#EquipSA Session 7: Grant Crawford
We put special people in boxes.
Important people to one side, and the not-so-important to the other.
We separate from the herd, and that thinking comes into the Church.
We are all asking this question: How am I doing? How is my Church doing?
When we visit another town, we go looking for a good Church.
We have mechanisms on how to judge.
We oscillate between these two lenses:
Popularized by Peter Wagner in the 1970‘s: If a Church is growing, it’s good.
Self-help books were put out: 10 Steps how to grow your Church.
A growing Church isn’t bad because God makes it grow.
But it pt huge pressure on pastors.
In the 1990’s Eugene Peterson who focused on faithfulness.
Contemplate, pray, wait on God, be faithful. They crucified the BIG Church.
“Certain good men appeal to me who are distinguished by enormous [passion] and zeal, and a conspicuous absence of brains; brethren who would talk for ever and ever upon nothing—who would stamp and thump the Bible, and get nothing out of it all; earnest, awfully earnest, mountains in labor of the most painful kind; but nothing comes of it all… therefore I have usually declined their applications.”
Some people look at Church just by how big it is.
Others have reacted to that and it’s just you, prayer and being a nice person.
We are going to get a few people up on stage and ask them a few questions:
Leads NCCB in Bryanston
A Chemist from Nelspruit who has 200 Employees
Worship Leader at NCF Pietermaritzburg
Leads NewDay in Edenvale
From Harare in Zimbabwe and on the Apostolic Team
She and her husband Anthony Naidoo leads a Church in Pietermaritzburg
GC: Before you were in ministry a long time ago, when you were a pretty good surfer. In those days, what did it take to get to the top?
AB: getting up early. having passion. Be an early riser. No place for any distraction. No girlfriends, drugs, parties. Being incredible dedicated to winning.
GC: Surfer today, if you asked them the definition of success, what would they say?
AB: Kelly Slater. Try get close to him. See what he wears, hear his conversations. Watch their every move. Emulate what they are.
GC: Rob, an employee in the business world looking at an employer, what does he say is a successful boss?
Rob: When guys look to a company they look for stability. A place they can grow, a home, a future. Where they can live out their dream.
GC: A bad boss?
Rob: He actually doesn’t care about us. he doesn’t worry about who we are. he’s just checking performance.
GC: Greig, there are successful churches and there are churches that have failed. What is a failed church?
GG: A church that stagnates. They lose the reason why they are there. No leadership and life of God. They can act like it’s fine, but it’s not.
GC: Mlee, would your definition be the same as that in Zimbabwe?
Mlee: Pretty much the same. What keeps the church going is the Leader himself. To have a relegation of what God is saying. A leaderless Church.
GC: Faith, a successful mom?
FN: Having a child at 45! I learned from my mom. She was the first in my family to give her life to the Lord in a Hindu family. I thank God she gave us salvation.
GC: Ashely, in God’s eyes, when God sees His church and he sees you, what is successful in God’s eyes?
AB: As a visionary you live with the well being of the people God has given you. Those who love Apologetics: the law of first mention. Wherever a word appears in Scripture, go back to the first mention, look at its context.
“5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Meditate (hearing) + Obedience (doing) = Success.
The only Biblical reference you will find is here. Hebrew definition: circumspect and intelligent. Prosperous means “to push forward” and that is what we are doing! It is in our advancing, our meditation and obedience that will cause us to be successful!
GC: Anyone want to add to that?
Rob: It’s not entirely different in the Business world. When i started I wasn’t successful. I hadn’t understood that God is my provider. When I did, i understood what it meant to be a Son. I used to stress about going out of business. I prayed and invited Christ into ALL of my life, and I began to understand better that He is the greatest provider. He is the best partner you could ever have. It’s not a goal, it’s journey. Learn to filter everything we do through the Word of God.
GC: Success outside of Jesus is impossible.
GG: I battle with “who is defining what success is?” The definition of being successful is often set by a small group of people. I have to find my definition in what God is pleased with. God always loves me, but I know I can displease Him. Lord, are You happy with NewDay? Love the Lord with everything we have. If that’s true, it has to be demonstrated that we love others like ourselves. Loving God and loving people.
FN: In terms of the ladies, being married for 28 years is success! Saul and David. One was successful and the one wasn’t. Saul had his own agenda. Even though David fell, he got up and continued on.
NZ: For an individual, to have public success AND private success.
1 Corinthians 3:6-15
“6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”
It is possible to build on Jesus with rubbish! With straw, hay and stubble.
Greig, tell us about stuff that NewDay has built that you don’t think will make it though the refining work of Jesus?
What stuff is not going to last for eternity.
GG: Lots of activity and busyness that you can’t measure. To ask every now and then, “Why are we doing that? Is it producing results?” We are busy so we think we are doing alright.
GC: I was doing some marriage counseling with a couple who were living together. I basically told them they were dirty rotten sinners… I told them of a minister down the road who ended up marrying them. I walked back inside and Sue said to me, “Grant, that was despicable! This strange couple walks into our lounge and all you do is judge them. You don’t give them the Gospel…” I realized I was just discharging a party line. I don’t think that’s going to make it through the refining process.
Mlee: It’s very important how we build and what we build with. Very legalistic, judgemental and we concentrate on things that are not important.
GG: I’ve only once ever put a Leader onto a senior place of leadership on a recommendation of someone else and it bit us badly. It had the potential to split our Church. I never got revelation for myself. But it all worked out and it’s fine now.
GC: We see something that works in other churches and copy that thing.
AB: How many times has someone said, “We need to start a soup kitchen.” and there’s great excitement and passion. You look for them 3 weeks later, they’re not there and you’re stuck with this thing. Be aware of emotional decisions.
GC: One word from each of you.
AB: Psalm 25:14 “The secrets of God are shared with those who fear Him.”
NZ: I thought I would be the best pianist in the World.
“Unless the Lord builds, the builders labour in vain.”
GG: John 15 tells us to bear fruit, not produce fruit. I need to respond to God and I will bear the fruit that He produces.
Rob: Business leaders need to hear from God and lead with confidence, and be careful how we treat the people we work with. And to walk by Faith.
Mlee: Fruitfulness is beyond just words. It is living the life God has called you to live and pursue the things God has given to you. The Parable of the Talents is not about how much you have, but what you do with it.
FN: To be a wife and leader and to do that well, and ask God what He thinks of how we are doing.
GC: Let’s give these guys a hand. Thank you.
I want to spend the next few minutes on being successful.
I was asking the wrong question: I was so busy monitoring the systems that were in place I was busy crash landing our Church!
Jesus doesn’t monitor your systems. He doesn’t monitor your programs.
I had to apologize. I was asking the wrong questions.
I had to rediscover the “wildness of trusting Him!”
I am looking for arsonists. Someone who can start fires!
When you release a young man to preach, you are taking a risk. You are trusting in God.
If you had to ask me how do you be successful, I would have to say “That you trust in God.”
When Jesus was asked, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?” He answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him that was sent.”
This is the work of God, to believe in Him.