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Believers should acknowledge and wrestle with doubts… It is no longer sufficient to hold beliefs just because you inherited them. — Tim Keller

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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 ‘Identity’

What On Earth Are You Here For?

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community

I get emails all the time from people asking questions ranging from how to do this, or take a look at this, to what do you think about this? And I LOVE getting those emails! Nothing brings me greater joy than to serve you guys.

So if you do have any questions, never hesitate to fire off an email. You can always reach me at josh [at] thejoshcollins [dot] com.

Purpose, Passion, Calling And Why You're Missing It

Inevitably what these questions usually boil down to are questions relating to identity and purpose.

I can’t think of two greater issues the church faces today, than identity and purpose. Even looking at the recent incident with Justin Beiber speaks to these larger issues of identity and purpose.

Last year I was given Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. It has recently gone through a facelift, expanded and retitled “What On Earth Am I Here For?

With over 12 million copies sold worldwide, it’s hard to quantify the impact and reach this message has. Because of its success, just about every major news outlet has called it the most influential nonfiction book of our generation.

The thing I love the most about this book is all the additional resources like video links, audio links and study guides you have access to online. Rick and his team have gone above and beyond to provide you with the absolute very best experience possible on your journey to answering the question of what are you are here for.

Not to give too much away, but Rick begins the book by laying the groundwork of understanding purpose by speaking to identity. This is where most communicators fail in their messaging.

The book is then divided and outlined into 5 main purposes:

Purpose #1: You were planned for God’s pleasure. This is all about understanding the greatest purpose of your life. Nothing can settle your wandering soul like knowing how much pleasure God take by your creation.

Purpose #2: You were formed for God’s family. Continuing to build on identity, knowing to whom you belong securely attaches you to the created order of things.

Purpose #3: You were created to become like Christ. This is aim of the christian life. Discipling and creating mature christians is the mission of the church. Nothing makes sense outside the understanding of this purpose.

Purpose #4: You were shaped for serving God. There is no doubt our culture’s message of “me first”, “do what I want to do when I want to do it” contradicts this purpose. It’s the focus of much of the self-help garbage prevalent in our society today. But there can be no greater example of this than the life of Christ.

Purpose #5: You were made for a mission. This is the bullseye. This is the target and direction of your life. Understanding your purpose, finding your calling, and bridling your passion can never be discovered without the foundation of the previous four purposes. The created order speaks to this. There is a flow and when you attempt to supplant that flow, you’ll be disappointed every time.

If you’re sitting there struggling with issues of identity and purpose, wondering why on earth am I here, what on earth have I been created to do, let me encourage you. You’re not alone. There is hope. Don’t struggle alone. I urge to purchase a copy for yourself. It will change your life.

You may read this and already be in a secure place of identity, purpose, and calling. That’s awesome! But the truth is, someone who you know isn’t and is most likely struggling. Purchase a copy to give to them, encouraging them they are not alone.

But because I love this book so much, and because I think it’s probably the toughest issue you’re facing, I’d love to give away a copy.

Leave a comment below telling why you’d like to go through this 40 day journey and fill out this form to be entered to win!

Posted on: January 24, 2014

Worship Wednesday: And You Think Being A Worship Leader Matters

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Worship Wednesday

From Josh: I’m honored to have Jennifer Kaufman guest posting today! Jennifer is a musician, photographer, Disney aficionado, wannabe runner, sometimes-writer and – most importantly – wife of an amazing husband and mom of three incredible kids five and under.  Her heart is for helping people be real – with themselves, and with one another. You can follow her blog here and be sure to follow her on Twitter as well!

A few years ago at a leadership conference, the worship pastor at the hosting church shared something that has stuck with me ever since.  I think of it often, as it’s changed my walk beyond the stage.

And You Think Being A Worship Leader Matters

In a breakout session for worship leaders (and by the way, each and every one of us on stage or behind the scenes is working to help lead others to engage in worship – so this means you, too!) he said that we are “Children of God first, ministers to others second, and worship leaders third.”

This spoke to me not only about my role as a church volunteer, but also about other areas of my life as well.

As worship leaders, we are part of a team that, each week, does something very visible.

We’re also wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, students, employees, friends… the list goes on and on.  We’re each working hard to balance various roles, accomplish things we set out to do, etc. It’s easy to get caught up in task lists and goals and even details that truly are important, but are not our identity.

The truth is, if we just sit back in God’s presence, doing nothing for a moment, we experience that we are never loved more or less. (tweetable

Regardless of what we accomplish, or fail to accomplish; regardless of our role at our church, our promotions at work, our good days and bad – we are cherished by the God of the universe who created us exactly as he intended, and who has an incredible plan for each of us.

John 1:12 “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Of course we are called to do more than just sit around.

Of course it’s ok, even necessary, to strive for excellence – both musically each week and in every area of our lives.

But it’s not because our excellence is what defines us.

Even in spite of our failure and imperfections, God uses us to bring glory to himself.

He loves us with an unmatched love, simply because we are His children.

In order to lead others in worship, we need to remember that our identity is not in our talents or abilities, but in who we are in Him.

Ephesians 2:10“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

We need to start with a lifestyle of worship – spending time with Him daily in our own lives.  And then we need to remember that he has called us to love and serve others next

After all of this, we can also play some instruments, sing a little, and make great music that helps others to enter into His presence.  But if any of that goes away – or if we have a day in which we fail to be the people we had hoped in any other area of our lives, His love for us and His calling on our lives doesn’t change.

What does it mean to you to start with a lifestyle of worship?

Share in the comments below!

Posted on: August 14, 2013

Humility And Self-Promotion: Can They Co-Exist?

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Church, Experience

We can all relate to knowing that one person, who all they ever seem to do is endlessly promote themselves. Each and every Facebook post or tweet is all about some product they want to sell you, or something they’ve done, are doing, or will do. Everything that comes out of their mouth is basically a plea that says, “Hey, look at me!”

They’ve been called many names:

  • Me Monster
  • The One-Upper
  • The Narcissist
  • The Naval Gazer

Brian Regan has a hilarious bit about the Me Monster.

It’s funny to watch and listen as Brian paints the picture of what’s it like to be around one of these people, but you and I both know, we all have the tendency to be one of them.

Humility Is Attractive

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”C.S. Lewis

There’s no doubt that people want to follow and are attracted to people who are humble. Nobody likes a know it all, and no one can stand to be around a one-upper.

As Christians, we expect our leaders, celebrities, and authority figures to be gracious and humble. We preach messages about how important it is to be servants and reference Christ, as he washed the disciples feet.

The trouble with that is we also want to play the role of the morality police.

It’s hard to show humility while at the same time standing in judgement over someone else’s behavior.

So the question still remains, how do you tell people about your (fill in the blank) without becoming the dreaded me monster?

Picking Ourselves

Seth Godin has famously coined this idea, and several others have joined in commentating that refusing to pick yourself, is just another way of saying you’re afraid. It’s basically another way to guarantee failure.

I’ve got to be honest here, this is one of the biggest things I wrestle with. I’ll make all kinds of excuses, thinking that I’m somehow taking up my cross or being a better Christian, when the truth is, I’m just afraid.

I’ve learned that part of the core issue at stake here is identity.

If you and I are securely attached in our identity, picking ourselves is easy.

While I do believe there is some nuance between picking ourselves and shamelessly self-promoting, the idea that these two concepts are mutually exclusive is ludicrous.

So how can humility and self-promotion co-exist?

Looking Through the Lens of the Gospel

Look at it this way, when you refuse to pick yourself, what you’re actually saying is that the atoning work of Christ was not enough. You’re saying his death, burial, and resurrection was not enough for you. You’re the exception, the one person who is outside the care and the loving arms of God.

You’re saying the words, “It is finished,” means nothing at all.

That may sound harsh, but if we are to look through the lens of the Gospel, then just consider the truth for a moment.

Romans 5:6 says:

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.”

What does that mean?

It means you were picked first. Before you even knew you needed to be picked.

So how much more should you be picking yourself?

Now that may be a spin to this idea that you’ve never thought of before, but nevertheless, it’s true.

Understanding and experiencing the Gospel, requires you to acknowledge your need, thereby requiring humility.

So you can see that these two ideas, don’t just co-exist, one presupposes the other.

Do you struggle with promoting your work?

Are you stuck in a place waiting to be picked or waiting to get noticed by someone else?

Are you disguising your fear as humility?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Posted on: July 23, 2013

Remembering Who You Are

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community

Remembering Who You Are

Photo Credit: peterharding via Compfight cc

What follows is some of the most important truths you could ever possibly read or experience.

I decided to post these because not only do I need to be reminded of them, but you do too!

These aren’t my ideas.

They’re not my suggestions.

As a matter of fact they’re not suggestions at all.

This is who you are:

  • You are complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10). 
  • You are alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
  • You are free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
  • You are far from oppression, and fear does not come near you (Isaiah 54:14).
  • You are born of God, and the evil one does not touch you (1 John 5:18).
  • You are holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).
  • You have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).
  • You have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
  • You have the Greater One living in you; greater is He Who is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
  • You have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
  • You have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding
  • being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17,18).
  • You have received the power of the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out
  • demons, to speak with new tongues. You have power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any
  • means harm you (Mark 16:17,18; Luke 10:17,19).
  • You have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image
  • of Him Who created you (Colossians 3:9,10).
  • You have given, and it is given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men
  • give into your bosom (Luke 6:38).
  • You have no lack for your God supplies all of your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus
  • (Philippians 4:19).
  • You can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one with your shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16).
  • You can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).
  • You show forth the praises of God Who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
  • You are God’s child⎯for you are born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which lives and abides
  • forever (1 Peter 1:23).
  • You are God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).
  • You are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  • You are a spirit being⎯alive to God (Romans 6:11;1 Thessalonians 5:23).
  • You are a believer, and the light of the Gospel shines in your mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).
  • You are a doer of the Word and blessed in your actions (James 1:22, 25).
  • You are a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).
  • You are more than a conqueror through Him Who loves you (Romans 8:37).
  • You are an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).
  • You are a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3,4).
  • You are an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
  • You are part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).
  • You are the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • You are the temple of the Holy Spirit; You are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19).
  • You are the head and not the tail; You are above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13).
  • You are His elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and longsuffering (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12).
  • You are forgiven of all your sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).
  • You are delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).
  • You are redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13).
  • You are firmly rooted, built up, established in your faith and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:7).
  • You are called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2 Timothy 1:9).
  • You are healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).
  • You are raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12;).
  • You are greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).
  • You are strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11).
  • You are submitted to God, and the devil flees from me because you resist him in the Name of Jesus (James 4:7).
  • You press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling you upward
  • (Philippians 3:14).
  • For God has not given you a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
  • It is not you who live, but Christ lives in you (Galatians 2:20).

Perhaps today, you are in a good place, rooted firmly in the knowledge of these truths.

That’s awesome!

But someone you know isn’t, someone you know is hurting, someone you know needs to be reminded of these truths, so share them with that person.

Posted on: July 11, 2013

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