Right now, our church is in full swing gearing up for VOUS Conference. While we typically host our conference every year, due to the pandemic, this is our first time having VOUS Conference in person in three years. Over 5,000 people are coming to Miami to worship, hear from some incredible communicators, and ultimately have an encounter with God. It’s safe to say we’re excited!
VOUS Conference 2022 is just a few short weeks away. As we prepare, we are challenging our staff and leaders to ask themselves one question...
How much do you want?
Sure, we all want to see revival in our city and to see God move in a new way. But our level of hunger — how desperate we are to see God — determines how we steward the opportunity in front of us.
There are three objectives at the heart of VOUS Conference: to encounter God, equip the church, and empower leaders. As we dive deeper into each of these objectives, I hope that you can pull from these principles and apply them to the mission of your church or organization.
If we want an encounter with God, we have to seek out where He is. Of course, Jesus went out of His way to heal people and perform miracles. There is no limit to what He can do or how He will do it. But the trend we see is that Jesus encourages, heals, and speaks to those who seek after Him.
Maybe you feel like God is hiding. Let me encourage you that He’s not hidden — He’s just on the move. And as leaders, we need to move with Him. I think many times when we read the Bible, we breeze past the fact that there were crowds of people coming to Jesus. If you really think about it, everyone in the crowd had a life. They had things to do, errands to run, families to take care of. Jesus did not promote where He would be performing a miracle and what time they should be there. They heard where He was and they went. They pursued Him at any cost because they knew that an encounter with Him was more valuable than anything they had on their schedule.
There are some really practical ways we can seek after God to have an encounter:
- Make space in our schedules
- Do something new
The worst thing we can do as leaders is to stay put, stay the same, and stay comfortable. Our posture should remain one of seeking. We have to position ourselves to be with Him, then lead our families there, our church there, our teams there.
EQUIP THE CHURCH
To equip others, we have to equip ourselves. To equip means to supply the necessary items for a particular purpose. Arming ourselves with the right things is vital to our success as leaders. We must equip ourselves spiritually and tactically.
Matthew 15 shares the story of a woman whose daughter was possessed by demons. She was adamant about Jesus healing her daughter because she believed He could. Jesus responds to her by saying “your faith is great,” and instantly her daughter is healed! Jesus was moved by the woman’s faith. What word would describe your faith? I want to encourage you that to equip the church spiritually, we have to raise our expectations, dream bigger, and ask for more. God is honored when we pray audacious prayers. Faith invites God to do more than we could ask, think, or imagine.
Excellence opens the door to inspiration. It communicates to our guests that we are ready for them, that we have prepared for their arrival, that we value them, and that we can be trusted. At VOUS, we say that excellence is our spirit. Why? Because God cares about how we steward what He’s placed in front of us. The key to achieving excellence is preparation. Excellence is proactive — it answers questions before they are asked. The more proactive you are, the more present you can be in the moments that matter.
To empower others, we have to be empowered. We cannot do it in our own strength. God is alive and moving, and we have opportunities all around us to partner with Him as He works. God can use us because He has empowered us. When people are empowered, there is a sense of pride and ownership in the mission. There’s a shift from a “get through it” mentality to a “we get to” mindset. People take it personally.
I love the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. God took all the food they had and multiplied it to give the crowd what they needed. Scripture says that they all ate as much as they wanted until they were satisfied. It wasn’t only the guests — the disciples ate too (and even took basketfuls of leftover food).
Jesus feeds those who are hungry. He is actively moving and working. He’s looking for people who will come to Him with their five loaves and two fish and say, “Jesus! Will you do that thing you do?”
So again, the question is...