Gary Trobee

Ministry Leadership Coach

Discipleship

What is God’s highest priority on the earth?

By on January 12, 2016

According to scripture;
What is God’s highest priority on the earth?

On February 5th & 6th I have the privilege of addressing worship leaders at the Continuous Worship Conference at Maranatha Bible Camp. I have a premise that will be the basis for the entire weekend and you can help my expressing what you think the Bible says is God’s highest priority on the earth.

It’s only one question. Please click through and answer the question.

God’s highest priority is….

Feel free to comment below as well. Thanks again.

Don’t forget to check out the conference.

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The Leaders Top Priority

By on November 24, 2015

As leaders we need to be competent in our craft but it’s not our first priority.

What are your thoughts?

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Do We Need Something New?

By on April 2, 2015

Back to Basics

I attended a state college in Nebraska as a brand new believer where the campus ministry was all about discipleship. Their hearts cry was II Timothy 2:2:

You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. 
II Timothy 2:2 NLT

Very simple but not easy. One of the leaders carried around a copy of The Master Plan of Evangelism in his back pocket and if you invited him to dinner you better set at least two other places because he was bringing “trustworthy”, or what he called “FAT” people (Faithful, Available, Teachable), with him. What he was doing was simple. He was simply sharing life with faithful men. But not easy, they were with him all the time.

If you have followed this space you know I love technology and I love systems. However my rule #1 is “always default to relationship”. People are the point of everything we do. Consider what Paul thought would be his final conversation with the elders at Ephesus.

So guard yourselves and God’s people, Feed and shepherd God’s flock-his church, purchased with his own blood-over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders. 
Acts 20:28 NLT, emphasis mine

When we get a revelation of this it changes everything we do. Jesus bought His people with “His Own Blood” and then appointed us as stewards of His greatest treasure. Don’t get caught up in the word “Elder”. If you are a leader in the church, or in any organization, you have been “appointed by the Holy Spirit” (see Romans 13 if you’re not sure about that) to “shepherd” them.

We are always looking for a new idea, a new tool, a new system, a new book, a new revelation. Not saying that’s a bad thing we should use every tool at our disposal to complete the call God has put on our lives. However:

Hans Ur von Balthasar wrote in his book Prayer:

we think that God’s Word has been heard on earth for so long that by now it is almost used up, that it is about time for some new word, as if we had the right to demand one.

James Clear wrote today in “Do More of What Works Already“.

There are many examples of behaviors, big and small, that have the opportunity to drive progress in our lives if we just did them with more consistency. Flossing every day. Never missing workouts. Performing fundamental business tasks each day, not just when you have time. Apologizing more often. Writing Thank You notes each week. Of course, these answers are boring. Mastering the fundamentals isn’t sexy, but it works.

We definitely need revival in the church but in my humble opinion we will bring revival by returning to the fundamental things of the faith ourselves and bringing as many people along with us as will go.

Do something simple today. Spend 20 minutes in the gospel of John, call an old friend and thank them for what they have contributed to your life, invite your neighbor to Church this Easter Sunday. Simple kindness is a game changer.

Life naturally becomes more and more complicated and we must fight to keep things simple. Make a decision today to be a people focused leader. With the empowering of the Holy Spirit look for the gifting in those entrusted to you, call it out, equip it, and release it. That is how we will change the world.

Let me know how it goes.

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Raising Up The Next Generation?

By on February 5, 2013

I believe this statement comes from a completely sincere heart and is completely wrong.

We most definitely have the responsibility to pass our faith and our heritage onto the  next generation but nowhere, that I can find, in Scripture are we exhorted to “raise up” the next generation.

What Scripture does exhort us to do is raise up those entrusted to us regardless the generation. Certainly if an 18-year-old is called, gifted, and faithful they should be promoted but not just because they are 18. The same is true for a 48-year-old.

When we focus on one specific demographic whatever it may be we by definition create other very big problems. This is part of the problem of blended worship, or a multigenerational focus. These approaches create a market based, consumer driven culture and  that’s definitely not what we want.

If we will cultivate a culture of change while equipping and empowering Gods people to do what God has called and created them to do many of the problems we’re trying to fix by being “blended” or “multigenerational” will fix themselves.

I’m not naive and I’m not trying to be overly simplistic just hear my foundational premise.

The bottom line:

God has called leaders to first be equippers. Leaders are those who can recognize, call out, equip, and release gifting back into the body. Being a high-capacity doer of anything does not alone qualify a leader, and the reality is high-capacity doers are seldom the best leaders.

If we will focus our ministry on equipping the saints, as defined above, and promote calling and faithfulness over gifting and drive. We will have a very vibrant, change oriented, and multigenerational ministry by default. Because those entrusted to us are the culture and when we empower them they will represent and reflect that culture.

What are your thoughts?

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8760

By on November 28, 2012

I love the church. I love everything about church.

From Monday to Sunday there should be a vibrant expression of the church. The Sunday gatherings are great and I think God likes Sunday morning the best as well. The Bible says He loves the gates more than the tents. The gates are where the people gather. I have this picture in my mind of an excited expectant King anticipating the gathering of His people.

I also am a fan of small groups as they relate to your context. There should be a place for us to fellowship during the week in a way that is not possible on Sunday morning. A place where we unpack the scripture and work out real life in the context of relationship.

But there must be more than this.

There are 8760 hours in a year. Listening to one 20 minute sermon each week only accounts for .002% of those hours. When you add a small group you get to .011% of the total. Both of these expressions are critical but not sufficient.

When you compare those totals to the amount of media bombardment we receive each day it’s no wonder we are a defeated church.

We are a people called and created to live life in the context of community. Walking together, encouraging one another, learning from one another. We try to systematize discipleship which can be helpful but often the relationship aspect of discipleship suffers.

It’s time to rethink every paradigm we have as it relates to church life. I’m interested in what you think.

What does authentic community look like?
If you could design the church just for you what would it look like?

Insanity is doing what you’ve always done expecting a different result. It’s time for new wine, a fresh revelation. I don’t think we need a reformation rather a return to principles placed in a modern context.

What are those from your perspective?

I will be on top of the comment moderation and hopefully we can have a lively conversation. Please weigh in. I look forward to your thoughts.

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A Different Perspective on Excellence.

By on November 13, 2012

I ran across this quote from Rev. Thomas Fuller from the 17th century and thought I would add this for context when talking about excellence. I’ve spoken here before of my definition of excellence which is: To offer the best I have, something above and beyond or different from the norm. Something costly.

Please consider this as an example:

Lord, my voice is by nature harsh and untunable, and it is vain to lavish any art to better it. Can my singing of psalms be pleasing to thy ears, which is unpleasant to my own? Yet though I cannot chant with the nightingale, or chirp with the blackbird, I had rather chatter with the swallow, yea, rather croak with the raven, than be altogether silent. Hadst though given me a better voice, I would have praised thee with a better voice. Now what my music wants in sweetness, let it have in sense, singing praises with understanding. Yea, Lord, create in me a new heart (therein to make melody), and I will be contented with my old voice, until in thy due time, being admitted into the choir of heaven, I have another more harmonious bestowed upon me.

Granted if his voice is harsh and untunable we probably don’t want him “leading” worship but I hope this provides a little balance to the Excellence conversation.

What are your thoughts?

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How To “Cause” Growth Of The Body

By on October 23, 2012

Over several years I have spoken with dozens of church leaders about how to measure growth in the church and it is universally agreed among them numbers are a poor reflection of health and growth. Don’t misunderstand I think numbers are important but how do we really know if the body is growing?

Did you know the Bible tells us exactly what we need to be doing in order to “cause” growth of the body?

In economics we know exactly what happens when we institute certain policies. A baker knows exactly what will happen when he adds a certain ingredient to bread. The same is true in the church.

Evangelism is one of the purposes of the church but I’ve noticed something; when we make evangelism the end rather than the beginning and make everyone an evangelist we de-emphasize the other gifts. Ephesians 4:11 says He gave some to be evangelists. I’m not saying only those with the gift of evangelism should share the gospel. We must always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us. I have no problem sharing my faith or leading someone to faith in Christ but my primary gifting is not evangelism. What I’m saying is we must recognize all the gifting entrusted to the church.

One of my closest friends thinks he’s a policeman. His vocation is policeman but he’s really an evangelist. Every time I talk to him he tells me about someone he has talked with about faith in Jesus. When we go into a coffee shop he starts looking around for who he might share the gospel with. It’s natural for him like breathing.

I remember feeling guilty when missionaries would come to our church and say things like “you’re either called to go or you’re called to send”. Their passion is admirable but my reading of the New Testament lists 16-18 gifts, depending how you read them. Giving and evangelism are only two. It’s critical that we recognize and value the other 14-16 gifts.

Ephesians 4:15-16 says when we all grow up in:

 “Christ who is the head from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Emphasis mine.

Paraphrase: When we are all walking in the fullness of our gifts and calling the church will grow.

It’s not magic. It’s recognizing, calling out, equipping, and releasing gifting back into the body that causes the church to grow. This is a leadership principle. We cannot blame the sheep for not walking in their gifting. We must create a culture where all the gifts can flourish.

As always leave your comments below. What do you think?

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The Sheep Are Not At Fault

By on September 20, 2012

The sheep are getting a bad rap. Articles and conversations everywhere talk about a lack of commitment from church people.

Recently a friend called and said “I’ve been asked to sign a contract to be on the worship team”. A conversation on a social networking site was titled “How do I get commitment from my worship team?” One solution was to “fire” them and make them re-audition every year.

The sheep are accused of not having the proper priorities or they don’t have a heart for the lost or they’re too materialistic or have a consumer mentality. Though these things may be true on some level please consider this:

We have the church we’ve planted.

I believe every problem on earth is a leadership problem. I don’t believe it’s a heart issue for most pastors and leaders. I’m confident of your desire to see the saints equipped and the world changed. What I’m suggesting is a re-evaluation of the process we have embraced as a church to get there.

People will prepare themselves to the level of their perceived opportunity.

I’ll never forget the first time I came early to a men’s meeting in Bible College. When I arrived the Men’s pastor met me at the door and asked if I would give a quick encouraging word to the leaders. I immediately began to scramble for something relevant and encouraging to share. I promise you I never came unprepared again. Knowing I had an opportunity to bless and encourage those leaders caused me to always come prepared to share.

We must create a culture of opportunity for people to serve and flourish in their gifts. We must be actively looking for the gifting in those entrusted to us and give them opportunities to step out in a safe place where they have the freedom to fail. It’s critical then to let them know how they did and how to improve. Encouragement goes a long way.

The quickest way to get people planted is to get them serving in their gifting. Not using people to meet needs and serve events but allowing them to operate in their gifting.

I have much more to say on this. That’s enough for today. What are your thoughts?

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What Happened?!?

By on September 13, 2012

Never in my lifetime did I believe I would see the church in such a state. I’m talking about the capital “C” church here. Certainly there are churches making a huge impact on people’s lives for the Kingdom and the cause of Christ but the universal church is struggling at best.

My heart is breaking for the bride of Christ. We don’t have to look far to see the church today in serious trouble. We’re increasingly viewed as irrelevant and out of touch. The majority of Americans view the church as nothing more than a social organization that does some good things, maybe, but really has no relevance in today’s world.

How did a group of people 2000 years ago without advanced degrees and none of the resources we have today impact the entire known world for the cause of Christ? And why are we viewed as irrelevant when we are equipped with seminaries, mass media, marketing, and vast resources. Why are we viewed as a nice subculture by most and downright evil by some.

I came across two articles one declaring “More Americans Say They Have No Religion”, and another with the headline “The Coming Evangelical Collapse”.

What has changed? Where have we gone wrong? What must we do to become again the Church Jesus planted?

I have written a book called “A Broken House”. It has been sitting in my computer for almost 3 years and I would like to walk through it with you over the next little bit. I would love to discuss it with you and get your feedback before it goes to print.

Please comment and invite anyone who you think would add to the conversation.

Also I will release my E.P. “I Will Sing” on October 16th. The next few weeks will be a mixture of this conversation and song stories from the E.P. I can’t wait for you to hear it!  You can listen to the first cut here.
 
 

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Healthy Things Grow

By on October 4, 2010

This morning I ran across an article in response to the question “What do you think of the Purpose Driven model?”.

To their credit they didn’t attack Rick Warren or Saddleback rather they chose to outline from their perspective what a “Biblical local church” looks like. Here it is in part:

First and foremost, a Biblically successful church has zero to do with the size or growth of the congregation. The Bible does not implore pastors to grow their churches. Rather, it is God who adds to the Body of Christ (Acts 2:47). If a pastor waters down what he teaches, or avoids teaching certain things like sin and repentance, regardless of his sincerity or motivation, it is called “tickling the ears” and is wrong (2Tim. 4:3). It would be far better for a Believer to attend a small church where a humble pastor knows everyone’s name and spiritual gifts while making it his priority to nurture individual’s spiritual growth and formation. On Judgment Day (Rom. 14:11) pastors will not be judged according to how large their churches were, but for how well they Biblically armored His flock for service (2Tim. 4:2)

Therefore, regardless of the size, the purpose of the local Church is:

To equip Believers for service (2Tim. 3:16; Eph. 4:12)

Armoring Believers, not evangelism of non-believers, is to be the focal point of the local church. Individual Believers are instructed to exhibit God’s love and be used by the Holy Spirit to evangelize the community (2Tim. 4:5 ). All examples of early church activities have believers doing the evangelizing (Acts 4:1-2, 13:5, 17:2). Therefore, the focus of the pastor and his number one priority should be the equipping of those the Lord has put under his ministry. From the Sunday sermon, youth activities, home Bible studies, to miscellaneous activities, ALL should be focused on the Believer and his/her spiritual armor and growth in God’s love. It is not the church’s purpose to attract non-Believers for evangelism and growth.

It’s a fairly lengthy post. I don’t disagree with all of it. Mostly the foundational premise that “a Biblically successful church has zero to do with the size or growth of the congregation.” and how that translates into Sunday morning should be “focused on the Believer and his/her spiritual armor and growth in God’s love.”

I’ll post a rebuttal in the comments later but wanted to hear your thoughts on the bit above. You can tell by the title of the post a little bit about my response and the angle I’m coming from.

Thanks for commenting, I appreciate this community.

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