1 Corinthians 15:56-16:8
Death is swallowed up in victory. Where Oh death is now your sting? The wages of sin is death, and the sting of death is sin…but thanks be to God who always gives us the victory in Christ Jesus. Therefore, stand firm, be immovable. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, for you know that your labor is not in vain…   I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 

Busyness is not something to boast about but if I think about the multiple complexity of me day Yesterday, it is  an illustration of plate spinning.

All of us have been called to a life that is in many ways, unmanageable, marginally out of control, we will not die of boredom, for sure, but how do we do this and remain in a place of joy, peace, health? 

I chose this passage because it is an example of Paul’s full and multi-plated life and ministry – he is in Ephesus, he’s reasoning every day in the lecture hall of Tyrranus, he’s in business with Priscilla and Aquila, he’s discipling a growing  group of believers, he’s witnessing to the Jews, and he’s carrying the burden of other churches, immature ones like Corinth. And life for him is made up of wide open doors of ministry and many adversaries – a riot, resistant legalists, and immature believers who don’t know about the Holy Spirit – and it is reason, not to get out of dodge, but to stay. 

And he applies the power of the resurrection to staying, not just dying power, or going power, but staying power. 

I suppose that would be my story – we have seen God come through for us as we have just kept at it – a long obedience in the same direction – persevering, and growing with the growing size and complexity of things.


1. PRAYER (John 15)
Devotionally, I just keep changing things up to keep the connection going/distinguish between study and devotion.

My wife and I learned to pray regularly far too late, but now we have a rhythm.

Pastorally, I spend more time teaching men to pray more than try and fix them – 3 groups of guys a month doing Keller’s book on prayer.

Communally, Southlands Church is at her finest in corporate fasting and prayer.

God has led us through his whispers as we’ve prayed. 

2. COLLABORATION (Acts 15: ‘it seemed right to us and the Holy Spirit’)
Prophet, priest, king – you don’t always have to be the prophet… you can’t always pull the bull horn…

I don’t only lead the team, I’m submitted to the team – Asher’s suspension.

We prepare and preach collaboratively – between 60-70%

I have some amazing kingly guys who are administrators and implementers.

I have empowered them to lead in areas that they are stronger than me – Erik – chief of staff, nick – Porterbrook, Matt – strat team, Kev – integration.

This means a loss of control, but:

Easy to delegate stuff you are not great at, but what about stuff you/enjoy are good at –leadership training, leading worship, hosting meetings ….you have to allow someone to do it worse than you initially.

Ebbs and flows more than exact planning.

We do have some routines – day off, prayer walk, skype calls with planters, night away every month, Friday night lights – missional midweek?

But mostly its rhythm - days in buckets, dinner around table, sex life, exercise, paddle board, study/reading, time with each kid, mission.

If you are aiming to be the guy who is just behind your desk or your pulpit, speaking to people in rows, you are never going to make disciples or raise up leaders. But sustainably, it’s gonna have to more circles than one on one coffees. 

Staff Elders, MP elders, Eplus, Staff, C2C,  prayer circles, when men pray, deacons, Brea Pastors, strat team.

What does it profit a man….rather let a plate fall than lose your soul…

Much of our fatigue is internal more than external – the saturated soul.

Pour out your soul, listen to your soul, speak to your soul, fill your soul.