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Posts tagged with: leadership

Retweeting Jesus “RT@JesusChrist #4”

My Mother and My Brothers are all those who hear God’s Word and obey it. JC Luke 8:21 (NLT)

This Tweet of Jesus plays out like a movie in my head. Jesus is inside a house and He is spending some time with a crowd of people. He has just recently set out, going from town to town, teaching, and healing, and building His influence. In this scene He’s in a house. The Bible said that His mother and brothers show up and want to talk to Him but they couldn’t get to Him because the crowd was so big. How cool would it have been to be in the crowd? Someone runs into the house and said to Jesus, or maybe they shouted it over the top of the crowd. “Hey Jesus….your mother and brothers are outside and they want to talk to you.” I imagine Jesus taking a seat for a second, the crowd is silent waiting to see what He is going to say or do. He grabs His mobile phone and hits His Twitter App and tweets out to His followers, “My mother and brothers are all those who hear God’s Word and obey it.” –JC All throughout the room everybody’s mobile phones start beeping the tone that lets them know a new message has just arrived into their inbox. The women in the room grab their purses and begin to dig through them looking for their phone. The guys do a quick self “pat-down” trying to remember what pocket they stashed their new iPhones in. The rustling ends and everybody’s faces are aglow in the candle lit room as they are reading their message from their phones. At nearly the exact same time as the whole crowd finishes reading this obscure tweet…you can hear the crowd in nearly unison say, “huh?” The guy in the back who doesn’t have the new 4G phone sounds like an echo as he says, “huh?” about 24 seconds later.

It would be a strange tweet to receive wouldn’t it?

I can’t imagine how confusing this must have been to the crowd listening. Even more…imagine what Mary, Jesus mom, and His brothers might have thought when they heard His reply. I think James, Jesus’ younger brother might have pulled Mary aside and whispered to her that he thinks his older brother might be doing drugs. Or maybe James would have said…”Mom, you can’t let Him keep getting away with that kind of attitude.”

To be honest…I’m not really sure what to blog about this comment. It seems pretty clear.

Jesus is simply saying…My family members obey the Word of God.

I want to be in Jesus family. I want to obey the Word of God. What should I obey?

I think Matthew 25 gives us a “final exam” glimpse at what Jesus “Family” does while on earth.

Things like clothe the naked, feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, visit the prisoner, care for the sick, love and care for orphans and widows, do kind and loving things for society’s “least of these.” The Bible is also loaded with great things that Family members of Jesus should WANT to do.

Who are the “Least of These” in your circles of influence. In our world today our Circles of Influence have expanded. You and I can get on an airplane and arrive in the middle of Africa in very little time. The Word of God tells us to love our neighbors. We have world-wide neighbors and we have neighbors living under our own roof tops and next door.

To Obey The Word Of God…is to GO into all the world and love all people. Love is action.

Are you really a family member of Jesus?
What action will you do today or this week that shows you are a family member of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the final judge, the savior of the world, King of Kings, the Messiah, the doorway to Heaven?
Now that’s a family member anybody can be proud have!


GENERATION NEXT… The Crossroads


What are you a leader of? You lead something.
I have found myself preparing to lead again. The time is close. I’m excited. I’ve had some extended time off from vocational ministry and have had a lot of time to think, read and study. I have enjoyed it. I have learned immensely about the next generation and have been able to compare them to the current old school generation. Here’s some thoughts about what I’ve learned in the last year.

The next generation(Millennials aged 11-33) naturally have a knack for leading like Jesus…they just don’t know that’s what its called! They don’t do this deliberately, they actually do it instinctively.

We are at a crossroads that America has never experienced before in her culture. From this point in American History there has been nothing but building from an Agrarian type culture to an Industrial assembly line culture where bigger and more is always better. This has happened even within the church. The next generation has realized that bigger and more isn’t always better. The Millennials don’t know what the Industrial Revolution is. They have been raised in the “Service Industry” where customer service is king. There is a movement towards personal service and small. Nobody wants a great big cell phone. A great big flash drive.” A great big iPad. A great big corporation. I’m not saying any of those are wrong…I’m just saying….they are “out.” I won’t go so far as to say that small is the new big. I used to incorrectly believe that “Small is the new big.” But through the school of hard knocks I learned differently. This really isn’t about Big vs. Small.

Q: So what is the new big? A: The natural tendency of the Millennials.

The New Big is to be able to work using your ability/strength and be appreciated for it by the people you surround yourself with…especially your supervisor/boss.

The New Big will be led by the Leader in your organization who knows your gifts and strengths and gives you the freedom to use them effectively towards the goals and values of the organization.

The New Big has a Leader in the organization that knows your best work mode hours and lets you use those hours to be effective for the organization, be it morning, noon or night. (It no longer is about 8:30 to 5)

The New Big is led by the Leader in your organization who knows how you do your best work for the organization and they free you to pursue the organizational goal in the way you are bent to achieve it.

The New Big is led by the Leader in your organization who knows you have a group that you relate really well with and he/she will give you the freedom to accomplish your goals for the organization using the people you choose to accomplish the goal with.

The Next Great Leaders know the Next Generation is inspired by a leader who will generate a list of things to be achieved for the success of the company and then give his/her staff the ability to choose what they want to tackle and pursue. Can you see the energy of this system? The group excitement?

The Next Big Leader that leads like this…is a leader that is like Jesus. The Leader that leads like this will take his/her company into the future successfully and with significance and joy.

A new generation of young people is rising up. They have a lot of friends and would do anything for those friends. They want to work through motivation and not get so caught up in compensation. They want to work for significance and they aren’t that concerned about the comparisons and competition. They want to live a life of peace and camaraderie and they want to do a lot of good for our world.

Some companies that have already grasped these facts are proving very successful. Some examples are…

Zappos
Apple
Rock Harbor Church
Facebook
Venture Church
Southwest
Northpoint Church
Google
Life Church
Virgin
Twitter
YouTube
Tom’s

The list is actually extensive.

We are at a Crossroads…in our American Society.
Here’s the great news…
The Millennial Generation has unbelievable potential. They are deeply technologically savvy. They want to live for significance. They are highly relational. I’m sure there is some maturing yet to be done in this generation before their true colors shine. But don’t we all still have some maturing to do.

The future looks bright!
tr



“Hi, my name is Trent Renner, Who are you?”

So…you walk into a gathering of people who do the same thing you do. You are asked over and over, as you meet different people, “Who are you?” Sound familiar? Have you been in this situation before? Of course you have. You’ve been asked a thousand times…”who are you?” My question is, “How have you answered?” If I approached you right now and asked you, “who are you?” I know you would give me a smile and your name. The key question is, what would you answer next? I would answer; “my name is Trent Renner and I am the Lead and founding Pastor of Parkway Christian Church in Surprise Arizona.”
That answer seems like a good answer at first. However the problem is this; Parkway Christian Church no longer exists. I merged Parkway with Christ’s Church of the Valley in April of 2011. Parkway was completely absorbed and acquired by Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria AZ. Parkway Church doesn’t exist anymore. My leadership of her doesn’t exist anymore. So before Parkway was merged with Christ’s Church of the Valley, and somebody asked me who I was, and I answered by giving my name and Title…well…then looking back…was I giving a good description of who I was? If who I am is based on my name and Title only…then what happens to my identity when that titled is no longer truthful as to who I am? If who I am is based on something that no longer exists then I no longer exist. Who are you? Please don’t tell me your existence is founded on what you do as a job.  Check out this great video clip…it makes my point very well. Anger Management…\”Who are you?\”
If tomorrow you woke up and your job title no longer existed, who would you be? If tomorrow, all the people who followed you, no longer actually followed you, who would you be? If tomorrow you found out that 13 or 30 years of your life blood, sweat, sacrifice, time and energy, just evaporated, who would you be?

Where is your identity? By what do define yourself? Who are you?

I have learned the hard way that I must hold onto everything lightly. Nothing is really mine. You are just like me. So, nothing is really yours. You and me…we are not entitled to anything. Please base your identity on what your Creator calls you and by what He did for you. Everything else is temporal. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Who are you?
My name is Trent Renner…forgiven man of God, temporal husband, father, and spiritual leader. A man who loves the Lord and one who ultimately knows that nothing is permanent.

Who are you? How do you define yourself?


Thursday in Africa

My last day in Torroro, Uganda Africa…

I can’t really express the feeling I am experiencing inside my heart and soul.  I am physically and emotionally exhausted and invigorated.  I am so joyful to get home soon and hug my amazing wife and children and I have a huge heartache to leave a place that could use the encouragement and love of this American and many others.  So many children today knowing that our goodbyes must happen today wanted to just walk with me wherever I went holding my hand and asking if I was ever coming back.

This morning we got up…same breakfast as the previous blogs described…after breakfast half of the group headed off to the town of Mityana where many in the group have sponsored Children.  It is about a 5 hour drive to this town.  I’m not sure what that group fully did since I wasn’t with them.

We stayed in Torroro and went to the city square where all the business takes place during the day.  The streets are dirt and full of potholes….and there are thousands of people walking back an d forth, taxis in the form of motorcycles (boda boda’s) beeping their horns and zipping and zig zagging with no pattern in their direction of driving.  In the streets of Africa….EVERYBODY has the right of way…except pedestrians.  While we were downtown today a Boda-Boda was driving and a police officer tried to pull him over…the Boda-Boda would not pull over so the cop took it upon himself to ram the Boda-Boda…the driver fell to the ground and hit his head and died on the spot.  We were just around the corner, so we didn’t see the actual incident, but all of a sudden you could hear the roar of a crowd.  The market stores we were in told us to stay inside as they ran and grabbed the front doors of their businesses and pulled them shut.  We didn’t stay inside but chose to get out of the store and get out of the downtown area.  As we got outside of the building you could see the crowd gathering…the police officer took off for fear of his own life and the citizens of Torroro began to get big rocks and place them in the middle of the streets so that the police cars could not get in.   I’m not sure how it all ended.  We do know that the driver of the Boda-Boda was killed.  Its seems that all quieted down.  The people in the hotel told us that it is common for the Boda-Boda drivers to go on strike until the police admit fault and try to make amends.  Crazy.

After some shopping we headed back to the True Vine Ministries property and spent the whole afternoon playing soccer and throwing frisbees, and just spending time with some very special people in Africa.  I gathered about 10 young boys all ranging about 10-13 years old and we just walked for about 2 hours.  We talked about everything.  They asked me questions about America and I asked them questions about Africa and her language and words.  They had never really touched white skin before so I let them tug and pinch my arms.  They have no hair on their arms in Africa and they are fascinated with the white mans hairy arms.  When I told them they could feel my whiskers on my face…a full day and a half growth of very bristly whiskers!…they freaked out.  One boy couldn’t touch my whiskers….he looked like he was about to literally get sick.  He was somewhat emberassed by the whole thing, so I didn’t ask.  It was funny.

We talked about Bible stories that they had never heard before.  Imagine me talking to 10 boys ages 10-13 about the story of David and Bathsheba!!!  They knew King David, but they didn’t know this juicy story!  I had them leaning in as I told them about a great King who was wandering on the roof tops and spotted a beautiful woman bathing.   They leaned in more!  LOL   They got a sadness in their eyes about this sin of David.  Then we talked about Psalm 51 where David records his sorrow and repentance and we talked about forgiveness and how  good and patient our loving God is.  AweMazing moment with these young men.

As we walked around some more they wanted to show me their classrooms where they learn and get their education.  As they were showing me the different rooms, three of their teachers walked in.  Very sharp men.  Dressed in dark slacks and pressed button down shirts.  These men were dressed in such a way that they could be successful businessmen in America.  They greeted me with big smiles and I spoke with them for a few moments….then…I asked them the big question!   “What do I have to do in Africa to get an African name for myself?”   They laughed and spent about 15 minutes explaining the different names I could actually get.  Depending on where you live, your African name begins with a certain letter.  They asked me if I liked the City of Kampala or the City of Torroro better.  I love Torroro anyway and all three teachers lived in Torroro so they took great delight when I told them my favorite was Torroro.  This would mean to my African name that it would begin with an “O”   They then explained that since this is my first African name that they recommended that it be a very simple sounding name so it would be easy for me to remember.  I said “good!”  They then asked me my birthdate.  I told them October…October…they said that October is the sunny time in Torroro.   They asked me what time of day I was born.  I told them around 1 a.m.  These questions all help determine my African name.   After they discussed it, and even included the 10 boys I was with in the discussion they came up with several and then asked me to pick one.  They said that when they pronounce the different name options that one will feel right with my spirit and I’ll know.  I don’t remember the full set of choices…but when they pronounced “OCHIENG”  It just seemed like the one I wanted so I told them.  It is pronounced O-Chang.  (the O is a long O.)   They all smiled and clapped and I was nervous thinking they played a joke on me…but they consider it a great honor to name someone with an African name.  They were simply celebrating with me.  I asked them the meaning of my name and they said that October is the Sunny time of Torroro, Uganda, Africa and that the name Ochieng means person of light!  I was touched in a powerful way by that.  I feel honored by it.  My greatest desire and my greatest passion is to be a light bearer for Jesus Christ.

Now some of you might be a bit disappointed after reading this because you read last nights blog where I posted that you had to eat a White Ant in order to be given an African name.  Well that was just the leader of the group basically playing a joke on me.  HOWEVER…I promise you if we come across a White Ant in the next couple of days…I will eat it anyway and video record the whole thing for your delight!  I asked a little more detailed questions about this white ant.   It is actually a large termite that lives in the big dirt mounds you see in the middle of the African bush.  These things have wings and are about an inch long and as thick as up to two pencil widths.  Juicy and buttery…is what I’m told they taste like.  Again…If I find one…I will eat it and video it.

We leave early tomorrow for a place in Africa called Fort Portal where we will spend one day doing mission work and the other day going on an Africa Safari!

I’ve got to pack.  Then get to bed.  Tomorrow we have a 10 hour drive to Fort Portal.

May your day be blessed and may you fully serve the Lord in whatever you are doing throughout your day.

Trent