final gathering

Today was my final gathering leading Manschool after 12+ years of serving in this capacity. What an honor it has been. I have fulfilled the mission God called me to for this season and now move on to clear out space and time to seek what role is next for me. I will continue to write and publish content on this blog. Please stay tuned. Rather than just posting the slide deck from today, I’ll post them here with some limited commentary. Today was a chance to lay out a summary of all we’ve talked about these past 2+ years and to have a conversation about how to live this out in our lives. First, 3 great verses …

This is why we’ve used the mighty oak as the image of what it is we are after as men. The roots you have support the branches above. A tree (a man) is only as strong as the roots below…

But be kind to yourself. Transformation does not happen overnight. You are not “behind”. You’re right on time, right where God wants you at this moment. The question is “what are you going to do with this now? How will you invest your time?”

We’ve covered a ton of ground over the past 12+ years. More than a decade. But the stories are real and the testimonies are powerful of the men that have invested the time and dug deep of how their lives have changed as a part of this process of becoming.

So for me, personally, at this stage, I’ve got to “tear some things down” so God can rebuild what HE wants to build. God needs to excavate some dirt and create a firmer foundation in me. It takes obedience and surrender = why I am giving up leading Manschool. It is time to move on, time to clear out space and time so that I can hear what it is HE wants for me next. And with God, there is always a next.

We must remember during these times of “construction” that we are HIS beloved son. While we slow down and be obedient to what the Father is calling us to, we must guard our flank against the enemy of our soul who will whisper lies to us that we “are behind” or “others don’t have to give things up”, etc. That’s orphan thinking. I am a son. HE has a plan for me. I trust my Good Father.

Obedience is “becoming”. It is surrendering my goals, my reputation, my role for what it is God wants for me to become…

I don’t want to be a “propped up” man bolstered only by the things this world can offer, looking good above ground but having limited roots below …

Our goal is to become a mighty oak, deeply rooted in the Father, nourished by the Son and guided by the Spirit. Oaks don’t grow quickly. Nothing we’ve talked about comes quickly or easily. We “live in the day and measure in the decade”. Fueled by our going deep with the Father, cultivated over long seasons, we can become mighty…

In my story, I’ve led this tribe for 12+ years. Led more than 500 weekly gatherings. Preparing for Wednesday takes most of my Sunday afternoon and evening. It’s OK. It was holy time of digging deep and preparing and it was richly rewarded. But with a growing family and small grandchildren, I felt led to reclaim Sundays for more of family, more investment in them, more time enjoyed pouring into them so that this would NOT be what they say about me…

We must remember …

I attended a 3-day “LifePlan” retreat in Texas last month. It was a great investment of my time to clear the decks and see what it was God was calling me to. They asked this question over and over…

It’s a great question. It is “the” question. God designed each of us with unique gifts and unique callings and unique roles in His Kingdom. Two clips for you. One for fun. The other is a great picture of “calling” and purpose …

At the end of that clip, he says something very powerful…

Do you know? Do you know what God designed you for? What role HE created you to live out? They took us through this exercise to lay out our lives on a board. What were the low moments and the high moments? What was the career progression? This isn’t exact. It is a picture. Then they said look for the “life gates”, those defining moments where your story changed course, where the narrative changed. I found about 4 key defining moments. I’m starting my 5th one now. After losing both parents within 18 months and giving up Manschool and attempting to redefine my business, this is a new life gate. These life gates or turning points are helpful because they tend to be preceded by rough times. They then instructed us to look back after those rough times and see the fruit that emerged on the other side. Think about your life. Do you see it? Do you see where some rough times tended to come right before some great things, some real growth and a more powerful faith? God is always at work. Even in the storms!

So in this next season, the goal is first and foremost this and it is in “releasing outcomes” to the Father. He knows what is next …

It is much to ponder. We’ve covered so much territory and dug deeper than ever before as a tribe. That’s great = digging deeper means those roots of yours are stronger than ever. Remember, storms will come but the mighty oak, rooted deeply in God and drawing upon the living waters survives the storm and thrives on the other side. May it be so with you.

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