Achieving Your Vision Requires a Strong Team

The key to making your vision a reality is finding the right group of people. Brian Tome looks at the power of people and how having a strong team can change your life.

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    - Well, hey, welcome to Crossroads.
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    I'm Andy, the community pastor for Crossroads Anywhere.
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    I'm just really glad that you've joined us today.
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    We're back for our third week looking at
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    the book of Nehemiah,
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    but before we dive into our teaching,
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    we're actually going to spend some time in worship.
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    Now, these aren't just songs, but they are things
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    that help us articulate who God is
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    and who God says that we are.
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    This is just 15 minutes that we focus
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    our attention on God, that we slow down, that we pause,
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    and that we have an opportunity to say things
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    to and about God that maybe we wouldn't otherwise.
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    Even if you just listen and don't sing, that's okay.
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    Just think about these words
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    and what they mean for your life.
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    - I don't know if you're joining us online,
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    but I would just -- I don't know
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    what the temperature is for you online,
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    where you're at, where you're watching,
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    but it's been cold here. Can I get an amen?
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    Like I don't have any hair, so I wear this thing.
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    They tell me I look like Joe Pesci, but I'm okay with it.
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    Just to keep a little warmth.
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    You all came in with some more warmth tonight.
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    Like, don't let a scarf, don't let a coat hold you back.
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    You came in warmed up.
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    So I got a question for you:
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    Can we try a brand new song out with you?
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    Like, I mean, so new that it could be a train wreck.
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    Like, you know -- Anybody want to see that today?
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    I don't, I don't, but maybe you do. Hang on one second.
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    I say a train wreck because we literally played this song,
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    what do you guys say? Like. Two -- Twice.
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    We played it twice.
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    We started playing it about two hours ago
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    for the first time ever.
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    And so we're going to try it out with you
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    because y'all feel safe to me, okay.
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    So, all right. Yeah, a little special.
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    Like, don't tell anybody about it, okay?
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    It's just us and the internet, okay?
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    Keep it secret. All right, all right.
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    So here's the thing, we've been in this study
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    about this guy named Nehemiah.
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    If it's your first time, great, we'll catch you up.
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    But this guy named Nehemiah, he keeps coming back
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    to this in Scripture that anytime
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    there's something good that happens in his life,
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    he says these words: the good hand of God was upon me.
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    He finds favor at one point with a king, and he says,
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    "The good hand of God was with me."
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    The Bible teaches time and time again throughout it,
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    anything that's good has a source.
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    And that source is a Creator who loves you deeply.
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    Anything that's good has a source,
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    and that source loves you deeply.
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    So just do with me, online, in the room,
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    think about something in the last 24 hours that's been good.
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    Last 24 hours, something small like a spot --
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    A smile from my kid this morning.
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    Maybe you saw a sunrise and you're like,
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    "Thank you, Lord, because it's cold."
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    Got it? Anything good, and now say thank you.
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    It's got a source.
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    I'm going to teach it to you.
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    Well, I'm going to teach myself this song as we go,
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    but we'll learn it together.
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    Sing it to the source of everything that's good.
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    It goes like this.
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    - Y'all did great with that, like, better than me.
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    This next part, a conversation with our Creator.
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    - This song that we're singing is another song
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    that comes straight from the mouth of Jesus.
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    Listen to what He says in Matthew 7:
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    Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine
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    and puts them into practice is like a wise man
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    who built his house on the rock.
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    The rain came down, the streams rose
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    and the winds blew and beat against the house.
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    And yet it did not fall because
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    it had its foundations on the rock.
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    Friends, I want to tell you tonight,
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    there's one thing in our lives
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    that's going to be absolutely inevitable,
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    that's that rain will come, opposition will come,
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    struggle will come, sickness will come,
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    hurt and pain will come.
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    But what Jesus says is when we build
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    our lives completely on Him, on what He says,
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    on who He is, on the love and the grace
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    and the mercy that He's given us, we will not fall.
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    Amen?
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    So, if you want to take
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    just even a step closer to Him tonight,
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    let's sing these words together.
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    Let's put our trust and our faith in Him.
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    - Hey, let me pray for us.
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    Father, I'm grateful for all that You do.
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    You have not removed the rain,
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    but you have walked with me through it.
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    Thank you, God. All this is gratitude for You.
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    I pray all this because of You, Jesus. Amen. Amen.
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    Hey, maybe you're joining for the first time online,
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    or maybe you're brand new with us and you're like,
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    "What in the world are these people doing?"
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    Everything you just saw is gratitude
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    because we believe in this God who sees us,
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    who's with us, and who's so generous
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    and powerful to be with us. He's given us so much.
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    So it's all gratitude.
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    So we don't just give our songs here.
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    I give my choices to Him, my decisions to Him.
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    I try to give my words on my best days,
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    although my kids pull maybe the worst words out of my mouth.
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    But I try to give my whole self to Him.
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    And one of the things I give Him is my resources.
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    So you can join me at Crossroads.net/give
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    and give of that too, out of abundance and go --
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    Just saying, "God, what you've given me,
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    I want to give it back to you." That's all we do there.
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    This place is way better together.
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    So good to be with you both online and in this space.
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    Why don't you turn to somebody in the room
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    and say, "Hey, great to be with you."
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    If you're online, so glad you joined us. Stick around.
  • 00:28:22
    [crying]
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    - She's beautiful, guys.
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    - Oh, so good to see you. - I know.
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    - We don't want more friends, we want real friends.
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    Friends who make us feel like we belong.
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    Imagine being able to be yourself
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    and still be accepted. No judgments. No fine print.
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    Groups are a safe space to be who we are
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    and grow together.
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    Life is better together. Join a group.
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    - Some of the people in that video
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    I've known for over a decade, and that video
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    just reminds me how important it is to have
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    a community that sees you through different life stages,
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    that is around for the long haul.
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    And I love that Crossroads is a place
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    that fosters that kind of friendship
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    and that kind of deep community.
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    Around here we believe that church isn't just
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    a building or a religious institution.
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    It's not bound by a single place on the map
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    or a time on the calendar.
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    It's people who are living out
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    the movement that Jesus started.
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    Now, if you want to get connected
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    with other people living out this movement,
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    one of the best ways to do it is just join a group.
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    Groups are small gatherings that meet
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    every 1 to 2 weeks, both digitally and in person,
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    from life stage to shared interest,
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    spiritual growth, healing.
  • 00:29:55
    There's hundreds of groups that are ready for you
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    and they kick off for the season on January 22nd.
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    You hand a crossroads.net/groups
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    to find a group that fits you.
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    One of the biggest weekends of the entire year
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    is right around the corner.
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    It is the Super Bowl of Preaching.
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    It is crazy, it's fun, and you do not want to miss it.
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    And we'd actually love your help,
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    if you live near one of our physical sites,
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    making this party happen for your friends,
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    your family, your neighbors.
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    We'd love to have you sign up just for this one weekend
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    to help throw the greatest Super Bowl party
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    your city has ever seen.
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    Head to Crossroads.net/SuperBowl to sign up.
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    And hey, if you don't live near one of our physical sites,
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    our Crossroads Anywhere Community, we'd love
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    to help you throw a great party for your friends.
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    We've got kits available first come, first serve.
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    Just head to Crossroads.net/anywhere
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    to sign up and we'll mail it to you wherever you are.
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    Now today Brian is continuing in the book of Nehemiah
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    and talking about having the right people around you
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    can help make your vision become a reality.
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    - It's your company's annual post-new year's holiday party,
  • 00:31:22
    and the karaoke contest is about to begin.
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    Never mind that you were booed off the stage last year.
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    You got Beyonce in your mind
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    and a total lack of self-awareness.
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    Buzz, buzz Queen bee.
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    You insist on using your own microphone.
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    You don't know where your coworkers have been,
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    plus it matches your outfit, gold on gold on gold.
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    - You all ready for me?
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    - It's go time. Office space glory awaits.
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    [lamb bleating]
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    - You nailed it, Karaoke Kelly. See you next year.
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    - Ha ha ha! Oh, that American tradition of karaoke.
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    What is it about karaoke that's so interesting, right?
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    I'm not sure what's more interesting,
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    seeing somebody who thinks that they're really good
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    or seeing somebody who knows they're not good,
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    but they want to give everybody else
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    in the room a good time. Right?
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    We're going to talk about that tonight.
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    We're looking at Nehemiah, how his vision was
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    to rebuild the wall, which I have to tell you,
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    this is really bothering me up here right now.
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    Anybody who has a construction background, which I do,
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    this is not the way these courses should be laid.
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    They should be splitting.
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    Splitting the course like this.
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    Some artsy person just came up here
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    and started jamming stuff in here. Not good.
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    Someone who's never actually had mortar
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    underneath their fingernails.
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    You're supposed to stagger the joints, people.
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    Don't you know these things?
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    All right. I do have a little OCD.
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    I'll stop right there because it's not going to get better.
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    But no, no, it's really bothering me.
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    Really bothering me. Oh, gosh. All right.
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    That'll be fixed by next service.
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    Anyway, let's pray before we do anything else.
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    God, I'm thankful for our time together today.
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    And I'm asking you to just quicken our hearts
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    and quicken our minds and quicken my mind
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    to be in sync with what You want to have said
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    about You and Your people today.
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    Help us connect with You.
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    Help us to be different when we leave here today
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    because You've given us something.
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    And I'm just honored, God, that I get to talk today
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    about transcendent things that are based on you.
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    My most important prayer, God,
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    is that I would honor You today.
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    And I pray these things according to the character
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    and identity of Jesus. Amen.
  • 00:33:42
    So Nehemiah is a book in the Old Testament.
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    We have Nehemiah, who is a guy who has a vision,
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    he has a goal, he has a resolution.
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    We're using those three terms interchangeably this series,
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    even though those are three different things,
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    there's nuances to them.
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    And he hears that the wall
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    that goes around Jerusalem is down.
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    And this really bothers him, because the nation
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    of Israel has been defeated by Persia. They're in exile.
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    Most of the people who are behind
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    the walls of Jerusalem, most of the Jews,
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    they're transported all over the Persian Empire
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    or are slaves or as grunt laborers.
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    Nehemiah is at the top of the food chain.
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    He is the cupbearer to the king, King Artaxerxes,
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    the most powerful man in the world, really,
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    at that time, at that point in the known world.
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    And it's a high, high job, tasting wine,
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    making sure the king doesn't get poisoned.
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    He hears about the walls being down and he's crushed.
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    Oh my goodness. What? What is wrong here?
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    He realizes that it's not just a sign they've been conquered
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    and they don't need their defenses any longer,
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    but it's a sign of their national pride.
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    And he has an emotional reaction and in week one
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    we took a look at how we have to pay attention to our emotions.
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    Don't make a resolution or goal unless you're feeling it.
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    And if you're feeling something, recognize
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    it might be God trying to talk to you.
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    And he goes about the task of getting this done.
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    Chuck talked last week about the planning process,
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    all of us have to go through a planning process.
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    And today we're going to talk about
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    probably most important thing to re-center us,
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    and that is people. People.
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    What is the most important thing that God has ever created?
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    I'll tell you it's a person.
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    It's you. It's the person next to you.
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    God has created a lot of things.
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    There's not even a close second to a human being.
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    Human beings are the only thing that
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    have been created in the image of God.
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    We have feelings that animals don't have.
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    They may have some feelings, but not to a degree we have.
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    We have the ability to communicate.
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    We have the ability to create.
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    We have the ability to imagine things.
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    We have the ability to cast vision.
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    We have all kinds of things that God has.
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    We have the ability to connect in unique
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    and challenging ways.
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    And so any goal, any vision, any resolution
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    that is about you is going to come up wanting.
  • 00:36:05
    Because if it's not about people,
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    then God's not going to be all that involved in it.
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    The most powerful things we do are things that
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    we get stretched in, we get challenged in,
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    and we can tie it to how other people will get blessed.
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    Let's read Nehemiah 2:17-18. Here is what it says:
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    Then I said to them, Nehemiah says this,
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    Nehemiah tries to rally the troops and said,
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    "Look at this. Look at this wall that's down here.
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    Do you not notice this? This speaks poorly of us.
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    This speaks poorly of our our God.
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    We're being derided. We're in derision.
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    People are cracking on us. This is not well.
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    We don't like this, do we?"
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    Nehemiah is trying to boost their self esteem,
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    call them to something that's higher than
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    their natural, petty preoccupations.
  • 00:37:12
    It isn't about I've always wanted to build a wall.
  • 00:37:14
    It's not about that.
  • 00:37:16
    It's about how the people are, how they've been shamed,
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    how the work of God has been thwarted.
  • 00:37:23
    Every vision God gives is about people. Every vision.
  • 00:37:28
    In fact, even if it's a vision for the planet,
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    to preserve the planet, it's for people
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    because people need the planet to be able to
  • 00:37:38
    produce oxygen and assimilate the proper carbon dioxide.
  • 00:37:42
    Because people need to be taking care of the planet
  • 00:37:45
    for people's sake and for God's sake.
  • 00:37:48
    How much do you think about these things?
  • 00:37:50
    When you think about
  • 00:37:51
    the challenges you have in your life,
  • 00:37:53
    the things you want to do, how often does
  • 00:37:55
    the welfare of other people pop up?
  • 00:37:57
    How many goals do you have or things
  • 00:38:00
    that you would like to do that benefit other people,
  • 00:38:03
    or that other people are the driver?
  • 00:38:05
    If you're normal, the answer to that would be none.
  • 00:38:09
    If you're normal, average American,
  • 00:38:11
    we bought into this lie of individualistic,
  • 00:38:14
    rugged individualism, it's all about me,
  • 00:38:17
    my goals, my actualization, my feelings.
  • 00:38:22
    And we only think about other people
  • 00:38:24
    and to the degree that we need other people
  • 00:38:26
    to do what we want them to do.
  • 00:38:29
    But it's really not about them or blessing them.
  • 00:38:31
    It's really about us.
  • 00:38:34
    Nehemiah has a shot at rebuilding this wall
  • 00:38:37
    because he has been able -- Okay. All right.
  • 00:38:44
    Didn't know how that was going to go.
  • 00:38:45
    He's been able to build trust and interdependence
  • 00:38:49
    with people because he's a relational person.
  • 00:38:52
    He loves people.
  • 00:38:53
    King Artaxerxes gives him signed commendations
  • 00:38:57
    for the king's forests and for resources
  • 00:38:59
    and all that stuff, because the King sees him
  • 00:39:01
    emotionally distraught and he wants to help him.
  • 00:39:06
    When we start to be about other people than ourselves,
  • 00:39:09
    other people will want to help us.
  • 00:39:11
    But if we're only fixated on ourselves,
  • 00:39:13
    we're not going to get much help.
  • 00:39:15
    As the Nation of Israel goes about doing these things,
  • 00:39:19
    here's three -- four things that you and I need
  • 00:39:21
    if we're going to actually do the things
  • 00:39:24
    we want to do in 2024 or after that.
  • 00:39:27
    The first actually comes from Nehemiah 4:6.
  • 00:39:29
    I'll just let the Bible speak for itself.
  • 00:39:31
    Nehemiah 4:6, it says this:
  • 00:39:34
    So we built the wall and all the wall
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    was joined together to half its height,
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    for the people had a mind to work.
  • 00:39:44
    The people had a mind to work.
  • 00:39:47
    It doesn't matter how great the vision is,
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    how great the goal is, how great the planning is
  • 00:39:52
    unless somebody wants to work,
  • 00:39:55
    it's not going to get done.
  • 00:39:57
    Jesus said, "My father --"
  • 00:39:59
    Well, before I even tell you the verse,
  • 00:40:01
    what do you think God's doing right now?
  • 00:40:03
    Like right now, what do you think He's doing?
  • 00:40:05
    Do you think He's binging a show?
  • 00:40:06
    You think He's, you know, you think
  • 00:40:09
    He's making a list and checking it twice?
  • 00:40:11
    What do you think He's doing right now?
  • 00:40:13
    - Working.
  • 00:40:14
    - Yeah, according to Jesus, He's working.
  • 00:40:15
    That's what He's doing.
  • 00:40:16
    Jesus says, "My father is always at work
  • 00:40:18
    up in the present time, and I, too, am working."
  • 00:40:22
    God is working. He worked to bring you here today.
  • 00:40:26
    He's working to bring you into relationship with Him.
  • 00:40:29
    He's working on the pitfalls of your life
  • 00:40:31
    that you don't even want Him to work on.
  • 00:40:33
    He's working on other things
  • 00:40:34
    that are happening in this world,
  • 00:40:35
    and He partners with us in ways that are very mysterious,
  • 00:40:38
    because He gives us free will and we mess up His work,
  • 00:40:41
    and He depends on us for His work.
  • 00:40:43
    But He works, He works.
  • 00:40:46
    And so when we come into relationship with God, w
  • 00:40:49
    ork ethic is going to be a big, big deal.
  • 00:40:52
    It's one of the reasons why, if I'm going to hire
  • 00:40:54
    a plumber or hire somebody like that,
  • 00:40:56
    I won't hire them if I know they're a Christian.
  • 00:41:02
    Or specifically, I won't hire them
  • 00:41:03
    if they put a Christian symbol on their business card.
  • 00:41:06
    Because what they're trying to tell me is,
  • 00:41:08
    "I'm in the club. You should hire me."
  • 00:41:10
    I don't care if you're in the club.
  • 00:41:11
    I want to know if you have a mind to work.
  • 00:41:13
    In all my years of construction, I knew believers
  • 00:41:16
    that were in construction who did not have a mind to work,
  • 00:41:20
    who took shortcuts. Not all of us.
  • 00:41:22
    Certainly not all of us, but some.
  • 00:41:24
    And when someone advertises their faith
  • 00:41:26
    as their business and thinks it's going to give them
  • 00:41:28
    a little nod, I'm like, uh, normally
  • 00:41:30
    it works the opposite way.
  • 00:41:31
    Your work ethic should speak for itself.
  • 00:41:34
    Our work is critical before God.
  • 00:41:37
    God, when He puts human beings on the earth,
  • 00:41:40
    He puts us here to work.
  • 00:41:43
    Before any sin comes into the world,
  • 00:41:45
    before any fruit is eaten that shouldn't eat,
  • 00:41:48
    Adam and Eve were working.
  • 00:41:50
    They were put here to take care of the planet,
  • 00:41:52
    take care of the garden, name people.
  • 00:41:55
    Work ethic, it's a big deal.
  • 00:41:58
    You can't attract anyone that you aren't right now.
  • 00:42:02
    So you can't attract workers to your life
  • 00:42:04
    if you and I aren't a worker.
  • 00:42:06
    And we'll see in a moment that Nehemiah is.
  • 00:42:09
    The second thing that we see that happens
  • 00:42:11
    with this project as it goes up,
  • 00:42:13
    it's not just that these people come together
  • 00:42:15
    and they've got a work ethic, but they also have
  • 00:42:17
    the humility to actually follow.
  • 00:42:22
    Ours a day where, you know, people want
  • 00:42:24
    to read about leadership, go to leadership conferences,
  • 00:42:26
    leadership seminars. We want to be a leader.
  • 00:42:28
    We tell our kids to be leaders.
  • 00:42:29
    All that thing is fine and good.
  • 00:42:31
    But, you know, if you want to write a book
  • 00:42:34
    that no one's going to read,
  • 00:42:35
    write a book on how to be a follower.
  • 00:42:38
    If you want to see a loser conference
  • 00:42:41
    that no one would show up to, think about
  • 00:42:43
    a conference on followership.
  • 00:42:46
    Like, no one wants that, right?
  • 00:42:48
    Well, uh, no, everyone wants that.
  • 00:42:51
    In fact, every great leader was first,
  • 00:42:54
    and is right now, a great follower.
  • 00:42:56
    Nehemiah got this plum assignment and his work ethic
  • 00:43:00
    because he was a great follower of King Artaxerxes.
  • 00:43:02
    He had an amazing work ethic
  • 00:43:05
    and served him really, really well.
  • 00:43:09
    Jesus Christ is a great follower.
  • 00:43:12
    He says, "I do nothing I don't see the Father doing."
  • 00:43:15
    He's following the Father.
  • 00:43:18
    The Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Bible says,
  • 00:43:21
    points to and glorifies Jesus.
  • 00:43:24
    You know, when I give a sermon on the Holy Spirit,
  • 00:43:26
    when I give a sermon that the Holy Spirit
  • 00:43:29
    is the X factor of God that fills you.
  • 00:43:32
    If you come in relationship with Jesus,
  • 00:43:34
    the Holy Spirit actually fills you
  • 00:43:36
    and there's an ongoing filling of the Holy Spirit
  • 00:43:38
    that gives you an X factor of power,
  • 00:43:40
    gives you a peace that passes all understanding.
  • 00:43:43
    It's amazing. It's the greatest thing going.
  • 00:43:46
    It's the greatest perk for being a follower of Jesus.
  • 00:43:49
    The thing about the Holy Spirit, when I talk about Him,
  • 00:43:51
    is that He doesn't really like to be talked about
  • 00:43:54
    because His job, according to the Bible,
  • 00:43:57
    is to point and give all glory to Jesus
  • 00:44:00
    because He's a follower of Jesus.
  • 00:44:03
    Following is a huge, huge thing,
  • 00:44:06
    and if we don't have the to follow,
  • 00:44:09
    then we will never have the strength to lead,
  • 00:44:11
    no one will ever want to follow us anyway.
  • 00:44:13
    In Nehemiah we see different people,
  • 00:44:16
    some who follow and some who don't.
  • 00:44:18
    Let's take a look these back to back verses.
  • 00:44:20
    Here's some that do, verse four, chapter three:
  • 00:44:23
    "And next to them," there's going to be a lot of names
  • 00:44:26
    today that I'm not sure I'm going to get right. Okay?
  • 00:44:31
    So just relax. You wouldn't do any better. Here we go.
  • 00:44:51
    You get the sense that they're right beside each other,
  • 00:44:55
    side by side by side.
  • 00:44:57
    And there's all these names in here.
  • 00:45:00
    I start counting up in chapter four alone,
  • 00:45:03
    I counted, I think it was 43 names in chapter four.
  • 00:45:06
    They're all dozens upon dozens upon dozens of names
  • 00:45:09
    of people who had a mind to work
  • 00:45:13
    and are working along side other people,
  • 00:45:16
    and are following the vision of Nehemiah
  • 00:45:20
    that comes from God.
  • 00:45:22
    And we know their names because they're following,
  • 00:45:25
    because they're pushing.
  • 00:45:26
    This goes against our cultural predilection
  • 00:45:29
    towards individualism.
  • 00:45:31
    We're a very individualistic culture.
  • 00:45:34
    We don't exalt following. We exalt rebelling.
  • 00:45:39
    If fact, if you're a follower, you're a loser.
  • 00:45:41
    You've checked your mind at the door,
  • 00:45:42
    or you're a lemming or something like that.
  • 00:45:44
    There's all kinds of derogatory terms for that
  • 00:45:48
    and it doesn't bode us well.
  • 00:45:49
    And we have all kinds of things that we say
  • 00:45:51
    that are just not true.
  • 00:45:52
    Well, if you want something done,
  • 00:45:53
    you got to do it yourself, right?
  • 00:45:56
    Well, that may work if you want the bathroom painted,
  • 00:45:59
    you can probably do it yourself.
  • 00:46:00
    But when you start getting into things
  • 00:46:02
    that are more complicated, you can't do it yourself.
  • 00:46:05
    And if you've trained yourself to not be a follower
  • 00:46:08
    and to not engender and endear trust from other people,
  • 00:46:11
    and to not love other people
  • 00:46:13
    and not bless other people,
  • 00:46:15
    if you've been operating that way,
  • 00:46:17
    then you'll hit a wall because it's just a matter of time
  • 00:46:19
    when you realize there's something you cannot do.
  • 00:46:23
    It's not in you. You don't have the resources to do it.
  • 00:46:25
    I'm going to talk about financial resources.
  • 00:46:27
    I mean emotional resources, mental resources.
  • 00:46:31
    America, amazing country.
  • 00:46:33
    No one founded our country.
  • 00:46:35
    There were founders who founded our country.
  • 00:46:38
    It wasn't any specific person.
  • 00:46:41
    I've been over to Rome a couple times,
  • 00:46:43
    and you go to the Vatican.
  • 00:46:44
    You got the Sistine Chapel over there.
  • 00:46:46
    Maybe, arguably the one of the --
  • 00:46:48
    Not the greatest work of art but certainly
  • 00:46:50
    the greatest ceiling in the history of the world,
  • 00:46:52
    the Sistine Chapel ceiling done by Michelangelo.
  • 00:46:55
    And actually, it was designed by Michelangelo
  • 00:46:58
    and overseen by Michelangelo.
  • 00:47:00
    But the majority of the brush strokes
  • 00:47:03
    were not Michelangelo. He had a team.
  • 00:47:05
    If he didn't do it -- if he did it all himself,
  • 00:47:07
    he never would have gotten it done in his lifetime.
  • 00:47:10
    One is too small of a number for greatness.
  • 00:47:15
    If you want to be great, if you want something
  • 00:47:19
    in your life beyond where you are right now,
  • 00:47:20
    you're going to have to learn to allow people
  • 00:47:23
    to trust you and allow yourself to trust other people.
  • 00:47:26
    Andrew Carnegie, who I think at one point
  • 00:47:28
    was the richest man in the country, if not the world.
  • 00:47:30
    He said this:
  • 00:47:38
    Nehemiah brings all of these disparate people together,
  • 00:47:42
    kings, soldiers, priests, princesses, princes,
  • 00:47:46
    merchants, tradesmen, men, women.
  • 00:47:48
    He brings them all together for this goal
  • 00:47:51
    of actually putting the wall together properly
  • 00:47:54
    and having the course lines be where they should be.
  • 00:47:56
    It's still bothering me.
  • 00:47:57
    I shouldn't be looking at this anymore.
  • 00:47:58
    It's really -- It's really freaking me out.
  • 00:48:01
    I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
  • 00:48:03
    I can't even look at it. It ticks me off. All right.
  • 00:48:07
    I'm not kidding. I'm not kidding. It really bothers me.
  • 00:48:09
    Where was I? What was I talking about?
  • 00:48:13
    And God loves all the people who did this prop.
  • 00:48:15
    He loves them. He loves them.
  • 00:48:18
    And they did their best, it just wasn't good enough.
  • 00:48:22
    But He loves them anyway.
  • 00:48:27
    We are all good. I trust you, we are all good.
  • 00:48:29
    All right, where was I? I lost my train of thought.
  • 00:48:31
    What was I saying? Uh, partying. Partying? Uh.
  • 00:48:38
    Ah, I know I got it, I got it was individualism, right?
  • 00:48:42
    We talk about things like
  • 00:48:44
    pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
  • 00:48:47
    That's a fallacy.
  • 00:48:48
    That original saying was tongue in cheek ridiculousness,
  • 00:48:52
    and yet we use it that way.
  • 00:48:54
    Your bootstraps are kind of like I have on these boots here,
  • 00:48:58
    these little straps. Right?
  • 00:49:00
    Except your boot straps will be on the side
  • 00:49:01
    so you pull your boots on.
  • 00:49:03
    And then someone just made a stupid statement like,
  • 00:49:05
    "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps."
  • 00:49:07
    You can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps,
  • 00:49:09
    equal force goes down as comes up.
  • 00:49:12
    And they meant it as a joke, like it was stupid.
  • 00:49:15
    But we go, "Oh yeah, gotta pull yourself by bootstraps."
  • 00:49:18
    No, you're stupid if you say that.
  • 00:49:20
    The whole point of the people who originated
  • 00:49:22
    that saying was, you can't pull yourself up by your boots.
  • 00:49:25
    You need other people.
  • 00:49:27
    We need other people. All of us need this.
  • 00:49:30
    But we've got this myth of rugged individualism
  • 00:49:33
    which gives me the goal that I should be able
  • 00:49:36
    to do it on my own and not lean into anybody else
  • 00:49:39
    and not know anybody else.
  • 00:49:43
    I think this is personally,
  • 00:49:45
    all of us who are in the health care industry,
  • 00:49:47
    which I call myself in the spiritual health care industry.
  • 00:49:49
    All of us are scratching our heads,
  • 00:49:51
    people in my pastor, industry, counselors,
  • 00:49:54
    physicians, neuroscientists,
  • 00:49:56
    everyone is scratching their head like,
  • 00:49:58
    what is going on with the runaway increasing
  • 00:50:02
    rate of mental illness? What is going on?
  • 00:50:08
    My personal opinion, my personal opinion is that
  • 00:50:12
    we've never been more isolated and self reliant
  • 00:50:14
    than we are right now.
  • 00:50:16
    And you'll get ill if you think you can do it on your own
  • 00:50:20
    and you can be a rugged individualist,
  • 00:50:21
    and you can be a lone wolf,
  • 00:50:23
    and you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
  • 00:50:25
    You can't, you won't, you're a ticking time bomb.
  • 00:50:28
    I say that because I love you and because I believe
  • 00:50:31
    I'm your pastor and God wants you to hear things like this.
  • 00:50:35
    The way that normal America operates their life,
  • 00:50:39
    being about themselves and not people,
  • 00:50:41
    and not having a very close circle of people
  • 00:50:43
    around them does not work.
  • 00:50:48
    And the statistics and the consequences
  • 00:50:51
    are self-evident, it doesn't work.
  • 00:50:55
    Nehemiah gets his wall built because he's inside
  • 00:51:00
    of a national structure that has always known
  • 00:51:06
    that it's about the whole.
  • 00:51:07
    It's not about the individual, it's about the whole.
  • 00:51:11
    First five books of the Bible: Matthew, Mark --
  • 00:51:14
    Excuse me. That's New Testament.
  • 00:51:15
    First five books of the Bible:
  • 00:51:17
    Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
  • 00:51:20
    First five books and then the Old Testament,
  • 00:51:21
    also known as the Pentateuch. Penta, five; teuch, law.
  • 00:51:26
    No, Torah's law. I'm not sure what teuch is.
  • 00:51:28
    Pentateuch, those five books get picked apart a lot
  • 00:51:32
    because there's a lot of laws in there.
  • 00:51:35
    You can't understand those laws unless you understand
  • 00:51:38
    those laws are in there to govern a people group
  • 00:51:42
    so they get along well with one another.
  • 00:51:44
    It's not that God is putting in hundreds of laws
  • 00:51:46
    just because He wants to make things up
  • 00:51:48
    for us to toe the line on.
  • 00:51:51
    There's things in there like eye for an eye, tooth for tooth.
  • 00:51:54
    Jesus when He says, "You've heard it said,
  • 00:51:56
    'Eye for an eye, tooth for tooth.'
  • 00:51:58
    But I say to you, turn the other cheek."
  • 00:52:00
    He's quoting the Pentateuch.
  • 00:52:03
    And He's saying, "You've heard this, we all know this.
  • 00:52:08
    But I say to you," and what He's doing is
  • 00:52:10
    He's not overturning that law.
  • 00:52:12
    That law was meant for a just society to give out justice.
  • 00:52:16
    If you lost your eye,
  • 00:52:17
    it wasn't okay for the other person to kill you.
  • 00:52:20
    No, it would be the judge might say, "Okay,
  • 00:52:22
    well, take out your eye, too.
  • 00:52:24
    If you maliciously took his eye out, we'll take yours out."
  • 00:52:26
    Wasn't saying that was necessarily
  • 00:52:28
    going to literally happen,
  • 00:52:29
    but saying just wise for just society there has to be
  • 00:52:32
    appropriate response, not totally overreacting.
  • 00:52:35
    And what Jesus was saying was when He said,
  • 00:52:37
    "I say to you," He's saying,
  • 00:52:38
    "Don't take the law into your own hands.
  • 00:52:40
    You're not a judge.
  • 00:52:42
    There's people who are, and that's not you."
  • 00:52:45
    You're the individual vigilante
  • 00:52:47
    who wants to make things right.
  • 00:52:48
    Jesus says, "No, no, that's not your role.
  • 00:52:50
    Your role is turn the other cheek.
  • 00:52:52
    Turn the other cheek. Get over it.
  • 00:52:53
    There's other people in society
  • 00:52:55
    who will hopefully make that right.
  • 00:52:56
    Call the cops, do whatever you want,
  • 00:52:57
    but stop thinking everything depends on you.
  • 00:53:01
    It doesn't work this way."
  • 00:53:05
    When when Crossroads first started,
  • 00:53:08
    and, you know, we just started growing like a weed
  • 00:53:11
    and, you know, like, six months in the church, I'm not kidding.
  • 00:53:16
    Around six months, a year in the Crossroads
  • 00:53:19
    was already bigger than I ever thought a dream church would be.
  • 00:53:21
    It was, um, really crazy.
  • 00:53:25
    And we're like, "We don't know what we're doing here."
  • 00:53:30
    No one was deluded, like, "Oh, I got this figured out,
  • 00:53:33
    pull myself by my bootstraps and just soldier on.
  • 00:53:35
    Got this figured out."
  • 00:53:37
    No, I knew, and everybody else around knew, like,
  • 00:53:39
    "We are way in over our heads. We know nothing.
  • 00:53:42
    We are dying here. This is not going well."
  • 00:53:44
    So we brought in a consultant and this guy came in
  • 00:53:47
    and I actually called him instead of a consultant,
  • 00:53:49
    I said that he was my insultant,
  • 00:53:51
    because all he would do would insult me,
  • 00:53:53
    the whole time he'd come in.
  • 00:53:55
    "Why are you doing that? You got to do that."
  • 00:53:58
    He's a great guy. I'm still close to him today.
  • 00:54:00
    His name is Don Cousins.
  • 00:54:02
    He's the father of Kirk Cousins,
  • 00:54:04
    who was the NFL quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.
  • 00:54:08
    So any intensity that Kirk gets, I never met Kirk,
  • 00:54:11
    I know his dad, he gets it from his dad.
  • 00:54:13
    Very very intense, just intense guy.
  • 00:54:17
    And Don said this to me, that's always rung true.
  • 00:54:20
    He said, because we were always having problems
  • 00:54:23
    with volunteers and staff
  • 00:54:24
    and a lot of different types of problems,
  • 00:54:27
    but they all basically boil down to this.
  • 00:54:30
    Don said this, he said, "The toughest people to work with
  • 00:54:32
    are those who are deluded about themselves.
  • 00:54:36
    They think they can sing karaoke, but they can't,
  • 00:54:40
    and they can't laugh about it.
  • 00:54:42
    They think they have the gift of teaching, but they don't.
  • 00:54:46
    They think they're a leader, but they aren't.
  • 00:54:48
    They think that they're funny, but they -- no.
  • 00:54:53
    The hardest people are people who do it all themselves.
  • 00:54:55
    And the folks who are deluded about themselves
  • 00:54:57
    are almost always people who are isolated
  • 00:55:00
    and don't have people around them who tell them the truth.
  • 00:55:04
    Now, there's a humility that's necessary
  • 00:55:08
    if we're going to ask somebody to tell us the truth.
  • 00:55:10
    There's going to be humility that we need
  • 00:55:12
    if we're going to grow.
  • 00:55:13
    So right after that verse where Nehemiah names
  • 00:55:16
    all these people who are working side by side,
  • 00:55:19
    look at the very next verse. It says:
  • 00:55:31
    All of a sudden the names stop.
  • 00:55:35
    All of a sudden, people stop being memorialized
  • 00:55:38
    because they don't have a mind to work.
  • 00:55:39
    Here's what would happen, these nobles, they would --
  • 00:55:43
    They had land perhaps, they had authority,
  • 00:55:47
    they had servants.
  • 00:55:48
    And people come to Nehemiah like, "Okay,
  • 00:55:50
    put me to work, coach. Put me in, put me in.
  • 00:55:52
    What can I do? How can I how can I do all this stuff?"
  • 00:55:54
    And the nobles, it said, would not stoop,
  • 00:55:57
    or some translations say would not show their neck.
  • 00:56:01
    What does that mean? That means to stoop
  • 00:56:04
    or to show your neck comes down like this.
  • 00:56:07
    In some ancient customs this was
  • 00:56:09
    how you would lose your head, you'd expose your neck,
  • 00:56:11
    say, "Go ahead, I sacrifice." Right?
  • 00:56:13
    That's not what's happening here.
  • 00:56:14
    By not exposing your neck, not stooping,
  • 00:56:16
    what's being said is they're refusing
  • 00:56:19
    to put a yoke on them to work.
  • 00:56:22
    They're not being put to work.
  • 00:56:25
    Jesus says in the book of Matthew,
  • 00:56:28
    I'll read it for you. Matthew 11:28:
  • 00:56:51
    When you come to Christ and when you start following Christ,
  • 00:56:54
    there is a lot of difficult things that are before you.
  • 00:56:58
    Jesus does not promise you an easy life.
  • 00:57:01
    We need to reclaim a doctrine of difficulty.
  • 00:57:04
    The closer you get to God, in many ways,
  • 00:57:07
    the more difficult your life will get, because
  • 00:57:08
    the more important assignments He will give you
  • 00:57:11
    that other weenie boys and weenie girls won't do.
  • 00:57:14
    And if you want to walk close to them,
  • 00:57:16
    you'll choose to pick up your cross and follow Him,
  • 00:57:18
    because that's what Jesus told us to do,
  • 00:57:20
    "Pick up My cross," meaning embrace difficulty.
  • 00:57:24
    At some point I'll have a whole series on this.
  • 00:57:26
    I've been pretty hot on this recently.
  • 00:57:28
    But when Jesus says, "Take my yoke upon you,
  • 00:57:31
    my burden is easy," He's not saying,
  • 00:57:33
    "I'm not going to put anything on you."
  • 00:57:35
    This is what old carpenters would do.
  • 00:57:37
    You would stoop down your neck, if you were an ox,
  • 00:57:39
    and they would measure your neck,
  • 00:57:42
    and they would make you a yoke
  • 00:57:43
    that was custom fit for your neck,
  • 00:57:45
    because if it wasn't custom fit for your neck,
  • 00:57:47
    then you'd have pinch points
  • 00:57:49
    and it would be very, very uncomfortable.
  • 00:57:51
    But if you have a yoke that's cut for your neck
  • 00:57:53
    and can equally bear weight,
  • 00:57:55
    you can bear a lot of weight and be comfortable.
  • 00:57:58
    That's what Jesus is saying, "Take My yoke, My yoke,
  • 00:58:02
    the one that's designed for you.
  • 00:58:04
    Do things that I want you to do, not necessarily
  • 00:58:06
    things that everybody else wants you to do."
  • 00:58:07
    And the nobles, they refuse to to stoop their neck down
  • 00:58:11
    because they were saying, "No, you're not putting
  • 00:58:13
    a yoke on me. No, no, I'm not working." And they didn't.
  • 00:58:18
    And we don't know their names because
  • 00:58:20
    they weren't humble enough to be immortalized
  • 00:58:23
    like all the other names that I can't pronounce.
  • 00:58:26
    No work, no name.
  • 00:58:30
    When you don't work, you don't get a name.
  • 00:58:33
    When you don't roll up your sleeves
  • 00:58:35
    and go after things, you're not remembered.
  • 00:58:37
    When you do and you're thinking of people,
  • 00:58:40
    people grieve you, they want you, they need you
  • 00:58:42
    because you added value.
  • 00:58:44
    Three: communal connection. Communal connection.
  • 00:58:47
    There is communal connection with everybody here,
  • 00:58:50
    they're all doing their thing,
  • 00:58:52
    they're all hanging out with each other. Nehemiah 3:23-24:
  • 00:59:04
    And it just keeps going, naming more names.
  • 00:59:06
    And they repair beside their house.
  • 00:59:09
    Nehemiah is not dumb. He says, "I'm a leader.
  • 00:59:11
    I'm going to help you have skin in the game.
  • 00:59:14
    This means you're going to build
  • 00:59:15
    the part of the wall that's outside your house,
  • 00:59:17
    because you're going to want
  • 00:59:18
    that part of the wall to be strong."
  • 00:59:20
    And they also had all the rubble and all the rocks
  • 00:59:22
    that were there to rebuild the wall.
  • 00:59:24
    And they're doing this side by side by side.
  • 00:59:29
    Again, communal connection.
  • 00:59:36
    When I say something like, you know,
  • 00:59:38
    Jesus loves you and He died for you.
  • 00:59:43
    I'm half right when I say that. He does love you.
  • 00:59:50
    And if you receive Him, you do get the benefits
  • 00:59:53
    of His death so that you don't have to die eternally.
  • 00:59:55
    He's died for you.
  • 00:59:57
    But understand that the Bible says
  • 01:00:00
    that he died for a community:
  • 01:00:02
    For God so loved the world
  • 01:00:03
    that He gave His only begotten Son,
  • 01:00:04
    that whosoever should believe with Him
  • 01:00:06
    shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  • 01:00:08
    For God so loved the world. World.
  • 01:00:12
    The wall being built is for the community of Israel.
  • 01:00:17
    It's not for Nehemiah to have his personal thing.
  • 01:00:21
    In fact, I think right now,
  • 01:00:22
    I think Nehemiah is really bummed in heaven
  • 01:00:24
    there's a book in the Bible named after him.
  • 01:00:27
    He didn't want to book in the Bible named after him.
  • 01:00:30
    People who have a heart to work and who are followers
  • 01:00:33
    and have a heart for community, we don't --
  • 01:00:35
    We don't want our pictures up on a wall.
  • 01:00:38
    You're never going to see my picture
  • 01:00:39
    in a frame on a wall here at Crossroads.
  • 01:00:42
    It's not about me.
  • 01:00:45
    And the closer you get to God,
  • 01:00:46
    the more you recognize that it's not about you.
  • 01:00:48
    You want to give the glory to other people because
  • 01:00:51
    it's about people, you want to give the glory to God.
  • 01:00:53
    And when you do that, there's no limit
  • 01:00:55
    virtually to what can get done.
  • 01:01:00
    In doing so, we create value.
  • 01:01:03
    Last point here, we create surplus value.
  • 01:01:06
    Nehemiah 5:15 put it this way:
  • 01:01:37
    Now I'm going to sound, to some of you right now,
  • 01:01:39
    I'm going to sound to some of you
  • 01:01:41
    like a flaming liberal right now. Okay?
  • 01:01:43
    So relax, relax. But I'm going to say some things
  • 01:01:48
    that you're going to be like, "Wait a minute, that --"
  • 01:01:53
    The Bible knows very little of rugged individualism.
  • 01:01:57
    That doesn't -- We have to take responsibility for ourselves.
  • 01:02:00
    It says things in the book of Galatians like
  • 01:02:02
    everyone should bear his load,
  • 01:02:04
    so you can't be dependent and assuming
  • 01:02:05
    the government or somebody else is going to do for you
  • 01:02:08
    what you can do yourself.
  • 01:02:09
    You've got have a work ethic.
  • 01:02:10
    You got to do these things, right?
  • 01:02:11
    And at the same time, the Bible establishes again
  • 01:02:14
    and again and again and again and again and again
  • 01:02:16
    that God deals with communities. He deals with people.
  • 01:02:21
    He deals with nations, people specifically plural.
  • 01:02:25
    And God is not happy, and Nehemiah is not happy
  • 01:02:28
    that we have some of the nobles, some of the governors
  • 01:02:31
    here who are using their authority,
  • 01:02:33
    using their wealth to abuse other people.
  • 01:02:37
    They would lend at interest rates that were extreme,
  • 01:02:39
    or perhaps even worse, they would take
  • 01:02:42
    collateral for a loan, known as usury,
  • 01:02:45
    and they would have somebody give something
  • 01:02:47
    that they needed, like a winter coat,
  • 01:02:49
    when maybe they needed a coat in the winter.
  • 01:02:52
    Better to take the family jewels than the winter coat.
  • 01:02:54
    Well, one kind of family jewels.
  • 01:02:56
    Better take that than than a coat
  • 01:02:58
    or take a millstone from somebody for collateral
  • 01:03:01
    when now they can't ground flour.
  • 01:03:04
    And Nehemiah says, "You guys, you're abusing other people."
  • 01:03:08
    And we have this happen in America.
  • 01:03:09
    We have the ever widening income gap.
  • 01:03:11
    It's getting wider and wider and wider
  • 01:03:13
    and deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper.
  • 01:03:14
    And I'm not saying there shouldn't be people
  • 01:03:16
    who make a lot more money than others,
  • 01:03:18
    but I am saying people up here
  • 01:03:20
    should be really concerned about people down here.
  • 01:03:23
    Should be, that's what Nehemiah was.
  • 01:03:25
    Nehemiah forewent certain perks that came his way.
  • 01:03:30
    And he said, "Look, I deserve the salary,
  • 01:03:32
    but by the blessing of God, I'm good.
  • 01:03:34
    I'm not going to take the salary.
  • 01:03:35
    In fact, I'm going to bring people in.
  • 01:03:37
    I'm going to feed them at my own table."
  • 01:03:40
    He was creating surplus value,
  • 01:03:42
    that's what he did with his life.
  • 01:03:43
    He wasn't just trying to have a goal for him
  • 01:03:46
    to check off and say, "I'm a type A driven person.
  • 01:03:48
    I did what I wanted to do this year."
  • 01:03:51
    He was creating surplus value, stuff beyond him
  • 01:03:56
    that was a blessing to other people.
  • 01:03:59
    He was giving up his rights.
  • 01:04:02
    MLK weekend was last weekend.
  • 01:04:04
    I spoke with a friend of mine, Damon Lynch, Sr,
  • 01:04:06
    who marched with Martin Luther King years ago.
  • 01:04:08
    He said to me, he said, "You know, Martin died for my rights,
  • 01:04:12
    but Jesus died for my wrongs."
  • 01:04:15
    It was deep. It was deep.
  • 01:04:17
    And it was good what Martin Luther King did
  • 01:04:19
    and good to have rights for people who are in America.
  • 01:04:23
    And as a believer, one of the things we do
  • 01:04:25
    is we don't -- we let go of our rights as a believer.
  • 01:04:29
    I'm not talking about your rights as an American
  • 01:04:31
    necessarily, but I mean just your rights,
  • 01:04:33
    things you have to have coming to you,
  • 01:04:34
    things that you fight for.
  • 01:04:35
    Jesus gave up His rights when He left heaven, gave it up.
  • 01:04:38
    Jesus gave up His rights when He went to a Cross.
  • 01:04:40
    And humble leaders who want to add surplus value
  • 01:04:43
    will not cling to what they could keep
  • 01:04:45
    in order to bless other people and create surplus value.
  • 01:04:50
    We're trying to do that here in our church
  • 01:04:51
    for all kinds of people, including younger people.
  • 01:04:54
    We've got a really, really strong group of younger people.
  • 01:04:58
    It's called 18-24. It's actually it's called 1824,
  • 01:05:01
    not to be confused with a Yellowstone spinoff.
  • 01:05:04
    Though I will say if you're not a Yellowstone fan,
  • 01:05:07
    1923 is the greatest love story I've ever seen, you're welcome.
  • 01:05:12
    Nonetheless, in 1824,
  • 01:05:14
    we're trying to stay young as a church,
  • 01:05:16
    trying to push things out there, trying to do the right things.
  • 01:05:19
    And so we're constantly retooling.
  • 01:05:21
    And I love what's happening at The George,
  • 01:05:23
    formerly known as Crossroads Uptown,
  • 01:05:25
    formerly known from that as Old Saint George.
  • 01:05:27
    We've got hundreds of leaders, kids,
  • 01:05:29
    students 18 to 24 that are meeting.
  • 01:05:33
    They're getting built into, they're learning various things.
  • 01:05:35
    They're worshiping together. It's great.
  • 01:05:38
    And what's great about it is we as a church
  • 01:05:40
    have to keep working to stay young,
  • 01:05:42
    to lean towards the next generation.
  • 01:05:45
    Jesus was over 19.
  • 01:05:49
    Peter was 19 and over.
  • 01:05:51
    All the rest of the disciples were under 18.
  • 01:05:53
    How do we know that?
  • 01:05:54
    Because there was a miracle of Jesus retaining a fish,
  • 01:05:57
    a coin out of a fish, and it was to pay the temple tax,
  • 01:06:01
    and he has that to pay for him and Peter,
  • 01:06:03
    because everybody else is younger.
  • 01:06:07
    We as a church have to work to be younger,
  • 01:06:09
    and we're gonna work to be younger.
  • 01:06:11
    Before I finish off and close on prayer,
  • 01:06:12
    I want to tell you something that's really cool
  • 01:06:14
    and important happening around here.
  • 01:06:16
    I've been doing the same job.
  • 01:06:17
    I've been doing the same job for 28 years.
  • 01:06:21
    I was Senior Pastor when I first came to Crossroads
  • 01:06:23
    and I'm still Senior Pastor.
  • 01:06:25
    I was Senior Pastor when I was the only person on staff.
  • 01:06:28
    And just because I thought it sounded like
  • 01:06:29
    a cool, sexy title, and I'm still Senior Pastor.
  • 01:06:32
    And I'm still pretty much doing the exact same things
  • 01:06:34
    I've been doing for 28 years.
  • 01:06:35
    Responsible for the weekends going okay,
  • 01:06:37
    creative ideas, managing this department,
  • 01:06:39
    that department, just on and on and on.
  • 01:06:41
    It's all good. It's all, all really important.
  • 01:06:44
    I believe that there's another gear that God wants me to hit.
  • 01:06:48
    I believe there's been things that I've been doing
  • 01:06:50
    for 28 years that I need to be letting go.
  • 01:06:52
    By the way, I'm not leaving Crossroads.
  • 01:06:54
    I'm sorry. I know that bums you out.
  • 01:06:55
    You go, "Good. He's leaving." No, I'm not leaving Crossroads.
  • 01:06:58
    I'm still Senior Pastor, but I'm realizing there's a --
  • 01:07:02
    [audience reacts] Oh, you have to do that.
  • 01:07:05
    But we have -- we need to get some younger people
  • 01:07:10
    who are bearing some significant weight around here
  • 01:07:13
    to enable me as well to have
  • 01:07:15
    some creative breakthroughs that I think
  • 01:07:17
    God may want to do through our community.
  • 01:07:19
    What happens if God uses us
  • 01:07:20
    to bring an awakening to our country?
  • 01:07:23
    What happens if there's stuff that's
  • 01:07:25
    underneath the surface that we need to mine,
  • 01:07:27
    that we don't have the capacity to?
  • 01:07:30
    I would like to have some capacity
  • 01:07:32
    to get us to another level, but I can't do it
  • 01:07:34
    by doing the same things I've been doing for 28 years.
  • 01:07:36
    So we're opening up a new position.
  • 01:07:38
    We have a new position, new position is called Lead Pastor.
  • 01:07:41
    That Lead Pastor position is responsible for
  • 01:07:43
    all the bread and butter things that makes
  • 01:07:45
    Crossroads Crossroads on a day in, day out basis.
  • 01:07:47
    And I'm excited for you to meet him.
  • 01:07:51
    Our Lead Pastor's name is Kyle Ranson.
  • 01:07:53
    Welcome him to the stage. Come on, Kyle.
  • 01:07:54
    [cheers & applause]
  • 01:07:59
    Look at that, Kyle. They like you. They like you.
  • 01:08:04
    I like you. I like you, too. Yeah.
  • 01:08:06
    - I like you, too.
  • 01:08:08
    - Yeah. How do you feel about this?
  • 01:08:09
    - Uh, awesome. Amazing.
  • 01:08:11
    - I better sit, so I better sit.
  • 01:08:12
    - Yeah. You're just -- It just --
  • 01:08:14
    Maybe I could stand on the wall.
  • 01:08:15
    Maybe that would balance, I don't know.
  • 01:08:17
    No. I'm super pumped. I'm incredibly pumped,
  • 01:08:20
    honored, humbled, excited. Sarah and the kids are, too.
  • 01:08:22
    I want to say something really clearly
  • 01:08:24
    that's most important to me about this shift.
  • 01:08:28
    If you want to know what I'll be doing as Lead Pastor,
  • 01:08:31
    I will be following him. That's what I'll be doing.
  • 01:08:34
    There's a clear chain in the Bible of authority,
  • 01:08:37
    and I want to make sure that that stays here.
  • 01:08:39
    And as this change happens, I hope you heard Brian,
  • 01:08:41
    he's not evacuating.
  • 01:08:43
    He's elevating so he can see more of what God has for us.
  • 01:08:47
    And I've had the pleasure and the honor
  • 01:08:49
    of having him as my pastor since I was 19 years old.
  • 01:08:53
    I've been on this staff with him as my top boss
  • 01:08:56
    for 18.5 years, and I get to see something
  • 01:09:00
    that you don't get to see, which is what happens
  • 01:09:02
    when the lights go off and all of you leave
  • 01:09:06
    and the parking lot empties and he walks off the stage.
  • 01:09:09
    Do you know what happens with him?
  • 01:09:11
    Do you know what's different? Nothing. Nothing.
  • 01:09:16
    He's faithful and he's true and he's worth following.
  • 01:09:19
    And I just I just want to celebrate you in doing this.
  • 01:09:21
    This is not a move that people do.
  • 01:09:23
    - Okay? But we're here to celebrate you.
  • 01:09:25
    - I know, that's not what I wanted to do. Too bad.
  • 01:09:28
    I got the microphone, you made me Lead Pastor.
  • 01:09:33
    - Okay. You're leading. Okay, go ahead, lead.
  • 01:09:35
    - The second thing is this,
  • 01:09:36
    second thing, and then I'm almost done.
  • 01:09:38
    I just believe in what God is doing in this church,
  • 01:09:40
    I just do, I love this church, believe in this church.
  • 01:09:44
    I could go somewhere else and be a Senior Pastor.
  • 01:09:46
    I have zero interest in that.
  • 01:09:47
    I'm here for what God's doing,
  • 01:09:49
    not just in this generation, not just in the next one,
  • 01:09:52
    but I believe in generation after generation
  • 01:09:54
    after generation, I believe we're a movement
  • 01:09:56
    that God intends to change the world.
  • 01:09:57
    So I'm all in. There you go. - All right. [applause]
  • 01:10:00
    Kyle is one of those rare people
  • 01:10:02
    who has a capital L leadership gift
  • 01:10:05
    and a capital T leadership gift.
  • 01:10:07
    He's obviously very younger than me,
  • 01:10:09
    and he bears stress really well.
  • 01:10:11
    It's a very stressful job.
  • 01:10:13
    Appreciate you praying, by the way.
  • 01:10:15
    I never knew how many people prayed for me,
  • 01:10:16
    now that they're praying for me in the app,
  • 01:10:18
    I'm getting pelted. I had to turn off my notifications.
  • 01:10:20
    So all I'm doing is seeing it and it's really awesome.
  • 01:10:23
    It's amazing. I just have to do other things
  • 01:10:25
    than look at your name after you've prayed for me.
  • 01:10:27
    It means a lot to me, but you need to be hopefully
  • 01:10:29
    adding or directing some of those prayers to this guy.
  • 01:10:31
    He's going to have a lot of weight in his shoulders.
  • 01:10:33
    He has a lot of weight in his shoulders and he can bear it.
  • 01:10:36
    Let me pray for you right now. Okay?
  • 01:10:37
    God, thank you for Kyle, this godly man of Yours
  • 01:10:40
    who's been so faithful and so good
  • 01:10:42
    and so fun to be doing life with.
  • 01:10:45
    I ask that more people would get
  • 01:10:47
    to taste the fruit of his labor.
  • 01:10:48
    I ask You to fill him with creativity
  • 01:10:50
    in his mind beyond what he already has.
  • 01:10:53
    I pray you give him divine insights
  • 01:10:55
    to see things that others can't see,
  • 01:10:58
    to feel things that others can't feel.
  • 01:11:00
    I thank You for how You bless his family
  • 01:11:02
    and Sarah and his kids.
  • 01:11:04
    I ask you pour special grace on them.
  • 01:11:06
    And we look forward to our best days ahead
  • 01:11:09
    as a community with him as Lead Pastor.
  • 01:11:11
    And we all God's people, pray this in Jesus name. Amen.
  • 01:11:16
    - Amen, Amen.
  • 01:11:17
    - I love you. - I love you too, buddy.
  • 01:11:19
    [applause]
  • 01:11:25
    - Next week we'll talk about conflict
  • 01:11:28
    and difficulty and pain.
  • 01:11:31
    That's what Nehemiah has to deal with.
  • 01:11:33
    And all of us will deal with this.
  • 01:11:36
    The thing that makes us palatable is if we take on
  • 01:11:39
    the attitude of humility that we've seen today,
  • 01:11:42
    and if we allow ourselves to become expendable,
  • 01:11:46
    to be spent, to pick up our cross.
  • 01:11:50
    The most expendable people
  • 01:11:51
    are the most irreplaceable people because
  • 01:11:53
    they have a spiritual power and a perspective
  • 01:11:56
    that other self-sufficient,
  • 01:11:58
    pull myself up by my bootstraps kind of folks
  • 01:12:00
    don't get and understand.
  • 01:12:03
    But this is the model of Nehemiah,
  • 01:12:05
    and it's the model of Jesus.
  • 01:12:06
    I hope you're getting it because
  • 01:12:07
    the world needs you to get it, needs all of us to get it.
  • 01:12:10
    And a great future not just for you,
  • 01:12:13
    but for all the people around you
  • 01:12:15
    should be in store because of it. Let me pray for you.
  • 01:12:18
    God, thank You for giving us wisdom
  • 01:12:21
    that is beyond the norm and people that are beyond the norm,
  • 01:12:25
    like Nehemiah and like Kyle,
  • 01:12:29
    and like all the other names in here that I know
  • 01:12:32
    and many that I don't know.
  • 01:12:34
    I ask for Your grace to fill us, help us to see people
  • 01:12:39
    and to work hard for people and to do so to please You.
  • 01:12:45
    We pray these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.
  • 01:12:50
    -Hey, thank you for watching.
  • 01:12:51
    If you'd like to dive deeper
  • 01:12:53
    beyond the weekend teaching, which I encourage
  • 01:12:55
    and challenge you to do, one of the greatest ways
  • 01:12:57
    to do it is through the Crossroads Anywhere App.
  • 01:12:59
    You can check out daily Scripture,
  • 01:13:01
    you can engage in the Bible challenge,
  • 01:13:03
    you can connect with community,
  • 01:13:04
    you can even read articles that cover
  • 01:13:06
    all sorts of topics and what God might want to say
  • 01:13:08
    about areas like singleness or dating, marriage,
  • 01:13:11
    sports, anxiety, Taylor Swift,
  • 01:13:13
    even New Year's resolutions, and so much more.
  • 01:13:16
    Check out the Crossroads App for all the details.
  • 01:13:18
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Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend-Follow Up! This is the group part of the Bible Challenge, so your questions are based on specific Bible passages from the weekend message. Each week, your group will discover what God might be saying to you, and how you can respond through a group discussion.

  1. If you decided to host your own conference, convention, or festival, what would the theme or topic be?

  2. What stood out to you most from the message?

  3. Where do you see self-focus in your vision? How would your vision change if it became more others-focused?

  4. What makes it difficult to be a follower?

  5. What’s an area of your life or a relationship where it’s difficult for you to be a follower? Where is it hard for you to let someone else take the lead?

  6. How does your ability (or inability) to follow or ask for help impact your relationships with others?

  7. Read Nehemiah 3:28-32. Where have you seen teamwork like this show up in your own life?

  8. What’s one way you can take a step towards humility and teamwork in pursuit of your vision this week?

  9. Let’s end with prayer. You can say something like, “God, thank you for the gift of other people. Thank you for not making us live this life alone. Give us the same humility and love you have, so we can share it with the people around us. Amen.”

More from the Weekend

Bonus Questions! Check these out if you’re on a roll and want to go a little deeper.

  • React to the axiom: “If you want something done, do it yourself.” Where have you seen the consequences of thinking like this in your own life?
  • Where in your life are you pursuing credit or recognition? What are the consequences of that pursuit?

0 people are discussing these questions

(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

You must include at least one person

Got it! Enjoy your discussion.


Jan 20, 2024

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