I am currently doing a new series at our Crosspoint Campus, www.cpointchurch.org, called "Fresh Start: Lessons from the Life and Leadership of Nehemiah." I have placed the word, "Leadership" in the series title on purpose. The reason? Great question! Simply put, it is because of a lack of leadership in our lives that leads us to the place of needing a "Fresh Start." That lack of leadership could be self-leadership or leadership from an authority in our lives. What I am hoping to convey to our congregation in this series is the entire process that must take place so that a "Fresh Start" takes hold to become a permanent change.
Do you need a "Fresh Start" in an area in your life? Might there be a lack of leadership:
- physically -- are you eating right and exercising consistently?
- spiritually -- are you spending time with God on a consistent basis?
- relationally -- are you investing in key relationships continually?
- financially -- are you wisely spending and saving, or is there a lack of discipline that is leading to financial challenges or trouble?
- professionally -- are you correctly navigating the paradoxes of second chair leadership? Are you certain that you are where you need to be in this season or is it time to move on?
If you need a "Fresh Start" in one of these areas, consider this process:
1. Look Back at the Context! There is a context that will inform us of a failure in leadership. For Nehemiah, the context that informed him was the failure of three kings (2 Chronicles 36) that led to the Babylonian invasion of 605 and the desolation of Solomon's temple and the walls and gates of Jerusalem, the city of God. Examine the context of the leadership failure. Allow it to fully inform your reality.2. Face Reality! Call it for what it is. In Nehemiah 1, this emerging second chair leader called Israel's failure exactly that, sinful failure to keep up their end of the deal. He named it, repented of it, and asked for an opportunity to do something about it.
3. Envision a New Reality! Nehemiah captured God's heart for God's city and began to envision it. As a matter of fact, he envisioned it for 4 months (Kislev or December to Nisan or April) before he set out to approach King Artaxerses. A great read on this discipline is Andy Stanley's book Visioneering (Multonomah, 2000). What could a new reality be for you? Weight loss and health? Savings in the bank? Renewal of a marriage? Dream big my friend, dream big!
4. D.R.I.V.E. -- the Pursuit of the New Reality! We must develop a process of discipline that expresses our faith to successfully pursue a new reality. D.R.I.V.E. is an acronym from Mike Slaughter's book, Momentum for Life (Abingdon Press, 2005), that highlights a process of daily discipline that will sustain our momentum forward. Frankly, that is what we need, sustained momentum. I know it is what I need! What about you? Is there a process that you own and live by that will sustain your momentum of a fresh start that it might become a permanent fixture in your life?
If you are at all interested in listening to the audio of this series, click and follow this link. The messages are accessible on the bottom right portion of the web page. The message link is: http://www.cpointchurch.org/default.aspx?pid=43
Happy Fresh Start!