Its 2014 and the start of a brand new year!
I am always on the lookout for inspiration. I am a self confessed Inspiration-addict. My hands shake, my body chills, and my mouth starts to water whenever I run low on inspiration.
Thankfully, as a child of God, I never run dry of inspiration. God’s Son, God’s Spirit, and God’s Word always have something to inspire me.
And even the people of God-brothers and sisters in the faith who are not only attempting but actually accomplishing great and mighty things in behalf of the God they serve.
Let me highlight three young leaders who are inspiring me in this season of my life.
1. Mark Batterson (Nov. 5, 1969)
Mark pastors National Community Church in the Washington, D.C. area and his church is considered one of the most innovative in America, not to mention fastest growing.
But what I love about Pastor Mark is not something “new”, but old school – his boldness in prayer.
Batterson’s book “The Circle Maker” is one of the books that is igniting me these days.
I rarely read the same book twice, nor to read slowly. My approach to reading books is usually “bam, bam, finish it and get it done!”
“Circle Maker” is a book about prayer, not theoretical how to pray stuff, but “where the rubber meets the road” type of prayer. The author shares true to life testimonies from his own life and congregation on their on-going journey of believing God for big and bold things.
Great books cause me to slow down and reflect, and that’s what I have done with this one. Not only that, it has actually forced me to pray a lot, and examine my own prayers whether they be clichés or truly Scriptural in that they honor God with its cause.
Mark is also a fantastic communicator, though he has lost me at times with his mathematical and scientific analogies. This guy is super smart, yet his heart is so down to earth, and his love for Jesus so genuine and contagious.
2. Matthew Barnett (January 23, 1974)
Matthew Barnett pastors the Dream Center, a church that in his own words, “never sleeps”, and serves their community in the Los Angeles area twenty-four seven, specially the lost, the last, and the least.
Matthew is the son of Tommy Barnett, a “superstar” pastor in the Phoenix area. At age 20, Matthew dreamed of following in his famous dad’s footsteps.
But after almost a year of “failure” (his congregation shrunk from 60 to literally zero in attendance), the Lord spoke to his heart, “Forget about being a success. From now on, I want you to think of being a blessing.”
That was the start of a reformation in young Matthew’s heart, and some years later, the Dream Center has ministered to over 500,000 people through their hundreds of ministries. As a church, The Dream Center has approximately 7,000 weekend worshippers.
The Dream Center has now also become a movement, with over one hundred more Dream Centers being established all throughout the United States.
Want to know a dream that I have? To have a Dream Center here in the Philippines…soon!
3. David Platt (July 11, 1979)
If Mark Batterson is smart, David Platt is a genius. He has five degrees, including a doctorate, all before the age of twenty six!
Formerly a seminary professor, Platt agreed to pastor Alabama’s “The Church at Brook Hills” at the age of twenty six, making him the youngest megachurch pastor in America.
But like my two inspirations Batterson and Barnett, Platt is no mere “all flash and no substance.”
Under Platt’s leadership, the church has rediscovered discipleship and missions.
Platt has an intensive six hour bible study course called “Secret Church” wherein he first equips his congregation to make disciples of all nations, then those videos and mp3s are recorded in different languages so that they can be used by missionaries all over the world for free!
To date, the Church in Brook Hills has sent over 500 people in short term missions, while giving away 20% of its budget to world missions.
The best word to describe David Platt is radical, which also happens to be the title of his first book. He has challenged his rich congregation to live simpler, and give away the proceeds from selling their houses, cars, and yachts to help the poor and disciple the nations.
Now that is radically inspiring!