I love being part of something bigger than I am. The Baptist Bible Fellowship International is a movement of pastors that began in 1950 and has reached around the world. The 2017 Winter meeting at Central Baptist in Tyler, Texas is an opportunity to motivate continued movement to reach our world with the gospel of Christ. Two speakers challenged us on Tuesday evening, February 21, to look out and look within.

55f623d73bce75ab0273fc2c_lyonsGreg Lyons is the leader of Global Surge, a movement within the Philippines to reach young people with the gospel. In the last 15 years, 1 million campers have attended their camps with over 480,000 coming to Christ. But it didn’t start out that way.

When a plan to start a church failed in one area of Manila, Greg was forced to relocate to a new area. Little did he know that the largest high school in the world was in his neighborhood. Rizal High School has 42,000 students.

God doesn’t assign us to a place or position. God assigns us to a people. God assigned Greg to the youth of Manila. He knew that if they couldn’t get and hold their attention, the didn’t deserve their attention. So, he began many ministries into that local high school.

He knew that if they could break down barriers to the Gospel that the devil had set up, the Gospel would rush in. So they went to the young people that nobody wanted – the poor, the drugged, the lost.

If you’re not willing to resource your dream, your dream will fail. So, Greg and Luanne gave themselves and all they had to reach these young people. Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. All movements begin when God moves in hearts. All movements will be attacked.

Global Surge has reached thousands of youth in Manila. Even now, many of those young people continue to reach others and are multiplying to become missionaries. To reach your vision of what God can do through you, rise above the issues and pettiness. Quit looking at what others are doing or not doing and look at the lost around the world.

You don’t need more space or more money to reach the lost around you. You need a vision. A movement is not defined by numbers but by vision. God give us more people like Greg & Luanne Lyons with vision to reach our world.

11SteveStroope_400_833281987Steve Stroope is pastor of Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas. He shared a challenge to look at what God is wanting to do within us to impact our world.

In Psalm 139:14-16 we discover that God has moved in each of us before we were ever born. So there are four things we need to realize.

1 – Pay attention to how God made you. 

There are four categories of things you can do: Bad things, good things, great things, unique things. Most of us try to stop doing bad things. Good things are activities we may be better than most but nobody would pay us to do them. Great things are activities we are good and we could get paid to do them. But unique things are activities that we are gifted and called by God to do. They are things we must do.

What has God uniquely called you and equipped you to do?

Rick Warren has said, “You make a great you but a terrible anybody else.”

Circumstances or people often push us to do a lot of good things. From the outside, great and unique activities look the same. But when you do too many great things you will wear out. But when you do unique things they energize you.

2 – Pay attention how you spend your time.

The Pareto principle states that 20% of what we do produces 80% of our results. All things we do are not equal. We must do things that make the greatest difference. So we must leverage our time to major on the 20%.

For example, suppose a 5 day workweek represents 100% of what we accomplish. One day equals the 20% that produces 80% of our efforts while 4 days only represents 20% of our accomplishments. But what if we decided to switch it up. Suppose we cut out some things and spend 2 days on the things that produce 80% of what we accomplish. The net result is 175% accomplished.

3 – Determine your best times.

Most of us are either morning, afternoon, or evening persons. 50% of most people are better in the mornings. The rest are either afternoon or evening. Do your 20% unique activities when you are most effective. Guard your best time for your best work. For me, mornings are my best. So I should spend time studying for sermons and planning for the morning.

4 – Pay attention to the season you are in.

There are 4 seasons: Dream (start things), Do (getting things done), Drag (life gets dull), Dark (life gets lonely).

Pain tells us something is wrong. So when we find we are in the Drag season, we must spend time with God to reveal what’s wrong.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24).

God will do something in your dark times that He can do in no other times. Like a caterpillar who spins into his cocoon, God will change your life so you can start anew. You don’t have to go to a new place to start anew. You just need a fresh start.

You can be in a different season at the same time in different areas of your life. You can be Dreaming in your marriage, Doing in your job, Dragging in your church, and Dark in your walk with God.

Remember, God gave His people a Sabbath. Every 7 days we need to get out of the “Do” and get into the “Dark” so we can ask the hard questions of what we are doing. To stop working is a great act of faith. It is trusting God to take care of you. Pastors tend to be the worst at breaking the Sabbath. When is your Sabbath to weekly evaluate your life?

You can read more about the 2017 BBFI meeting at BBFI in Tyler, TX 2017.