This past Sunday we had Ps Kirk Bowman from The Rock Church in North Carolina with us. After making sure he was settled into his hotel I reflected on why I love having visiting speakers. Here’s my top 10.
1. We Immediately Get Along: Despite my introversion in regards to first-time meetings, once the introductions are over and we being to talk, we usually get along. There’s an affinity, we understand each others world’s and this helps to fast track the developing relationship.
2. There’s A Unique Work Of The Spirit Going On Within Their Lives: Paul in Ephesians talks of the “manifold wisdom of God” (3:10) and I always love seeing this at work through different lives and ministries. Although we work in the same fields and face the same issues, joys and challenges there’s a unique grace, a unique calling a unique work of the Spirit going on in every person. If you’re open you can receive from that work and it can benefit you greatly.
3. The People Fall In Love With Them: I have a friend called Duane White and he has this incredible saying, “I love it when my friends meet my friends.” I love it when the church meets my friends. I find our church has such a generous spirit that they usually fall in love with them and as a result I often hear, “When is ______ coming back?” I don’t feel threatened by that, why would I? I’m encouraged by it. I’m encouraged that the people in Church have discovered a new relationship and want to receive more from it.
4. Their Ministry Raises Expectation: A spirit of faith is the rocket fuel for living a successful christian life and that more than anything is what I want for our church. I want our people to know that God is for them and I want them to be aspirational in life, service and ministry. I have found over the years that there’s an impartation that can happen as we receive from our guests.
5. It’s An Opportunity For Generosity: Every time we have guests it’s an opportunity for us to serve them well, to bless them and then bless the ministry they are involved in. It’s a chance for the church as a whole to live out this value of being a generous people.
6. You Get Some New Ideas: Pastors are not lazy people. Usually, they’ve got a plan, a strategy, something they are working on, a way in which they feel God is leading them. Many Pastors though are blinkered. In my experience, many are still trying to reinvent the wheel. I’m not. If you’ve got a good idea that works for us, that fits our style, our culture and philosophy as a church, I’m stealing it! Unashamedly. Kirk had some great ideas around leadership development that might well get a run out at Christian Life Church sometime and who knows where else…
7. People Are Interesting And Energising: The thought of meeting people for the first time fills me with dread. I don’t why, it just does, but the minute I’ve met them I’m energised, I’m having fun and I’m interested because people are interesting, their story is usually compelling and that gives us energy.
8. There’s Exposure To A Bigger World: Think about it. Guests are involved in things you are not, they know people you do not, they are doing things you are not and sometimes they are doing things that you’d like to. Just these few facts show how we gain exposure to a world beyond our own and that can only be good for us. It means we are not confined to our world but through friendship and connection we get to live in and enjoy a world much larger and our horizon is thereby lifted.
9. It’s An Opportunity To Finally Move The Magazines: For me, this could have been number 1. Kirk used an illustration in one of his messages how we can be blind to things we have been meaning to fix. He talked about the pile of papers/magazines that we put to one side with the intention of clearing them away but we forget, then we overlook them and then we don’t see them. As he was speaking I am thinking of all the things I’m noticing in our church building that we should have fixed but we’re overlooking. I wouldn’t have noticed had Kirk not been with us. The job list gets produced Monday… 🙂
10. They Give An Objective Third-Person Viewpoint: During their visit you will usually talk about your church’s vision and plans. It’s in those conversation that their observations are given and prove really helpful. I think I’ve been saved from many mistakes as well as been encouraged to stretch as a result of hearing someone else give a view or share their experience in a particular area. This is invaluable.