Having said ‘hi’ to Gavin Calver in the hotel lobby yesterday, my next words to him were ‘I wouldn’t do that if I were you’. I’d just arrived at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool for the New Wine North & East Leadership Conference. We were both heading towards the Gents with Gavin ahead of me, but to my surprise he headed left – and was half way through the door into the Ladies loo! Not sure what he was thinking there… but my intervention meant he managed to avoid the screams of shocked unsuspecting women, which I guess is good.
Then later on I was in my room making some tea. I removed the tea-bag from the packet, placing the bag in the cup and the torn packet in the bin. I then took one of the little cartons of milk, ready to add it to the cup. Sometimes I’m a little careless with those cartons so I took special care this time and was pleased to open it without milk shooting out all over my shirt. With the carton in my hand I then proceeded to pour the contents … into the bin! When the carton was empty I realised what I’d done. Woops!! Maybe I needed someone with me to say ‘I wouldn’t do that if I were you’…
Neil Cole is the main speaker at this conference. He has vast experience of leadership and church planting and has much wisdom for our times. This guy is the kind of leader I really respect – with a wonderful mix of humility and authority. I’m being inspired, taught and challenged. Neil is causing me to ask some searching questions about how we do church. Does Jesus look at much of what we’re doing and say: ‘I wouldn’t do that if I were you’?
I bought one of Neil Cole’s books yesterday that I hope to read in the coming weeks. As I went to bed I asked the Lord for a Scripture to meditate on and found myself reading Acts 17:10-15 which is all about the Bereans. I read how these people were ‘noble-minded … for they received the Word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.’ After breakfast this morning I dipped into the new book, reading the Introduction. And what was the very first bible reference in the book? Yes – Acts 17:10-15!
All this reminds me that the Lord is on my case. He is present and speaking. He’s trying to get my attention by confirming his message. And he wants me to know that what Neil is saying is biblical and right and true – and, like the Bereans, that I can and should check it against Scripture to be sure.
What about you? Is God trying to get your attention? Are you listening? What is he saying? Will you respond and obey?