Last Wednesday evening at the 2013 Vineyard National Conference Steve Nicholson outlined seven principles to staying “ALL IN” with Jesus. These principles hold some good truths within their words – truths that are worth looking at and pondering a while. It should also be noted that they come from the lips of someone who has been pastoring and living “ALL IN” the Kingdom for 37 years… so yeah, they are worth looking at.
Seven Principles to Staying “ALL IN” with Jesus
1. Keep being filled in order to give
While this is true for anyone, it is especially true for those of us who serve the church on a weekly basics. Pastors, ministry leaders, and their spouses can easily get drained as “church” becomes a job to do rather than a time of refreshing. Yet if they – or should I say, “I” – want to continue to give out and love people day in and day out, year in and year out, we MUST find ways and time to receive Jesus’ refreshing spirit and peace. This could be daily mediation, hobbies, or time away at conferences…or something totally different. Whatever it is, we need to be filled up with the Spirit of God in order to give out to others.
2. We need to keep telling the stories
Stories have a way of building faith and communicating truths that impact one’s daily lives. Accordingly, we need to continue to tell the stories about what God is doing in our lives and communities. Not just the stories of old – which are VERY important, just think for a moment how much of the Scriptures is stories – but current stories. Stories of praying for healings, stories of how Jesus changed lives, stories of stepping in faith, stories of success and failure. And the story tellers need to be folks from all generations as each generation need to be actively walking with Jesus and seeing Him work in their lives.
The truth will come out so don’t even try to lie or ‘beef up’ what God did. If you prayed for someone and their arm still hurts, say it – don’t try to cover it up by claiming a miracle when nothing changed. The same goes with the number of salvations or people attending an event. If you want a number, count folks – or, at the very least, under estimate the number of folks as it doesn’t help anyone to claim huge numbers. That is just pride.
4. We need to have a theology of both success and failure
Successes are good. No doubt about that. Yet we also have to have a theology that allows for failure. What happens when you pray and nothing happens? What happens when you take a step of faith and fall on your face? We need to have a theology about how to deal with that – how to get back up and keep going.
5. Stay in the field of harvest
It is easy to get into a “holy huddle” and stop going out into the streets and telling people about Jesus. We, and I am speaking to myself, need to keep going out and hanging with the non-believers. We need to make sure the organization of the church does not stop us from being the church!
6. Endure through the desert times
Endurance is hard. It is very, very, very hard. Yet as Tri Robinson is fond of saying, “Keep showing up.” Showing up is more than half the battle – it is most, if not all, the battle. Steve in his talk also pointed out how it was the Holy Spirit that drove Jesus into the desert for 40-days after his baptism. The Holy Spirit. In other words, God may have a reason for taking you into the desert… keep on showing up and following God and He will lead you through the valley of the shadow of death.
7. Train those who are younger
Don’t just do the stuff. Grab someone younger than yourself, either in age or in faith, and model it with them watching. Then let them do it while you watch – then let them go by their selves. Give away what Jesus gave you for it is His anyway.