Leadership Seminar (hosting Shane Willard)
and then in the demonstration, no one could say anything. As leaders in God's biggest idea, I can tell you this: that
the most effective way for you to minis ter, is to demonstrate, and then announce. What would the life of our church be
like, if we demonstrated and then announced? Let me give you some illustrations of that. What would it be like if we
helped the poor first, then we announced that we're about the kingdom of God?
What would happen if we healed the sick, and then we announced? What would happen if we showed loving
kindness, and then announced? What would happen if, as a group of people, we got a reputation in this whole city,
for being the most loving group of people that's ever come into this place, and then we announced? What if we
became patient and less stressed, and then we announced? What if we demonstrated peace in our hearts, and then
announced? What if we demonstrated loving families, and then announced? What if we demonstrated genuine care
for others, and then announced? Hmm - in a room this size, there are a lot of people here tonight. I'm so glad you
came out and I hope you feel blessed by this, but what's your story? What's your story? What's your demonstration,
and then you announce?
In Deuteronomy 26 it says that - it's giving instructions on how to give a first fruits offering - and it says: every year
when you give a first fruits offering, you're to put it in a basket, raise it high, put it in the hands of your priest, and then
you are to proclaim in a loud voice: my father is a wandering Aramean; which just is Hebrew for: my father was a
homeless, refugee, slave. In other words, God built it into their culture to remember where they came from, because if
we don't remember where we came from, we stand the risk of being proud, and looking down on people who haven't
got through what we've already gotten through. My father was a wandering Aramean. How many of us need to
remember: I used to have an anger problem, and God healed me from that, so I have no right to look down on
somebody else, who's just going through the same thing I did? My father is a wandering Aramean. In a room this
size, I'm sure that there are some teenage pregnancies in here somewhere. Maybe you're 40 years old, and you
have a 24 year old daughter. That's not hard math to do, and you're sitting here, and somewhere you've wanted to
conceal it; but the truth is, you have a story to tell, of God's grace, and how He got you through that, and now you're a
living servant of God. You can demonstrate, and then announce your story. It's very important.
My father was a wandering Aramean. Anybod y in a room this size, e ver went to bed at night, not knowing how they're
going to pay their bills that were due the next day, and somehow God came through at the last minute, and now
you've got more money than you know what to do with, but deep down in your heart of hearts, you remember when
you needed to depend for your next breath on God. Now He's come through, and you need to remember your father
was a wandering Aramean. Where were you blind, and now you see? Where were you angry, and now you're
peaceful? Where were you stressed, and now you're calm? Where were you sick, and now you're healed? Where
were you insecure, and now secure? Where were you depressed, and now full of joy? Where were you emotionally
unstable, and now stable? Where were you lazy, and now proactive? Where were you selfish, and now willing to put
other people's needs first? This is the most powerful witness imaginable, for healing and wholeness: to demonstrate,
and then announce.
I challenge you tonight, as we talk about leadership in God's biggest idea, that you understand that your most
powerful witness is not in announcing - it's in demonstrating. To show peaceful families, to show calmness of heart, to
show no stress, to show peace in our hearts, to show financial security, to show generosity; that when we
demonstrate, it gives us the credibility to announce. That the greatest credibility is not in walking through the streets
of the mall in Napier going: let me give you this tract, you're going to turn, or you're going to burn. Do you know where
you'd spend eternity? Listen, I'm not against all that. I'm just simply sa ying: we can have far greater impact, and far
greater credibility, if we demonstrate; and then announce - that that was Jesus' way, that was Paul's way, that was
Peter's way. Paul went into a city where another god was the mainstay, and he never said one bad thing about the
other god. He simply demonstrated what Jesus was like, and he said: that's it. They had no standing in court.
I bless you tonight to know that we're leaders in God's biggest idea, called to demonstrate and then announce. Let's
pray together. Lord, You're the best, and we proclaim You king of the universe, and realise that we are not, that we're
not. Lord, we just take a second tonight, and repent for where we announced before we demonstrated. We realise
now, that the reason there's such a ruckus against Christianity, is because of us; it's not because of anybody else. It's
because we announced without demonstrating. We said that we had something other people don't have, which
makes us sound elitist, and then we didn't demonstrate anything. Forgive us for that. Lord, may we be demonstrators
of Your life, demonstrators of Your life. Would You empower us to do that, in Jesus' name. Amen, Amen.
[Prelude] 1 Corinthians 2, and while you're turning there, let me just say this about our resource ta ble. The first one is
called "How Great is Your Salvation", and it covers the 15 Hebraic pictures of salvation. In the Book of Hebrews it
says: how shall we survive, if we neglect so great a salvation? So that's what this is all about.