By the Lord’s blessing, the P4C audios are coming to you for download much sooner this year then they did last. We are excited to make available these audio downloads [free of charge] for those who could not attend this year or if you did attend to continually reap the incredibly, rich Biblical teaching that was given at this year’s Passion4Christ Summit. God truly did a work among us. The worship of God was heavenly. The fellowship of his people sweet. The word of God truly life changing. We hope you continue to enjoy and be encouraged by these messages for years to come. Oh, and did we mention that if you fall into the category of a P4C attendee, we would like to see you there next year [October 26-30,2012]?
Daniel CavanaughNote: On the message ‘Doctrine Denied’, there is a little feedback at the beginning of the message for about 30 sec. We were unable to get rid of that noise. We do apologize and hope you enjoy the messages all the same.
How does one describe the work and blessing of God? On the one hand there is the danger of miss-stating and drawing to much attention to oneself. On the other, one can underestimate and fail to give God all the glory He so much deserves. With those cautions in mind, I will attempt to describe the blessings of Passion4Christ Summit 2010.
The Summit is a great responsibility and hard work. But it is blessed work. We could not believe that this year’s Summit could be as good as last year, but our great God showed us otherwise. This year’s Summit had eleven fewer attendees. Being human, we saw this as a negative. But the reduction did not impact the summit in a negative way. In spite of our weakness and short sightedness, God blessed in an incredible way by bringing us a wonderful group of Christian singles, whose hearts were ready to worship and hear from God. It was a privilege for our family to work again with a volunteer staff that makes things happen. It was our joy to work with Dewey Novotny and Dave Cavanaugh to minister the word. God blessed each message, and the people were so receptive. Our musicians [worship team] worked wonderfully together and there was a spirit of worship throughout the week. The singing was almost overwhelming in its participation, volume, and beauty. Though I was struggling with laryngitis; I could not restrain myself from participating. The staff at Pleasant Hill was in their office below us and commented on what a blessing it was to them.
God also led in the preparation and preaching of all the messages as evidenced by how they worked together to expound the theme “The Sacred Rhythm”. All were encouraged to have regular encounters with God, to think upon and thank Him for the evidences of His mercy and grace, and to walk with an awareness of His holy presence as we make Him known to our unholy world.
Community Groups met each morning to discuss the topics, increasing the interest and attentiveness. Breakout sessions were led by Pam Cavanaugh, Dewey Novotny, and a new addition Jeff and Leah Erickson who shared on the importance of healthy/Godly relationships within the body of Christ. Jeff and Leah did this in addition to overseeing the preparations of the splendid meals we all enjoyed.
We enjoyed two lovely theme dinners: a casual event to a “50’s Diner” and a formal occasion; an “Old Fashion Christmas” which took us back to the days of Dicken’s and Scrooge.
All in all, the week was a time of good Christian fellowship, emotional and physical refreshment, and spiritual enrichment. We thank our Lord for the privilege of being with and working with such lovely Christian brothers and sisters in Christ. We are also please to announce the dates for Passion4Christ Summit 2011 which will be October 26-30. We hope to see you there!
To Him be Alone the Glory,
What incredible times of worship in song we had together at this year’s Passion4Christ Summit. Thanks so much to Josh Rodriguez, Chelsea Barrios, and Rachel Jorgensen for their incredibly gifted and spirit filled leading of our worship in song. The Lord truly worked through this worship team. He led through them to help us express the glory of Christ. What a joy it was at times to just stop and listen to the group sing. It was truly amazing, glorious, and Christ exalting. It simply does not get any better than that. Just think of what it is going to be like in heaven.
Many have asked if we could make available a list of the worship music that was sung at this year’s Summit. In so doing, we thought we would make it available to all our readers. You will find listed below each song [some with their composer/writer]. Hope you enjoy and share with others that you may build one another up in “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” [Eph. 5:19]
Worship Music List:
- Wonderful Merciful Savior – music & lyrics by Dawn Rodgers & Eric Wyse
- Holy, Holy, Holy – public domain
- Nearer Still Nearer – music & lyrics Leila Naylor Morris
- I Stand in Awe of You – by Hillsong
- Be Thou My Vision – public domain
- The Church’s One Foundation – public domain
- In Christ Alone – music & lyrics by Stewart Townend & Keith Getty
- How Deep the Father’s Love – music & lyrics by Stewart Townend
- Come Thou Fountain – special arrangement by Josh Rodriguez
- Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus – [arrangement unknown]
- Still, My Soul be Still – music & lyrics by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stewart Townend
- Amazing Grace – public domain
- All I have is Christ – Sovereign Grace Music
- Creation Sings the Father’s Song – music & lyrics by Keith & Kristyn Getty/Stewart Townend
- All Hail the Power – public domain
- Love Devine – public domain
- It is Well with My Soul – public domain
- Oh the Love of My Redeemer – music & lyrics by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stewart Townend
- Immortal Invisible – public domain
- How Great Thou Art – public domain
- Benediction – music & lyrics by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stewart Townend
- On Christ the Solid Rock – public domain
We have good news for you: we have decided to extend Passion4Christ registration for one more week. Although we have received a sizable amount of registrations, there is still a little room, and we would like to extend it to you. Maybe you are still down to the wire on whether you can come or not. So, we are extending it till Wednesday of next week, October 13. So, you have one more week left to decided if the Lord would like you to attend this year’s Passion4Christ Summit or to invite a friend to come along as well. We would love to see you there. We are pumped for what the Lord has in store for us this year as we dig deep into his word. In communicating with the speakers for this year’s Summit, I am excited to hear what the Lord has to say to us through them as they have been studying His word. So, we hope you can make it. We would love to see you there!
Passion4Christ Summit is just around the corner, with less than three weeks left for registration. There are many things to be done between now and then. Many people are stilling praying about coming. The speakers are spending time in the word to prepare the word to be heard. God is moving, and we know that He desires to work in those whom He has chosen to be there this year. He desires a generation that will heed His word and live the gospel; not just talk about it; but believe it, sleep it, breath it. He desires a generation that will pursue Him with an undying passion; one that is fueled by the truth of God in His word. We desire that this year’s Passion4Christ Summit will spur a group of young Christians to do just that. Please join us! We are beseeching the throne of grace as we ask that His will be done, which is to see a generation that is passionate for His Gospel/Christ more than ever. It is our responsibility to beseech the throne of grace for God’s will to be done, and it is God’s responsibility to accomplish His will.
Storm the throne of Grace for:
- Speakers to communicate the word of God with clarity, led by His Spirit
- God to prepare the heart of each one who will be attending to grow in grace and understanding of the gospel truth in their everyday lives.
- The Lord to provide for those who are praying and desirous to come.
- The Lord to guide and give wisdom to the Vision4Living staff as they prepare the massive amount of details for the Summit.
- Us to simply walk in obedience [rest in] as we play out the script that God has written for this P4C Summit.
- The Lord to raise up a group of leaders through the P4C who will continuing carry on the gospel mantel to the next generation.
Storming with you,
Director of Operations
For more info on the Passion4Christ Summit visit http://vision4living.org/events/passion4christ-summit/
Last time we looked at the pitfall of presumption. Let’s take a glimpse again at Saul’s life and see the third and final pitfall of spiritual leadership he displays.
3. The third danger or pitfall for leaders illustrated by King Saul is pride. Pride is the root cause of presumption and every other sin. Pride thinks more highly of self than it should. Pride refuses instruction. Pride feels threatened. Pride feels the freedom to act without God’s direction. Pride resents criticism. Saul’s pride came to the surface like so much dross in a kettle. Since it controlled his life, there was no way he could subdue the evidences of it.
Obviously every leader and every Christian battles the sin of pride. We all are prone to think too highly of ourselves and to react when people or circumstances threaten us. But it is one thing to battle pride and quite another to be controlled by it. Saul’s pride controlled him causing him to make unwise, even irrational decisions and destroyed his relationships with man and with God. His pride caused him to fail to see how his failures had disqualified him for leadership and that it was time to defer to another. His pride kept him from rejoicing in God-given victories because they were secured at the hand of his rival David. Pride caused him to attribute to David evil motives not seeing that his own failures had moved God against him and to choose David as his replacement. Arrogance moved Saul to believe he knew better what should be done with Agag and the Amalekites than God. Arrogance moved Saul to believe he could destroy the man God himself had chosen to replace him. Arrogance made him think he could consult a medium in secret and not suffer the consequences in public. Arrogance led Saul to believe that his will was more important than the good of the nation under his leadership and that he could subvert God’s will with his own. In the process, Saul destroyed his fellow man and, ultimately, his relationship with God. Saul’s early promise gave way to the destruction of a leader consumed with himself and his own agenda (see 1 Sam. 15 and the following chapters).
The wise leader will learn from Saul that leadership in not about preserving one’s position but serving those you lead. The wise leader will learn that it is not about what is best for me but what is best for those I lead. The wise leader may make commitments which bring results he does not like, but he will follow through anyway (Ps. 15:4a). The wise spiritual leader tethers himself to the anchor of God’s Word so that when people and circumstances change, and he is weakened by uncertainty and fear, he remains steadfast. The wise spiritual leader knows that while attempting to please everyone, if he does not please God, he has failed. The wise leader is not dependent on good looks, personality, or merely surface human qualities but upon the grace of God demonstrated by the reality and depth of his knowledge of God and his walk with Him. May God deliver us from the Sauls in leadership, and may he raise up those whose depth of Christian character make them worthy to face the challenges of our day.
President – Vision4Living Ministries
Last time we looked at the pitfall of attractiveness. Let’s take a glimpse again at Saul’s life and see the second pitfall of spiritual leadership.
2. The second danger or pitfall Saul illustrates is presumption. Wise spiritual leaders know their jurisdiction and do not tread beyond the area of their giftedness and responsibility. The wise leader knows his responsibilities and his limitations and refrains from stepping into areas that are not his.
Saul’s presumption is first seen when he offered an unlawful sacrifice in 1 Sam. 13. He had hardly gotten started as King before his true character shows, and he begins to unravel. His obvious physical qualities and apparently spiritual ones yielded to unwise decisions and wrong actions. He stepped into an area forbidden to him and reserved only for the Priest. He allowed the pressure of the moment to dictate his decision instead of doing what is right, no matter what (1 Sam. 13:7-10). Any good leader can make a bad decision, but no principled leader will deliberately forsake what is right because of the pressure of the moment. “The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness” (Prov. 11:3&5). This instance was no exception for Saul, who later, in his fear, consults a medium in direct disobedience to the Law of God (1 Sam. 27:3ff). Saul’s apparent discernment had melted into compromise and foolish decisions. As the pressures of leadership mounted, the reality of weak character was exposed. The unwise and unfit leader will often presume that, because he is in the position of authority, he can do things forbidden to others. He may presume that he can get away with decisions, the consequences of which are promised and certain. The favor of God may seem irrevocable, and the favor of people may be bought for a season or held temporarily with the power of position, but one presumes upon them to his peril.
Saul’s presumption is further illustrated by an unwise oath. (1 Sam. 14:24ff). Leaders can sometimes believe that if they say it, then it is automatically true and right. Saul’s oath was the foolish attempt of an unspiritual man to act spiritually (or at least to appear to act spiritually) and to secure success and safety by any means. When a spiritual leader is motivated by fear instead of faith, he may work to secure God’s favor; however, God’s favor comes by grace, and cannot be earned. But Saul did not understand faith or grace and thus foolishly made an oath that put those under his authority in harm’s way. It also put him in a position of having to defend his oath against his own son, whose loyalty, commitment, and courage were unquestionable.
The wise leader will heed the words of Christ to “let your yes be yes and your no be no” and will avoid words, commitments, and promises that may come back to haunt him later. Presumptuous actions and presumptuous words can destroy his credibility and effectiveness and ultimately lead to his demise.
President – Vision4Living Ministries
For the last few months, we have been exploring insights on leadership in the lives of biblical leaders. The next person we are going to look at is Saul entitled ‘The Pitfalls of Spiritual Leadership’. We will divide it up into a three part series and Lord willing discover how to avoid, by the grace of God, those pitfalls that can and will destroy us as spiritual leaders. Hope you enjoy.
‘The Pitfalls of Spiritual Leadership’: Part 1
It is very easy to see the glory and benefits of leadership without seeing the struggles and problems that accompany it: especially if you are only a spectator. The pressures of expectations, the vulnerability to misunderstanding, and the struggle to stay focused and sharp are all realities leaders must address.
But there are dangers and pitfalls in leadership that, while a reality for any Christian, are enhanced for the leader. Perhaps few men, if any, in biblical history, illustrate these pitfalls more clearly and more tragically than Israel’s first King. Saul was ostensibly a man of promise and potential for God’s glory, but it all crumbled because he failed to avoid the pitfalls of spiritual leadership. What were these pitfalls, and how can we avoid them?
1. The first danger illustrated by Saul is attractiveness. It should not be difficult for the modern Christian and leaders to identify with this danger. Our media-soaked culture seems to promote people based almost solely on their physical beauty or charisma. What chance would an Abraham Lincoln have in such a setting, and how often have you heard names brought up in conversation as possible candidates for public office only to have someone say, “He’ll never make it. He’s not good looking enough. He’s not charismatic enough.” Saul illustrates the danger these qualities can present. But attractiveness does not have to come by way of physical appearance or charisma. It can come in what seem to be inward qualities.
Saul possessed some obvious physical qualities. He stood out in a crowd because of his height and handsomeness (1 Sam. 9:2). In modern terms, he was “tall, dark, and handsome.” To many in that day, and in ours, he would have seemed a natural choice for leadership. Even the Prophet Samuel seemed taken with Saul’s stature saying; “there is no one like him… (1 Sam. 10:23, 24).
Along with Saul’s obvious physical qualities, he also possessed some apparent spiritual qualities. Saul’s initial response to being chosen as King of Israel is interesting and will be recalled later by Samuel (1 Sam. 15:16-18). If it is true, as some say, that leadership should seek the person and not the other way around, then Saul exemplified that philosophy. He was reluctant, if not resistant to accept the call to leadership (1 Sam. 10:21, 22) and seemingly incredulous that someone of his background would be considered for such an honor (10:20, 21). At least at this stage of his life, Saul appeared to be a humble man.
Saul also seemed wise in his response to both success and adverse circumstances. After the announcement that he would rule, some rebels showed disrespect and an unwillingness to follow his leadership. Later, Saul led Israel to its first military victory under his new leadership and “proved his mettle” so to speak. The people wanted to execute those who had earlier rejected Saul. But Saul graciously and wisely downplayed such ideas and encouraged the people to rejoice together in the goodness of God’s blessing in battle.
The obvious question is; what is wrong with such qualities? Is it wrong to be outwardly attractive? And certainly no one could argue against Saul’s apparent character displayed in the above instances. The truth is that outward attractiveness is not in itself a disqualification for leadership, and good character is certainly not to be discouraged. The problem for the leader, and for any of us, comes when these become a mask covering serious character deficiencies. Often leaders are chosen on the basis of these alone. Outward impressiveness and surface character qualities are no substitute for genuine integrity; a truth which Saul will illustrate for us later.
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. We have just posted the FAQ’s for the Passion4Christ Summit. With any event like this comes questions that need to be answered as you make your plans. Hopefully these will be helpful to you as you make plans to come or seek to give others information. However, we also realize that we cannot possibly answer all the questions that the human mind could come up with for an event like this. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered. If your mind should think of anything that is not on the FAQ’s feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will answer those to the best of our ability. Thanks for your interest and don’t forget to have a great day!
I recently had the opportunity to attend the NEXT Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. I can’t remember the last time I heard so much valuable, solid, biblically based teaching in one spot (except at P4C and I am usually not sitting in on the sessions for that). I was so deeply challenged and can’t stop thinking about the things that I heard there – which is a good thing.
The focus for this year’s conference was “Foundation: The Importance of Sound Doctrine”. With a lineup of great men of God like Joshua Harris, Mark Dever, Kevin DeYoung, JC Mahaney, DA Carson, and Jeff Purswell (more info click on links) – home runs were being hit out of the park every session. I found myself at the end of each message saying, “Can it get any better”, and it would. I was convicted of the lack of sound doctrine in my own life. I have for a while considered myself to be a person who was founded on sound doctrine (not that I could never learn anything else), but at NEXT I was hit afresh with how much I still have to learn about who God is through His word. I was dually hit with the truth that sound doctrine is important and to say that it is not is to proclaim that you care nothing about learning of our great Savior. For that is what doctrine is: it is the study of God and his character; His nature; the very essence of who He is. Not just some facts about God but rather truths that produce and motivate a life that desires to live for the glory of God alone. Too long have we left off the glorious study of a glorious God and allowed our own imagination to conjure the image that we now possess of Him. We have rejected doctrine [truth] because of some misplaced idea of the division that it causes, and we are now reaping the results in our church and unfortunately in the next generation.
The question that remains is: are we advocates of sound doctrine; not the doctrine that only speaks of facts about Him but rather the doctrine that produces a heart that is in awe of Christ and the work that He has done; an awe of how powerful God is in his creation; a love, found in His love, that causes us to love others around us; an understanding of His sovereignty; and we could go on. As Joshua Harris so simply put, “We are all theologians”. Whether you are a Christian or not you have a view of God, and it affects how you live your life. It may be shallow, deep or somewhere in between but you are a theologian.
So are you studying true doctrine – the truth of God’s word- and is it producing a deep and passionate love for Him and his lovely bride the Church? If not, and you are one to say that we don’t need doctrine, then I ask you to come to grips with the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy when he said, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee (1Tim. 4:16).” Remember: it does matter what you believe. It grounds you. And when the winds of trials come and blow fiercely upon your life, the only thing that will stand will be what your life has been built upon (Luke 6:46-49).
I would encourage you to download the messages from this year’s NEXT Conference. Below, you will find the link to each one of the messages given. I guarantee they will challenge you as you never have been challenged before…