Leadership Conference 2015 – Day One Morning Session 2.2 (RAH) – Ken Costa

Next up..…Ken Costa….

A passion for leadership is why the Leadership College, London has been created. Ken Costa is Dean of the College. Ken opens with the epitaph of William Wiberforce who ‘fixed the character of the time’. God is on the move and we are seeing a world where spirit filled believers are growing. The financial world is volatile, the world we live in at every level is leaving us with an uncertain future and there are many things that worry us, especially the failure for people to flourish. Many Christians continue to live, due to the burdens of modern life, as if Jesus is still dead. There is too much to live with and too little to live for.

The challenge for any leader to flounder or flourish…”what next?”

The unique selling proposition for Christians? 2 Timothy 2:8 – the unique good news of the gospel. Trust in Jesus Christ changes everything, gives a mainstay for the christian life….our work station should be our worship station.  

We learn to face the future by dealing with disappointment, failure and life. We need to take risks, in the power of God. We must be willing to dream dreams and be prepared to fail and to fail well. We must not linger in the problems but continue to dream, inspired by the Spirit of God. 

How can we be nourished ? – not through the continual consumption of information (cf. dreams of pharoah) but by feeding on God’s word, not with heads down (smartphone heads down generation) but by lifting up our heads. The Lord is strong and mighty and mighty in battle. the calling of this generation is not by age but by attitude. Is this the generation that will seek the Lord. cf. Psalm 24

We are establishing networks of leadership where leadership is needed, across all boundaries, united by the power of God by people who will work together. Societies are changed by anointed networks empowered by the living God. 

“I have seen a lion roar in the wild….only God and my dry cleaner knows how scared I was” Quote of the day from Ken Costa

What are you going to do about this? Whatever it takes! To see a generation empowered and released. To see a generation with their heads lifted high. Dare to dream big dreams.

Leadership Conference 2015 – Day One Morning Session 2.1 (RAH) – Joyce Meyer 

After some inspiring worship, its time for Joyce Meyer to be interviewed by Nicky Gumbel

A gentle introduction to Joyce and a reminder of the call to church unity. Meyer describes her’dysfunctional’ upbringing when she faced both abuse and rejection. A neighbour took her to church but a recognition at the age of 9 that she was in need of a saviour. She committed her life but recognised that she needed someone to be an example to her and someone else to walk alongside on that faith journey. 

“If you live with someone who is dysfunctionl, do not let them steal your joy. What they need is stability”

As leaders, we should not be trying to give people what is not working for us. We need to be doing behind closed doors, what we are doing on the platform. If you take the word and apply it to your everyday life, if you do your best to honour what God is saying, He will show the way. If God decides to anoint someone for something, it is going to work whatever anyone else says or does. 

As Meyer is sharing her testimony to God’s faithfulness, it is very apparent that the journey of faith in leadership is a hard grind, demands graft and will be misunderstood, but with perseverance, you know that there is no other path to take.

The higher someones profile, the greater the criticism people will give. As leaders, criticism still hurts and leaves you with rejection. Initially, it is most painful. There is a need for us all to be patient with one another. We all have the same problems, we just put different titles on it. A lot of criticism is based on jealousy, people like to criticise success, not because of who you are, but because of what you have. Meyer has discovered that whatever the enemy has sought to take away, God has given it back more abundantly.

John 10:10 – Jesus wants us to enjoy our lives, there are many miserable Christians but we should be happy as we have the light of the world within us. Meyer had to learn that work is not identity, we can have rest and fun. I can’t do what God wants me to do unless I learn to trust Him to help me to do it. God is our teacher and will give us the life that Jesus wanted us to have. 

In Christian leadership, we tend to replace spending time with God with working with God. If you want to be successful, you must learn how to seek God first. Time in God’s presence, first, is vital. Our time with God is not foremost to get a sermon first but to sort self out first. Being in ministry can take a lot out of you. It is important that we are vulnerable with people and we learn to accept that we are all different and that God did this on purpose. You can’t make evryone be a light, you have to find the right spot for them for them to flourish. Even in ministry, we can be selfish. The greatest thing we need to learn in the church today is love – and it will cost you something, it takes time. 

Leadership Conference 2015 – Day One Morning Session 1 (RAH)

The conference opens with a wonderful recognition of its international flavour singing ‘The Splendour of the KIng’ in different languages before entering with modern thumping anthems, ‘Happy Day’ and ‘The Way’. The worship sets the tone – this conference is first and foremost about Jesus. 

The 2 sites join together on a dodgy livelink that re-affirms that leadership is secondary to recognising Jesus. Different nationalities, different denominations, different churchmanships – the body of Christ represented together. Expectation is high and it is so encouraging to know that the Alpha and HTB teams have been praying for every attendee by name. “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh” is the verse chosen as a prophetic word for every individual present. “How we listen is as imortant as to how people speak” is the reminder from Nicky Gumbel as to how we approach the conference.

After sharing the peace, Nicky Gumbel is the first speaker and reminds us afresh of the power of unity from Psalm 133. Unity is not always easy and we need to work hard at unity – ‘make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit’ (ephesians). A fresh reminder for the need of humility, gentleness, patience and forbearance. Love binds it all together. Unity is not doctrinal, it is relational. We learn this from the trinity….relationship is critical and our relationship around Jesus will determine our success in evangelising the nations. 

‘What unites us is infinitely greater than what divides us’ – Father Cantalamessa

If we want to bring the truth about Jesus to people, we need to be united. There is hope for us all because Jesus has given us great hope – why are we wasting time fighting one another when we have this great message to share with the world. We must stop fighting and need to get out and share our message.

There is a need for disagreement but we must do this in the context of friendship and love – then when a decision is made, we must back the leaders decision. Unity is not unanimity or uniformity. Its ok to have different views, this is how we learn from one another. Unity and truth are complementary not in opposition to one another. Could you imagine what it would be like if we stopped fighting one another and started to defend one another? Even those that are different to us – unity comes to us from the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit fills us all. In a family, we do not exclude those that we disagree with, families can be diverse. We have just one Father. Illustration of a lion and springbocks – the lion pounces when 2 springbocks fight as their attention is divided. We need a new perspective of the world, we get this perspective by recognising that we are one body and looking at the problems in the world in a different way. 

What if we were to start afresh and make every effort to live in unity? Will we pray for it? Will we yearn for it?

As the talk concludes, Nicky and many in the hall seek God for forgiveness. A new beginning in the Church – Beautiful conclusion to the first session.

HTB Leadership Conference 2014

The annual Leadership Conference run by Alpha and Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) is upon us again. My social media feeds were filling up before the conference with marmite opinions being shared – love and hate – in equal measure.
Personally, it is a highlight of my year and the first day has lived up to expectations. There is a breadth of views and opinions expressed, all from a point of experience and all soaked in a love for God and His world.
HTB live out their values and approach the conference from an understanding that not all views expressed will be equally shared. However, they also know that as leaders it is possible to listen with discernment rather than judgement. This brings freedom and learning that surpasses many conferences.
I am glad to be here and grateful to learn from others. Less than half way through it has already proven to be ‘value for money’ – so pleased that once again this conference is made available to us.