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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 ‘passion’

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

What The Church Needs To Learn About Awesome Experiences

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Church, Experience

Here’s what a typical conversation sounds like when I meet someone for the first time and they find out what I do for a living.

Person: “So what exactly is it that you do?”

Me: “Well, I’m a Communicator and an Experience Architect.”

Person: “So what exactly is it that you do?”

Me: (Insert friendly laugh) “Basically, for the last 15 years I’ve been traveling all over the world working with churches, entertainers, speakers, and all sorts of other live entertainment, creating awesome experiences.”

Person: “OH, WOW! That sounds so exciting.”

Me: “Thanks, I consider myself extremely blessed.”

Person: “So like, who have you worked for? Anyone famous?”

Me: (Responds with a kind laugh and smile) “Sure, I’ve worked with (drops a name like Snoop drops a mic) and (someone else for good measure) and tons of other people.”

From here it just gets weird, but I think you get the point.

Now all that may come off like I think I’m a big deal or something like that, but trust me, I’m not. I’m the farthest thing from it. To be honest with you, I’m a guy with more burned bridges and failures in my past than most.

But I am a man who’s experienced the gospel firsthand, and has no hope but to rely on it daily if not minute by minute. In addition to that, it’s my passion to create opportunities to lead others in experiencing this great gospel for themselves. And I gain no more joy than doing that inside the church.

What The Church Needs To Learn About Awesome Experiences

Photo Credit: whittmedia via Compfight cc

Except there is only one problem these days. Rarely is the church interested in creating awesome experiences.

Of course there are some exceptions, I’ve worked with them and actually been on staff at one of them as well, but for the most part, churches in America are telling a story that says they really aren’t interested in creating better experiences. They have created a narrative that says mediocrity is ok, somehow having disconnected from the pleasure God receives from the excellence we bring (worship).

If you don’t buy into that or believe that, you’re being a little naive, just look at some simple statistics.

You do know a “National Back to Church Sunday” has been created, right? Why would such a thing need to exist if not to address a larger issue? But I digress.

Obviously this subject is too big to completely cover in a single post, but I do want to shine a light on 3 of the biggest things the church needs to learn here.

1. The church misunderstands what worship truly is. I believe the one thing the church would agree on, would be that worship is much more than any weekend gathering. But this is obviously the case because the church continues to create weekend environments based solely on tradition, using language that doesn’t fit with what the bible describes as authentic worship.

“God’s heart is not touched by tradition in worship, but by passion and commitment.” – Rick Warren

I’m not saying tradition is bad, not at all, many times tradition is what leads us to create sacred spaces where by we can experience the gospel. But when tradition becomes more important and is the vehicle that silences input from the body, then clearly we miss the point.

“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” Isaiah 29:13 

2. Experiences are what shape our reality, and create lasting impact in our lives. Having been created in the image of our Creator, our brains are wired to process life through our felt experiences. Neuroplasticity explains how our brains make connections, storing and recalling memories through our experiences.

“We need to experience God rather than fill in the blanks about God.” – Chris McAlister

Relevant Magazine recently did a story on Louie Giglio and Passion. If you’re not familiar with the Passion movement, you’re missing out on something that has dramatically shaped the church’s culture over the last 17 years. Passion has a very strong reputation for always producing some of the most excellent, awesome experiences the modern church has ever witnessed. In the article, they specifically talk about Passion ’99 as still to this day being one of the best and most talked about events. I happened to be there, and can tell you firsthand, that I’ve never been the same since that experience.

“I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.” Genesis 30:27

3. Emotions aren’t everything but they are more than nothing. Many times the spiritually elite relegate emotion as being something to shove aside, but the beauty of our emotions and how we experience them is often times the primer for how the Father is drawing us and wooing us unto Him. By pressing in to these divinely created emotions, we can find comfort and healing through our felt experiences.

“Our problem… that we do not realize that there is no genuine worship where feelings for God are not quickened. There is not true worship where the heart is far from God. But the heart’s approach to God happens in the quickening of our feelings for God. Therefore, where feelings are dead, so is worship.” – John Piper

This of course doesn’t give license to manipulate emotion in a vain attempt to provoke the Spirit, but rather by coming alongside it when creating atmospheres of sacred space, the church can come to know more of who God is.

“Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children — this was his pleasure and purpose.” Ephesians 1:5

Regardless of what flavor (denomination) church you attend or cling to, there’s no doubt we could all agree that if the studies and surveys prove anything to be true, then the church needs to take a long hard look at how it’s gathering are created and executed.

I firmly believe that if you’re not actively looking at how to create better experiences in your church, then you’re missing out on fulfilling the mission of the church.

Have you ever had a bad experience attending church or visiting a church?

Share in the comments below!

By the way, if you’re interested in talking more about this and want to work with me to create a better experience for your church or event, shoot me an email at josh [at] thejoshcollins [dot] com.

Posted on: January 15, 2014

The 7 Rules To Follow In Discovering Your Passion

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience

“Passion is the unique gifting, wiring, aptitude, and opportunity that makes you come alive and fulfills all your God-given potential.” – Louie Giglio

The 7 Rules To Follow In Discovering Your Passion

Photo Credit: VinothChandar via Compfight cc

One of the things that brings me the greatest joy in life is working with people who are full of passion. There is this sense that passion can overcome any obstacle and push back the many voices of fear you encounter.

When I meet with a potential client, one of the first questions I ask is, what are you most passionate about?

Their answer, more often than not, gives me the clearest picture of who they are and provides context to where they are in their journey.

But the reality is, most of us can’t identify what we’re passionate about.

Most of us are just too busy, overwhelmed with demands, responsibilities, and trying to compensate for our perceived deficiencies to discover, much less speak to what we’re passionate about.

I know sometimes hearing and being presented with truth can be a hard pill to swallow, but can I be bold for a minute and offer you some truth?

This is why you’re struggling.

This is why you feel so much pressure and know so little peace.

This is why when you do create space in your life, the flood of doubt, fear, anxiety, and depression start to overwhelm you.

How do I know this?

Because you are not alone. I’m the same way. I fight this battle all the time.

The degree of peace we experience in our life will come in direct proportion to our ability to rest in the center of where our passion resides. (You should tweet that)

You see you are special.

Not special in the self-help, pseudoscience kind of way, but special in that when you drew your first breath as a baby, you had been intentionally created.

And with that intent comes purpose, and purpose will always be fueled by passion.

A.W. Tozer is considered to be one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century. In his brilliant work The Pursuit of God, he gives us a great list to consider in order to discover our passion. He coins it the 7 Rules of Self-Discovery.

1. What we want most.
2. What we think about most.
3. How we use our money.
4. What we do with our leisure time.
5. The company we enjoy.
6. Who and what we admire.
7. What we laugh at.

Tozer also famously says:

“Hardly anything else reveals so well the fear and uncertainty among men as the length to which they will go to hide their true selves from each other and even from their own eyes.”

Don’t let that be true of you.

What answers do you have to these rules?

What are you most passionate about?

Share in the comments below!

Posted on: August 30, 2013

Don’t Miss The Point, Your Life Already Matters

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience

I had a friend once tell me a story about a father.

Don't Miss The Point, Your Life Already Matters

Photo Credit: Wyoming_Jackrabbit via Compfight cc

This father was no different from you. He had a wife, kids and a family full of responsibilities. Like you, he rarely had any time to himself. He worked his whole life in a factory, earning a decent wage, and that work provided a home to live in and put food on the table. Year after year, in spite of the challenges this family faced, they continued to grow closer and closer together.

Sure, there’s lots of stuff you could say this family missed out on, but they were ok with that.

They were happy just as they were.

One year, the father saved and saved, stashing away every possible penny, in order to buy his oldest son a trumpet. Seeing the look on his face as he opened this awesome gift, made this father’s joy overflow. To the son, it was a dream come true. His greatest desire was to play the trumpet. He was more passionate about music than anything else in life.

From that time on, while most kids were out riding bikes or playing ball or something like that, he could be found practicing in a room somewhere.

And as this father’s son grew older and older, he began to experience more and more success. Before he knew it, he went from playing in front of hundreds to playing in front of thousands.

Then one day he got a phone call.

His father was dying.

Naturally the son, loving his father, immediately dropped everything to be by his side.

Having arrived home just in time, the father whispered these words to his son. He said, “Son, I’m so proud of you! I never could have imagined all the places you’ve been and all the people who have heard you play. I love you so very much!”

His father died that evening.

The son began to remember back to that one christmas, when his father gave him his first trumpet. He still had that trumpet packed away somewhere. He thought he knew the sacrifice his father had made all those years ago, but it wasn’t until the funeral, that he learned the true weight of his father’s sacrifice.

With dozens of neighbors and friends all gathered around to celebrate this father’s life, it was the father’s best friend that began to tell the son a whole different story.

He congratulated the son on having just played in Paris earlier that year, and went on to tell him of just how marvelous a piano player his father was. He told him of days long ago, when the two of them would sit in front of the old piano and dream of traveling the world together, much like the son was doing now. But all that changed when the son was born.

The son couldn’t believe what he was hearing. How could he have never known? How could his father have never told him?

That’s when it hit him.

That’s when he knew just how much his father had truly sacrificed for him. And he loved him for it all the more!

The tragedy of it all.

You see I’m convinced that most of the things we think are important, really aren’t that important at all.

Most of the stuff we think matters most doesn’t really matter much at all.

And the things we place the most value on, aren’t really that valuable after all.

There are those who would try to convince you that the father’s life was tragic. That he died without having tasted success or that somehow his life had been wasted on providing for that family year after year.

But I tell you the truth, that’s not the tragedy.

Tragedy isn’t missing out on a life that matters, it’s dying never realizing the life you had, was what Christ died for! (tweetable)

Tragedy is found in perverting the argument.

To say that one means more than the other. Or that one counts more the other.

Do I believe that you should pursue your passions, and dream big dreams? Absolutely! You bet! That’s what Creating the Awesome is all about!

But here’s the necessary shift.

Your life already matters.

To live life through the lens of the gospel means to understand that you’ve been uniquely and intentionally created in the image of The Father. (Gen 1:26-27)

Experiencing that is where any awesome will come from.

That’s where it all starts.

Don’t believe me?

Then download The Awesome Manifesto and see for yourself.

What do you think, was the father’s life tragic?

Share in the comments below!

Posted on: August 19, 2013

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Josh Collins
Franklin, TN
United States

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