I just arrived home from a two-day retreat with four others planning the 2009-2010 (August - August) teaching calendar for The Vineyard. For better or worse, I now know what we plan on teaching 18 months from now. Some things always change, but most stay the same. I believe that the Holy Spirit has a way of leading us when we take the time to listen. To me, it has been a lifelong curiosity as to why sometimes he leads years in advance and sometimes he waits until the moment of. It's made me realize that they best way to lead a spiritual community is a rather simple formula:
1. Pray (with others when possible.)
2. Plan (with others when possible.)
3. Pray again.
4. Be willing to scrap the plan.
5. Do the plan if it still exists.
6. Repeat as needed.
Dave, Garry, Jim, Kent and I spent the last two days doing a lot of 1, 2, and 3. Now it's time to start working it out. I'm excited about where VCC is headed overall, and now I'm even a little more excited to see the plan for the next year start to unfold. The way I'm wired, I'm also excited to see what parts will be scrapped by a Holy Spirit inspired last minute Hail Mary. (Yes, I just used a football analogy stolen from a spiritual practice to make a spiritual analogy.)
New things excite me. Always have. I don't like change in some areas of my life. (I always order yellow chicken curry at a six with steamed rice at Lemongrass, for instance. I always think I'll get something different, but I don't.) That said, nothing excites me more than a new idea becoming a reality.
Reset was just one idea generated in this same meeting this time last year. On the way back from our retreat today we saw two billboards advertising Reset from two different churches. It wasn't until I got home that it hit me how much one idea can cause a chain reaction that leads to actual results and a common vision.
Sharing our Reset idea with our friends at Crossroads and asking them to lead us in the implementation of it caused it to grow into what it is today. New ideas are most powerful when they are fearlessly given away...sometimes that's the hardest part of having an idea - letting others have it, change it and make it better. But it's almost always worth it.
I'm also excited about the new web-based Bible study looking at Matthew 5-7. It launched this week and if you'd like to join us, just head on over at this link. I'm happy to give it away as well.
So, here's to ideas, blowing them up and giving them to those who can do more with them than you can.