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Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. — Erich Fromm

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Josh has an incredible heart for God and is passionate about helping create environments that lead people to experience God.  He has tremendous gifts that enable him to help churches advance the Kingdom of God.

Posts Tagged ‘culture’

The Importance of Learning to Ask for What We Need.

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

Have you ever just sat and asked yourself, “What do I need?”

I was coming home from an event over the weekend, and I began to think about what I needed. Its kind of a strange line of thought, I suppose, because not many of us entertain these kinds of thoughts.  We don’t often just make time and ask that of ourselves.

Well, I do now and let me tell you why.

Several years ago, I went on a retreat and it completely changed my life.  The experience was so awesome, that it has become yet another one of those rare, unique markers that identify who I am.

And one of the most important things I’ve learned and still take away from it, even to this day, is the power of learning to ask for what I need.

The reason why this is so important is because:

The Power is in the Asking, not in the Receiving.

Now let me be clear, asking for what we need and asking for what we want are two totally different things, and to confuse them, well, only leads to confusion.

I practice this, honestly speaking, by having a Needs Journal.

In this journal I just start every page by asking myself what do I need. Sometimes, those entries start to take shape like simple lists, other times, they just end up being tears, or even prayers of some kind. Either way, its a process that I believe ultimately, leads me to a safe place of being present and known.

Which is what I’m all about!

Have you ever experienced someone, in an effort of knowing you, asking you if you needed anything?

Its kind of awkward isn’t it?

I mean, we’re taught and pulled by the ways of southern culture, to be accommodating, and being in need, most certainly is not accommodating, not too mention, the cultural push towards pride and self-sufficiency!

But the beauty I’ve found, is by being willing to acknowledge that first we have needs, and then by naming them, we create safe places, which lead others into authentic experiences of us and the world as a whole.

Which begs the question, do you create safe places?

Are you BRAVE enough to look into the closets of your heart and ask yourself what you need?

I can promise you this, there is freedom, peace, joy and most of all, safety on the other side!

Posted on: March 12, 2013

Change comes from being present.

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

Have you ever noticed in the New Testament, especially the gospels, that whenever a story is being told about Jesus, it always begins with something like: “then Jesus crossed the lake, and people gathered, or Jesus came to a place and a crowd began to form?”

Why is that?

Why is it, that wherever Christ went, people followed and seemed to always gather?

There are TONS of obvious christian platitudes that would serve as very good answers here, but I’m trying to look deeper.  

I’m trying to connect with why that doesn’t still happen today.

It makes sense to me that God incarnate, God made flesh, would attract people to himself.

  1. First of all, He’s God.
  2. Second of all, there has never ever been anything like him before.  He speaks differently, he acts differently, and he reacts differently.
  3. Lastly, there are the stories spreading like wildfire, about all the amazing miracles he is performing.

Those things naturally make sense to me.  And since I know that we have been created to be in relationship with Him and wired to worship Him, I can see why in New Testament times, that happened.

But still, why doesn’t it seem to be happening anymore?

How come each and every statistic out there say that a large percentage of 18-35 year olds are leaving the church in droves?

Now I’m an expert at many many things, but this I would never come close to being an expert at but I wonder and believe that its probably because you are I aren’t really that different from anyone else.  

I mean we don’t really stand out that much.

  1. Our speech patterns aren’t that different.
  2. Our giving patterns aren’t that different.
  3. Our families aren’t that different.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that may sound harsh and crawl up on some people toes’ a bit, but can we just be honest with one another for a few more minutes?

Scripture tells us in James 2:22 that

“You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.” (NLT)

So what else are we going to reasonably and logically conclude about our lives other than, our faith and our actions, quite simply don’t really attract all that much.

So what’s the response then, you may be asking?

Well, I’m so glad you asked!

I’m convinced, now more than ever, that the journey to living authentic lives, that result in actions of profound faith, attract our culture like bugs to our windshields, and dynamically effect, not just our families, but the world at large, is wrapped up in being present.

I plan on unpacking this further in my e-book that is coming out soon, so be looking for that, (shameless plug I know) but let me just briefly state, that being present is much bigger than simply “living in the moment.”  

Living in the moment is culture’s way of tempting us to do whatever we want whenever we want.

Thats not the Gospel! 

You see, I believe with all my heart that the Americanized version of church we have today, is on the verge of a massive renewal and revival.  I believe that as much as I believe what I’m breathing in right now, as I type this, is called oxygen.  

The question for us all today is:

What are you and I going to do?

How will we respond?

Posted on: February 27, 2013

If only everyone were just like me…

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

Why can’t everyone just be exactly like me?

Ever wonder that or want that?

Do you know that place?

I do.  If only everyone were just like me, then the world would be such a better place, and on and on and on.  What a joke right!  I mean if that were true of you or I, then this world would be an awful place to live!  How miserable!  But truthfully, isn’t that the way we live?

We create our art, write our books, preach our sermons, build our dreams, live our experiences as though everyone were just like us.  Carbon copies of the same field of vision.  There’s not a lot of depth of field there.

What I’ve grown more awake to over the last several years, is that in order to build and create authentic experiences and live authentic stories and impact lives, culture and community, we have to be willing to meet people where they are.  We have to understand and love them just exactly where they are.  

In the New Testament, Jesus didn’t simply just camp out and say “let them come to me,” although, he most certainly could have.  No we see that He and his disciples went out and did their work, and then left us with the same command.  GO!

Donald Miller, who just so happens to be one of my mentors, although he doesn’t know it, recently wrote about how we need to tell better stories, in fact we need to LIVE better stories.

We are not going to do that sitting still, expecting everyone around us to morph into a carbon copy of ourselves.  I’m sorry if that comes as a shock or disrupts your universe, but its true.  I believe thats part of what we can take away from scripture when it talks about being all things to all people.

If you’re a CEO, Executive Director, or manager, your company or organization will not succeed if your true desire is for them to just be like you.  If you’re an author, speaker, pastor, or musician, you must develop a sensitivity to your audience or sphere of influence.  Know and understand the intricacies of their differences and move closer to them.

Its through our ability to learn compassion and love others well that we’ll be most effective.  Then and only then will we be participating in creating great experiences for those we love, lead and impact. 

Posted on: February 5, 2013

People Are Not Like Toilet Paper

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community, Leadership

Toilet PaperWhat the heck does that mean, people aren’t like toilet paper?

Well, let me tell you!

Throughout my life and career, I’ve ended up time and time again in a place where I just felt like a used up piece of toilet paper being tossed down the drain.  Most of the time never being told why I’m being put there.  And in my story, I’ve fought to gain clarity and process all the information, the who, the what, and most importantly the why!  Usually with no results.

The wonderful thing I have learned to take from all those experiences though is a determination to never treat people as an object or something to be just used and tossed down the drain.

You see its become an epidemic of sorts in our culture to just use up resources and toss them aside once consumed.  Whether thats a plastic bottle, newspaper, coffee cup, or one of the most important resources out there, PEOPLE!  I have read countless numbers of books, where authors talk about establishing a culture that values people and, how thru finding the right people and valuing them correctly, will lead to success and the results we all want.

But today where this takes me and where I’d like you to go is think about those people you touch each and every day, whether those people are the baristas behind the counter, or the teller at the bank, or even the assistant outside your office.  Ask yourself, do you place their value solely on the function or role they serve, or do you actually see them, understanding that they really aren’t as replaceable and can’t be just tossed aside.  Do you see them as the fingerprints of The Father and love them the way the gospel commands or do you simply experience the momentary and trivial frustrations and in your heart wish for their disposal?

It has become a passion of my heart over these years, in part because of my story, to be intentional this year to value and esteem people, and see their inherent dignity and worth. I challenge you to the same.  I want to be a man who impacts culture and speaks into life by valuing and loving people not by abusing them and tossing them aside, figuratively or not!

Will you join me?  Will you be a man or woman, who just loves people, and calls out the injustice of the abuses of people?  

After all, we’re all in this thing together!  Shouldn’t we live like it…

Posted on: January 14, 2013

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