We’re pretty used to asking people, “How’s your time with the Lord?” We ask because we care, and because we know that healthy disciples need to sit at the feet of Jesus. Intimacy with God is not optional, nor is it reserved for a mystic elite.
But how often do we confuse the busy pace of ministry life with actually spending time with God? I remember the last time someone rocked me with that question. It started with Francis Chan’s passionate plea at Foursquare Connection 2014, and ended with me sobbing into the carpet, somewhere in the shadows to the right of the staging area.
Chan is known for seeming counter-cultural, and to the extent that he refuses to comply with the status quo of business-model-church-by-the-numbers, that is a true statement. He’s a man obsessed with Jesus, and devastated by the ways many will settle for a mediator rather than the King Himself.
In his keynote session, recorded live at Foursquare Connection 2014 in Dallas, Chan references the story of Moses’ refusal to take the offer of the Promised Land if it meant going without God. This is a prophetic message that could turn many of us pastors around, away from the disaster of a race run without God’s power, presence and leading.
Not only do we need time alone with God for ourselves, we also need to model it so that any disciples we make are disciples of Christ, not copies of a flawed and struggling human living apart from the presence of God.
To be healthy leaders making healthy disciples, we need healthy relationship with our Savior. Get alone with God.
At the end of his session, Chan called people to find a space to be alone with God. That’s no small feat in a packed auditorium, but I made my way to the front. Initially, I was just aware that it had been too long since I’d gotten alone, on my face, and poured out my heart. And then, to my own surprise, I found myself grieving the death of a family member who had died suddenly nearly seven months prior to the conference.
Seven months, and I hadn’t found space to grieve before Jesus. I’m sharing that not for a sympathy vote—it’s a warning. That was dangerous and unhealthy of me to walk and lead with that hurt untouched by the love and power of God. And in the midst of a busy bi-vocational life, packed with family and travel and work and ministry, I’d neglected what mattered most: time with God.
Maybe you’re well aware of your hurts and struggles, and just need to be given permission to clear your schedule for a day and book a date with Jesus. Or maybe you’re clueless about hidden hurts, as I was, but know you haven’t been up on the mountain.
If you need more encouragement, be sure to watch this video. To be healthy leaders making healthy disciples, we need healthy relationship with our Savior. Get alone with God.
To watch more Foursquare Connection 2014 videos, click here.