Letter from Chip
“If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in your sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
Nehemiah 2:5, NIV
I was twenty eight years old. I had one year of seminary to finish, three small children and had just accepted my first pastorate in rural Texas. I had big dreams for that group of thirty five people to transform that community. I had zeal, enthusiasm, and passion but NO PLAN. The result: Within six months, I was exhausted, discouraged, and at the doctor explaining my “insane schedule” and physical symptoms.
Shortly after, Professor Howard Hendricks helped me see my “Do it All” mentality was a dead end. He challenged me to make a “To Be” list and create a specific plan for the kind of man, husband, father, and pastor I wanted to BECOME and then put it into my calendar the specific weekly and monthly activities required. I took his advice and it changed the course of my life.
What was missing in my life is what I see missing in the lives of so many Christians: A STRATEGIC PLAN.
A strategic plan begins with a vision that connects today’s reality with a preferred tomorrow. I had to face the reality that I was overwhelmed and that being busy did not equate with being effective. I had to confess to the Lord and my wife that fear, people pleasing, and deep insecurities were driving my life. I didn’t have a clear vision of the kind of marriage, family, or ministry God desired until I started asking, “Who do I really want to BECOME?”
Activity is no substitute for productivity, and productivity is no substitute for character. Who we become in the final analysis will far outweigh any wealth, power, fame, or ministry accomplishment done at the expense of real personal growth in love and holiness.
It was studying the book of Nehemiah and following his pattern and principles for developing a strategic plan that shifted my focus, time, and energy for lasting change.
Nehemiah had a vision for rebuilding the city of Jerusalem and was able to articulate it as soon as the king asked him about what his concerns were when he came before the king with sadness of face and heart. He knew the consequence could be death, but he was willing to step out in radical faith and had been planning for the past few months that moment before the king.
What’s obvious in this account of Nehemiah chapter 2 is that he had been doing much more than simply praying and hoping. He had developed a strategic plan. He was ready with a plan that included a deep timetable, the resources needed, and the first steps to take (Nehemiah 2:5-8) even before he knew he had the means to accomplish any of it.
If you want a life of more than busyness and activities and want to BE a man or woman of God, a great spouse, and have a great impact, you’ll need to have a STRATEGIC PLAN. It doesn’t just happen by chance. If God is birthing a desire in you to really change, to make a difference and want it to last, I have good news for you!
We can help you with that. We’ve created numerous discipleship resources that will help you develop a plan, align with others to fulfill that plan, and build habits that little by little bring about long-term change no matter what obstacles and challenges you face in the process. We have thousands of testimonies of changing lives, restoring marriages and families, launching ministries, and teaching countless numbers of people about Jesus. There is hope for you, and we want to help.
Just as a strategic plan is vital for individuals, it’s absolutely critical for our ministry.
We are executing our strategic plan to help Christians live like Christians, and YOU are part of that plan.
I invite you to personally partner with us by committing to become a Monthly Partner. By becoming a Monthly Partner, you are helping us Reach the Next Generation, Train Pastors in the U.S. and globally, and Disciple God’s People to become Christians who really live like Christians.
Thank you for taking my request before the Lord. Please pray and ask the Lord what He would have you do. As you listen and obey, I’m confident that the Holy Spirit will show you His plan for you whether that is supporting us or not. If each of us is open and willing to make even a small sacrifice, it can make a very big difference.
Thank you for your partnership. It’s humbling and encouraging to know that thousands of you stand with us every month. I cannot remember a time when I’ve seen God work in such dramatic and powerful ways.
It’s an honor to serve with you,
CEO and Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
P.S. I hope you feel inspired by the Holy Spirit to map out your own strategic plan. You can inspire others in the same way by becoming a monthly partner today. Thanks again!
Coffee Break Message
Praises and Prayer Requests
We Thank God For…
- The positive response to our new broadcast series and discipleship resource, Not Beyond Reach, which launched last month. God is equipping thousands of His people to reach the Next Generation through this new resource!
- The 33 trainings that were held across India. The impact was 5,000 pastors who were trained in The A.R.T. of Survival.
- Chip’s opportunity to teach The High Impact Church to more than 300 pastors and I Choose Joy to another 400 people in back-to-back retreats at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina.
We ask God to…
- Call at least 50,000 believers to engage in the new Daily Discipleship study this month, The Invisible War, so they can be fully equipped to stand firm in their faith in the face of spiritual opposition in our challenging world.
- Enable our partners in Uganda and Ethiopia as they share The A.R.T. of Survival with pastors. Their goal is to train 15,000 pastors in Uganda and another 20,000 in Ethiopia.
- Provide wisdom and discernment for the Living on the Edge’s Board of Directors meeting this month as they discuss plans and opportunities for 2024.