Here are my notes from Brian Brodersen sharing at the 2015 Calvary Chapel NW Pastors Conference.
What is our objective? What are we aiming at when we gather together? God’s presence.
If there is a community, if there is a place where God’s presence is tangible, that will have a transformational effect.
- Times of refreshing come from being in the presence of the Lord. We want God to be tangibly present in our gatherings.
- If we have that, then we have it all. Want to look at the different things that happen when in the presence of the Lord.
God’s presence brings God’s power.
- Psalm 68.
- Jesus and the Pharisees, God’s power was present to heal. Jesus’ miracles. Jesus is God.
- When the Lord is present, His power is there.
- Often times we don’t even realize the power of God is present and is going out.
- As we gather and are seeking God in worship and His word, God is touching people with His power and you aren’t even involved.
- Don’t even need a special time. Can’t conjure God’s presence or power.
God’s presence brings personal perspective.
We have no idea what’s happening in peoples lives, heads, hearts. People go through stuff. They carry it around, they carry it right into church with them. As they come, their perspective is altered.
- Job. He was obviously confused over his circumstances and suffering. Then the Lord showed up, Job’s perspective changed. Often times that sorts everything out.
- Isaiah 6.
- Saul in Acts 9.
- You want the Lord’s presence when you gather.
God’s presence brings joy.
- Psalm 16:11.
- Psalm 30:11.
- Psalm 105:33.
- Psalm 73, life was troubling until he went into the sanctuary.
God’s presence brings conviction and conversion.
- “I don’t remember what they guy said, but I just knew that I needed to respond.”
- Paul on prophecy, the unbeliever is convinced.
- “Lord, whatever else happens, You please just show up.”
God’s presence brings times of refreshing.
- Refresh means revive, resuscitate, to give new breath.
- Times of refreshing from from time in the presence of the Lord. In the past, a good bible study meant a good and beneficial time. Missed the point.
- When God’s presence in there, people share it. Word spreads. A community notices, wherever God’s presence may be “happening.”
As leaders, are we recognizing this, are we desiring above all else God’s presence in our lives first, and in our fellowships?
Moses, when ready for the carrying on of the leading of the people, “My presence will go before you.” Good! Without that, we can’t go anywhere.
How can we assure God’s presence? What is our part?
God expects us to be the one to be seeking Him for these things. Seeking on behalf of His people, for His people.
- Starts with desire.
- It’s easy to get complacent. You get used to it, it is what it is. Not having that continued passion and desire to say, “No Lord, we want to see more, we want to see fresh new things.” That’s our responsibility.
- Balance of holy contentment between being satisfied and thankful with what God has done, but also to want to not stop there. We see some success and settle into a routine. That’s not going to bring times of refreshing. Need an ongoing desire, as leaders.
- Practically, also need preparation.
- I need God’s presence in my own life. If I’m expecting God’s presence to manifest in the congregation, I’d better be experiencing it in my own personal life.
- We have to fight against personal complacency, that we have personally arrived. pastors are the most difficult people to minister to.
- One thing to do is to read and listen to people outside our own tribe to get different perspective on things, and refresh why we believe what we believe. Getting out of our comfort zone, being challenged.
- Heart preparation. And life preparation. Life needs to be centered around experiencing God’s presence. Dealing with sin. Sometimes we can be in sin and God’s presence can still show up because God loves the people and shows up despite our own sin. That only lasts for so long. God will deal with that.
- Another way to prepare is to faithfully proclaim His word.
- God shows up and is honored when His word is faithfully proclaimed. He delights that. Historically have done, need to keep doing it.
- Most people still do not heart it faithfully preached so keep at it.
- Ask for it! “You do not have because you do not ask.” “Ask, seek, knock.” Constant prayer, Lord just come and be present among us. Asking for it personally. Communicate this to your team.
- Expect it!
- How do we show that we really expect it? By being open to things not being the same from experience to experience, week to week, meeting to meeting. Rut of routine included expectation.
- It’s going to get mixed up and not as predictable as it has been in the past. We show our expectation but laying out our plans, but saying “Have you way.”
This was the opening session and its hitting the closest in terms of where I’m at and where I want to see, where I believe the Lord wants to see, Young Adults at Crossroads. This is what I want people to experience in any gathering or group setting, and in their own personal lives 24/7. At work, school, home, friends, family, relationships, its about experiencing the presence of God, which is required to walk and live in His power.