Leaders Meeting Shane Willard 22.04.2010
[Shane Willard] Well I love being here. I purposely scheduled this as my last - I've been three weeks in South Africa. We went to seven different places in three weeks and then I was in Australia for three weeks, and now I'm here. I purposely made this my last stop because this is a place I can come and I don't have to manufacture energy, because there's a natural energy that is around the place anyway and so it makes it easier on me. I really appreciate your church. I think your church is a church of strength and it's a church of energy. More than anything I think that the feeling - take this okay, take this for what it's worth as someone who travels the world and is in different places every week. When you're in different places every week you can gauge certain things and so as someone who travels the world and is in a different place every week, this is one of the most loving places that I've ever been to in terms of the environment that people would feel when they come in.
So that's a big testimony to you, so what I'm going to share - I had it in my heart to share something with you today and I spent some time preparing it, my last days in Brisbane and then you know, looking at it. This is the first time I would have shared this, so give me some sort of creative leeway here because I'm still working some of this out too, but I felt to share something with you because the environment of this church is so precious and it's so particular and it's so unique that it's up to you to maintain it. So what I want to talk to you about today is the state of your heart. It's the state of your heart. I entitled the talk State of the Heart Leadership. Every year someone does a State of the Union address, the President of the United States does a State of the Union address and it's very important at that point to get his perspective on where things are. So I want to talk to you about how important it is to on a regular basis - everything we're going to talk about today is not a one time decision where you go to an altar, you get prayed for, you get delivered from something.
It's not a one time decision; it's something that I think we'll find that we have to deal with on a regular basis, because the tendency with European Christian is when hear something like this they ask themself the question, well which one am I? Like for instance the parables [unclear 00.02.32] where Jesus says okay, people's hearts are like this. When someone scatters the seed of God's word it either falls on good ground or stony ground, or thorny ground or hard ground, so the tendency is to say well which one are we. Which one are we? The answer is yes. The answer is you're all of them, depending on the topic okay and depending on where you are, and depending on what kind of pressure you're feeling. Pressure does things to people. Pressure does things to people that other times it wouldn't. Stuff comes out and it's inappropriate. Listen, it's inappropriate to judge anybody's heart based on how they're acting under pressure, just like you wouldn't want someone to judge your heart in one moment of you lose your mind right?
So with that in mind I want us to investigate some things here. This is a scripture from Matthew 15:17 through 20. This is Jesus, He's speaking to a group and the context of this scripture is - okay, let me give you the context of the scripture first. So the context of the scripture is the Pharisees are having a moment with Jesus where they're being very critical, and if you've ever been a communicator you understand how frustrating this. Every now and then - it doesn't happen often, but every now and then I'll get done with a meeting and you've worked hard to - the emotion it takes to really do a meeting well, you work hard to do it. After the meeting some self-appointed church prophet who is the guy in charge of whatever's true and whatever's an error in the church comes up with his Bible open wanting to tell you why everything you said was wrong. That's very annoying. It's very, very annoying because what he's saying is he's right and everybody else is wrong and anyway, so testing grace.
So anyway they're coming in and they're doing this and it's like a rapid fire sort of thing. Finally they run out of things to criticise Him for and this is what they say: Jesus, don't You notice that Your disciples, they don't even wash their hands before they eat? And Jesus, it's like He's at the end of the road with this, like if you're going to criticise that - now as a communicator this is so important. As a communicator when you're communicating with a group of people the most important thing is your starting point. You have to back up until you have some kind of common ground, so in this passage of scripture Jesus has tried to go this way and they were critical. Then He tried to go that way and they were critical, then He tried to go this way and they were critical. Jesus continually backs up until He can find some common ground, and once you can find some common ground and says okay, can we at least agree on this, then you can go forward. That's Communication 101.