Monthly Archives: November 2014

Spirit-filled Leadership Series Vol. 2: Six words not to be used lightly

by Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com

Sometimes, things can simply go one of two ways: good or bad.  With that in mind, there Good or badare six words that can either tread in dangerous territory or be a declaration of fact when used by any given leadership or representative group that gathers as a congregated Body of Christ:

“We’re not that kind of church.”

This statement is not typically preceded with, “Are we handling snakes this week?” – to which these six words would be perfectly acceptable.  But rather, whatever it is in response to, generally tends to be a defining statement.  In fact, it’s outright bold!  The ramifications of such a statement can go south in a hurry if it’s a blanket statement of pretext. People feel put-off or leave churches over this statement. Or, they are no longer in the dark regarding the particular position the church has taken.  The meaning behind it can be one of definition or one that’s off-course.  Let’s go devil’s advocate here (ironic but intentional choice of words) for the sake of debate and look at each.

A) As a definitive statement, these words designate a position or a qualified stance.  The position may designate the beliefs of the particular church.  Given the complexity and abundance of subjects that require the church to take a stance, there must be a line drawn somewhere (hopefully taken from the Bible…) .  Most churches will put a greater emphasis on specific areas of influence in their chosen ministries, often playing to the strengths of the leadership and congregation, their resources, and the opportunities God provides.

When a position is taken, it should be born of sound Biblical principles rather than susceptible human logic.  When in doubt, always ask these three questions:

1. What would Jesus do? (cliche, yes… but on point)
2. What does the Bible say about this?
3. Will this spread the Gospel/further the Kingdom?

In any situation, these three questions will ALWAYS give you your best answer.  All bodies who meet in the name of Christ must have established, Biblical positions that can be shared through their core beliefs.  If there is confusion or a careless haphazardness in regard to the position taken with any specific issue, the wrong message can be conveyed.

B) In the case of this statement being off-course, one thing it can do is pigeonhole* the question or subject that led to this answer – which means it puts aside the present with specific intention to ignore or forget indefinitely.  This can be an easy cop-out or excuse to support a position that may be biased or not spiritually-based.

Keep in mind, however, there is always an underlying reason as to why those six words are uttered, for good or bad.  Whether they are fundamentally off-course from God’s instructions is unfortunately and often incorrectly left to interpretation of either side as to the position taken.  Rather, we should always take the position the Bible gives us.  That’s where the above three questions above come in play once again.

My response when I hear these words: “Well, what kind of church are you?”  This is not a question asked out of sarcasm or meant to be in any way disrespectful.  It’s meant to hold those who say it accountable. We have to hold our spiritual leaders, our brothers and sisters in Christ, accountable for words they speak on behalf of the collective group they are leading.

There’s no denying the power these six words hold.  As mentioned, they can define and be as much of a description of who we are as to who we are not as a church.  They can engage or turn-off.  They can be spoken in truth or ignorance.  Words are powerful:

The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.
– Matthew 12:37

Whether you agree or disagree with these words as an answer to an inquiry or a statement of declaration, it all depends on the intention and meaning behind them.  Are they spoken with the Spirit in mind or with convenience or opinion in mind?  We are charged to love and do right by others when we see the need and have the resources.

My recommendation would be to not use these six words lightly.  The Bible doesn’t mince words.  Nor does Jesus.  Nor should we.

Power of words banner

*See definition of “pigeonhole” when used as a verb. Source: dictionary.com

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Divine Intersections: The Action of Loving and Living

by Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com

Bear with me… I’m going to try and tie two things together here that may be an “a-ha” moment.  They include: the sudden and unexpected death of a friend and some words that hit me upside the head in a book I read.  I hope by sharing this, it will make a difference in your life – now and forever.

Chris AdamsIt’s been a rough week.  Christopher Edward John Adams, a coworker, friend, and mentor passed this last week in a motorcycle accident.  Working with a team from work, we put together a memorial for him that was live-streamed literally all over the world (click for memorial video here).  His friend, Tom Ball, put together a Facebook Group tribute page to the wonderful life and times of Chris Adams.  I get both chills and a lump in my throat every time I read a testimony as to the reach Chris had and how he changed lives.  As such, my week was consumed with honoring a man who made a real difference in the lives of THOUSANDS of people through his vision, passion, and leadership.

Love Does by Bob GoffIn God’s timing, I recently finished reading a book I highly recommend.  It’s titled Love Does by a whimsical dreamer named Bob Goff.  Bob is an amazing storyteller who actually has amazing stories to tell. He is an adventurer who flies by the seat of his pants, most often finding the best God has to offer through seeking out the best people have to offer.

In his epilogue, Bob wrote something that caught my attention.  Bob is always moving fast toward whatever comes next for him and then he just does it.  He asks the reader the question, “What’s your next step?”  While explaining how we are all here for a reason, he wrote this:

“God decided to have us intersect history, not at just any time, but at this time.”

What does this sentence mean to you?  How do you interpret it?  Do you see its importance?

For one, it helped me set up and verbalize my personal tribute to Chris Adams:

We all have stories. Memories. Encounters. Adventures. Most often, these are with others. Throughout life, our paths intersect. I call it a divine intersection. I firmly believe without a shadow of a doubt it was no accident or coincidence God placed Chris Adams in our lives. We can all say we intersected with greatness. Because we have.

Here’s the part where I connect the two.  Bob made it clear to me how God has us intersecting history at this particular moment to impact where he wants us to.  I’ll take this a step further and tell you it’s not only about where you are, but whose life you intersect.

Bob’s point is God knew what He was doing when he created you.  It’s also no random coincidence it is here and now.  How we choose to make the most of our opportunity in life is up to us.  Bob chooses to do it by loving others in a big way.  Like how he pursued his wife, Sweet Maria.  Like how he has helped victims of the sex trade in Uganda and India.  Or like how he has worked to build relationships with world leaders through the innocence and curiosity of his children.

Chris made the most of his life.  He had purpose and lived it out by inspiring others to their own greatness.  Whether helping people be successful, mentoring young people, or teaching us all about helping and serving others, Chris will surely be missed.  His was a life ended too short, but his intersection with all who knew him will live on!

I love how Bob lives his life with a purpose.  He uses love as an verb rather than a noun.  I also love how Chris lived his life.  Chris’ entire life was like a verb – full of action.

The theme of Love Does is that when there is an action associated with love, life is much more meaningful.  You see, when love does, the impact and imprint love leaves is greater than a Hallmark card and lasts longer than a footprint on the beach.  When life does, you have the kind of imprint Chris left behind.  The divine intersection in this case was where loving and living met.

Rest in Peace, Chris.  You intersected with thousands of people who will forever be grateful.  As for me, I have a new outlook for the kind of impact I want to make.  Love does. Life does.  I will do.