Perry Noble – In the Process – Catalyst 2012

Today I just want to talk to a certain group of people. The only group of people I think I'm really going to talk to today is the frustrated leader. If you're not frustrated, you're either lying… or you smoked crack right before this session.

You're frurstrated. You're frustrated with this session, with your people, with the leader who didn't come here. You're frustrated with your position because you thought you'd be further along in the process.

Some of you look at me and are like, "You're a megachurch pastor. What you're frustrated because your lasers didn't work on Sunday morning."

I worked as a youth pastor and was part of the problem of great van controversy between the youth group and the senior adults. The problem was that the youth group never cleaned the church van. 6 kids got saved on Wednesday night, but I'm being called into the pastor's office and he's like the senior adult director is breathing down my neck because the van isn't clean.

So I decide I'm going to clean the church van like it's never been cleaned before. I took the van to the car wash, took all of the seats out, hosed down the inside. I was like, "Let the senior adults say something about that."

They did. That was like a Saturday. On Tuesday, they went on a trip. Do you know what happens when Armor All gets really hot? It get's slippery. So they went on this trip in the mountains and their like sliding form one side to the next.

I remember going into my office and being like, "God, I can't make your people happy." He said, "Me either."

No matter what you do, there will be people who aren't happy.

1 Samuel 16-18

I think we can all agree that David is one of the greatest leaders in Israel. But I think there's some stuff that applies to every leader who is frustrated.

Jesse was told, "Go get your sons because one of them will be anointed king." What happened to David? He got completely ignored.

Maybe you're somewhere and you feel completely ignored. David learned in the sheep pen where no one paid attention where he learned a skill, how to use a sling, that propelled him into leadership.

If we want progress in leadership, there is no progress unless we embrace the process of leadership. That means sometimes we do some hard work, some difficult work, some unbelievable work, and no one is going to see it but God.

We've got to get passed wanting to get discovered and start worry about being developed. When we stop screaming at the world, "Discover me!" and start screaming at God, "Develop me!" That's when we'll reach our potential.

God's anointing comes off of Saul, and David plays the harp, so he gets a job as a part time worship leader. He goes and cares for the sheep and then puts on the skinny jeans and goes and leads worship.

David kills the giant. HOw did David get to the battle lines in the first place? His dad had him take bread and cheese to the front lines. YOu know what David didn't say, "I'm anointed. Why don't you take the bread?"

I'm all about anointing, but that doesn't mean you don't have to go through the process.

You know what, if you're gifted, you don't have to say you're gifted. You just have to use your gift and people will notice.

David was available. The Bible doesn't indicate he was mad about taking the cheeses and the bread. David sees Goliath and a tremendous opportunity, so he starts asking about him, and what happens, his brother gets mad at him.

I worked for a church one time where they told me, "We just want you to reach students, and we don't care what you do." You know what I found out, they cared. It was a Baptist church. I decided to teach them the electric slide. I got to attend my first deacons meeting.

That happens and either they don't like the way you're reaching people or they don't like the people you're reaching.

Saul pulled David in to full-time service, but David was working for a leader who was very insecure, who did not quite recognize what God was doing in the next generation.

Several years ago I had a guy on my staff come in and say, "Have you seen my Twitter?" I'm like, "You want to run that by me again? No, freak, I have not. I don't know what you're talking about right now." So he showed me what it was, "And I said that's the dumbest thing I have ever seen." My staff showed me a video of me in a staff meeting saying Twitter is the dumbest thing ever and I'll never do it.

You know what, those of us in our 40s, 50s, and 60s, it's not our job to reach the next generation. They'll reach themselves. We can either be a part of it or resist it and get passed over.

David worked for a leader that asked for ridiculous things. David had to bring Saul 100 Philistine foreskins.

For those of us who are complaining about what we have to do… at least you're not David. We complain that we have to do things we get paid to do that other people have traditionally given their lives to do.

David doesn't get 100. He gets 200. He is a good steward of where he is. If God can't trust us with where we are right now, how do we expect him to use us for greater things in the future.

So Saul throws a spear at David. You know how you know when it's time to leave the church? When the pastor pulls out a Glock. You know when it's time to go. But it's not time to go when you're having a tough time, it's when the leader is trying to destroy you.

You know what a church plant is, it's David in 1 Samuel 22. He was surrounded by the distressed and the dire and the in trouble. Normal people don't show up to a church plant. If you plant a church, every freak in a 50 mile radius is going to find you.

You know how you know David is a leader? He went somewhere and people would follow him.

David never dishonored Saul at any point.

There are some people here who are frustrated, and the easiest thing to do when you're frustrated is talk smack about a leader. If you want to embrace the process of leadership, instead of talking smack about your leader, talk to your savior. Say it doesn't matter if I'm here for the next 10 minutes or the next 10 years, I want you to make me.

BUt your'e saying, "But you don't know my story."

And I would simply ask you back, "Are you any better than Jesus?" Jesus embraced the leadership process. Jesus lived in obscurity for 30 years, swinging a hammer, being a carpenter, working in the family business. If you think nobody recognizes you, nobody understands you better than Jesus.

"But you don't know the clowns I'm working with." How would you have liked Peter on your staff? Or James and John who asked to be seated on the right and the left right after he talked about being crucified.

But Jesus took those people and launched a movement that has brought us to where we are today.

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion." He's bigger than your biggest enemy, greatest fear, and biggest dream, because he is always faithful to people who embrace the process.

Posted at 4:02 PM on October 4th, 2012
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