Archives For ministry

 

The year was 1995. I was off to VA to train and then work with YWAM. We had so many sessions on prayer and worship and the passing on of the “mantle” to other leaders. It was an amazing time. Eventually I was off with a small team to Kiev, Ukraine, but before I went I had a good 3 months in VA. One day we had invited a guest speaker and prophet to come to the missions school to pray over us. Prophets are scary people because you never know what they will say and they don’t seem to have a filter. This man didn’t trudge up a deep rooted sin or an unrepentant bitterness, but instead cast a vision that I will never forget.

He said “Joel…God is raising you up to become a green beret in His army. So will be doing things that have never been done before and may seem odd to others all while rescuing drowning people and pulling them into the boat.”

Wow…at the time I did not know what to do with that. That was a huge vision and one I would pray about for years. in the last 16 years of ministering in many different kinds of churches and atmospheres I have attempted to do what God has called me to do. To create things that have not been created. In essence to tap into the creativity that God has birthed in me to lead others to the hope of Christ.

Lets fast forward to 2010 where God gave me friendships with a few guys named Adam, Jack and Doug. We all had interesting visions as to what God was doing in our lives and God made some crazy things happened that created The Forge Conference. The first one was amazing and I was starting to get a glimpse what God saw as my main ministry. Then the second Forgecon God started moving people around and shifting visions and agendas and what was left was what God wanted to do and not 5 peoples separate visions mashed together. Of course that year went even better. Most recently another friend of mine, Mike Mahoney, and I hosted a Forgecon alumni get together that we called a 1day. Much like the other events it was uncharted territory for the likes of the small church.

What happened at the last event though seemed to tie 16 years of ministry up into a nice bow. While we were discussing our needs and prayer requests something came out of my mouth that I did not expect.

“God has called me to build arks”

I believe God said that through me because I had never thought of that before. Think about Noah for a second though. God asked him to build a GIANT boat because it was going to rain and flood the earth. In context though we know they most likely had not ever seen rain or even a boat. So basically God called him to create something that had never been seen before for his glory. He would guide him and help him all the while Noah built something that he didn’t understand the need for until it came time to use it.

Right then my mind flashed to the prophecy over my life in 1995 and it all clicked. God called me to create the seemingly absurd and impossible so He could do the impossible and get all the glory.

Right after that Mike Mahoney chimed in “God has called me to gather the wood and the animals”

I was floored and synapses started firing in my brain. I started to think about how many times leaders latch onto a vision and try to work in roles they were not created to do.

Noah was given the vision of building the ark. He was handed the blueprints.

Then his family jumped in with hammers, gathered wood, and slapped on the pitch. Sometimes one of his sons wold help him decipher the blueprints which may have taken more heads than one.

Some of us were meant to build arks and to create the seemingly impossible. Others were meant to gather the wood. Others were meant to administrate the team.

  • In your ministry do you know what your role is?
  • Are you letting your ceiling be somebody else’s floor?
  • Are you bringing skilled people to fill in your weaknesses?
  • Are you willing to support the vision even if you don’t get the spotlight?
  • Is God getting all the glory?
  • Does impossible vision and the mystery of God paralyze you from doing what He has asked of you?

 

 

If you read my blog, which you should be, you would have noticed a group of men I meet with that we call “the Forge”. It is a group where I can go and be completely transparent with fellow brothers in ministry from other churches. About 7 months ago God had me move out of the role of HS youth director/leader into the role of being part of a team running the men’s ministry in my church, along side of leading worship. If there is one thing I love about our men’s group that I have not seen in any men’s group I have been in it’s honesty and transparency. In both my men’s group and in the Forge nothing is off limits. Everybody is broken.

I decided to look up the definition of Transparent. Here is what it says:

transparent [trænsˈpærənt -ˈpɛər-]adj

1. permitting the uninterrupted passage of light; clear; a window is transparent

 

That definition is astounding. I think there are two keys for real ministry within the church. Honesty and Grace. I have been talking about both with my men and forge group for months. We need to be honest with one another, but at same time we need to have grace for each other when things get put on the table that may possibly floor us, hurt us, or concern us.

Real transparency is what I strive for in my groups and even in my marriage. These days it is very hard to find a group you can be transparent with like that. Let me give you a picture of that with the definition above.

 

Notice it says uninterrupted passage of light…like a window. Light can get in and out of a window if its clean and is not broken. Each one of us is like a window. Many of us are dirty with life, have chips, or are completely broken. When people see us they see the garbage caked on us or get cut by the shards sticking out of us and can’t see the light in us. Light from others can’t get in thru the ice that has developed over our hardened heart (window).

God wants to heal us from the inside out. I believe this healing starts with honesty thru confession. Finding somebody you can trust fully and spill your guts. My wife and my forge group know my hurts, my frustrations, my issues and they also know I am a work in progress. I once heard a friend say “broken people have sharp edges”. We are all broken and we need to be aware that we do cut people, but when we are honest and are open to Christ’s healing he buffs the sharp edges inside and also through others.

My goal in life, and let me say I am no where near this, is to have the window of my soul so clear of debris and brokenness that there is uninterrupted passage of the light of Christ.

 

Thats right..I buckled and jumped on the crazy train called twitter.

follow me www.twitter.com/joelklampert

 

Have you read The Simple Church?

I have and our leaders have. It had some very interesting ideas about stripping out the complexity of our church operations.

It teaches basically to come up with principal areas of ministry and an order of discipleship process. We have heard that before, but the difference with this is taking a look at the church ministries and taking out the ministries that don’t fit into that process.

Our pillars are:

Live For God
We commit to daily give our life and will to God, getting to know Him through prayer and His Word, while seeking to live in a way that would please Him

Grow Together
We commit to a weekly time of fellowship with other believers, where we can grow together, and support each other in our walk with God

Give to Others
We commit to a ministry or other service activity, whether in the Church or the community, through which we can express God’s love working in and through us

Go and Share
We commit to sharing the gospel in word and action, and that when given the opportunity we will invite others to join us on the path of life

Our Church slogan if you will is Together on the Path of Life

How about you guys…have you read the book? Did it change things for you?