees his city’s desperate need for godly leadership and understands the impact it has on transforming communities. Despite the risks, he is committed to bringing the GLS to leaders who need it most.
His approach to making the GLS a reality involved engaging high-level leaders within the local government, including the mayor, who not only showed interest in the event, she threw her support behind it. She and other government leaders are beginning to see the value and importance of great leadership and its impact on society and the ills they face today. The mayor sponsored the event at a neutral venue in a local hotel, and 270 leaders from all over the city attended.
Macedonia holds its first GLS
When Macedonia received its independence in 1991, it was one of the least developed republics in Eastern Europe. The church has suffered under government oppression that has restricted church growth and church planting. As a result, the majority of the population is unreligious. Against this backdrop, the GLS was held for the first time. It was a small start, but Christian leaders and pastors were encouraged, stating that this is the best leadership training available to them. Do not despise these small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin (Zechariah 4:10 NLT )
A glimpse at the GLS in France, Russia, and Kazakhstan
View more pictures and stories at www.willowcreek.com/followthegls
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:14
Please continue to pray for our friends in Haiti and Mexico as the hold their GLS events this month.
In the midst of a revolution in Kiev, Ukraine, protestors toppled an iconic statue of Lenin. The government commandeered the use of the building that was scheduled to be used for leadership training for church pastors. And the GLS was at risk for being shut down. God intervened and the GLS took place as scheduled. 900 church leaders, hungry for change in their lives and in their country, crowded into the space reserved for 830. Leadership matters—especially in times like these!
In India, a country where only two percent of the population practices Christianity, Christian leaders face daily opposition as they live out their faith. Against a backdrop of oppression, the GLS offered an opportunity for 300 like-minded Christian leaders to gather for inspiration from the GLS and were particularly impacted by Bill Hybels’ session on courage.
The 290 church leaders who attended the GLS in Leon, Mexico were particularly gripped by Chris Brown’s “Right Title, Wrong Kingdom,” and his challenge to examine whether they are building God’s kingdom or their own reputation. Encouraged by the participants’ feedback, the GLS committee is committed to expanding in this region of Mexico so more leaders have the opportunity to experience high levels of growth and inspiration.
Despite great opposition and persecution, 250 church leaders from various countries in the Middle East gathered in Jordan for the GLS. With a shared vision to reach their countries for Christ, they are committed to maximizing the opportunities God provides—including the impact of GLS training, resources, and inspiration.
Facing two long decades of violence, corruption, poverty, and a crumbling infrastructure, 525 church leaders in Liberia turned to the GLS for encouragement and direction in rebuilding their churches and communities. The GLS brought world-class training and resources to this war-torn part of the world where they are needed most.
More than 2,200 church, business, and government leaders flocked to six different cities in Taiwan, to attend the GLS, making 2013 the highest attended GLS in this Asian country. Numerous stories of impact include one from Chung-jen who was encouraged by Bill Hybels’ message on courage. Chung-jen’s battle with Stage IV liver cancer made it clear that God was calling him to spread the Gospel in Taiwan. “I’ve been afraid and worried, but Bill’s message gave me the strength and determination I need.”
A Glimpse of the GLS in Mexico
Voices from around the world:
“I have received inspiring words as a lady from a country in war for so many years, and a town that is labeled ‘the capital of rape’, Bukavu. I believe that I am a leader. With the spirit of excellence that has been planted in my heart during the GLS, I will impact and bring change to my country, Congo. I am waiting for a day when women will be gathered for a GLS in the most rural place in Africa.” – GLS attendee, Congo
“The GLS will change the way I live for the rest of my life.” – First time GLS attendee, Bangalore, India
“The GLS is a brilliant concept. I would suggest that our political leaders and public servants experience this. It would be great to integrate the concept into our education curriculum so that we start developing and empowering leadership skills at a young age. We are all leaders in some way. This will allow children to discover their purpose early and hone their skills. I believe we have the power to instill good character in our youth.” – GLS attendee, Kenya
“Let us always remember that even in the darkest of days, our efforts in the house of the Lord shall never be in vain. Let us rededicate our lives to establishing His glorious church. Death would not be too high a price to pay, because we believe that all is temporary with no exception but one – the eternal nature of the church!” – GLS attendee, Taiwan
Please continue to pray for our friends in Los Angeles (Chinese site), Haiti and Mexico as they hold their GLS events this month.