Leadership

17 Lessons in 17 Years

On Sunday, March 17 we completed 17 years at Harvest House Church/Convergence House of Prayer.  I  shared with the church 17 lessons learned in these 17 years.

In preparation, I intentionally gave myself only 1 hour to write these 17 lessons. I wanted to grab the first things that jumped out of my heart and mind.

I realize that there are probably hundreds of lessons learned through the years but these are first in line.

People suggested that I post these 17 lessons on my blog. Great idea! So here they are in raw form.

17 Lessons

  1. Follow God always though His assignment appears impossible. He will provide. Get council from your covering for both wisdom and confirmation before proceeding. Your immediate family should be in agreement before taking such a big leap.
  2. Faith is spelled RISK. It’s knowing the first step, maybe two, but not the rest.
  3. It’s powerful to minister through the generations both for Pastors and those in the church. Be grateful for friends and family who stick with you through these generations. Longevity is a great teacher, you can’t learn much with short-term stays.
  4. Mistakes will happen. You are really not trying new things if mistakes are not being made. Things will not work out just the way you planned. Keep learning. Allow failure to move you forward. God will come through in the end.
  5. God is faithful through it all. No matter what. Through every season.
  6. Provision follows obedience. Obedience increases presence.
  7. Run YOUR race and don’t try running someone else’s. You are only accountable for what He has given you. Live up to your potential. Live holy. Walk in purity. If you are the Lords in private you will be the Lord’s in public. Sin is insanity. Private sin will eventually lead to public disgrace. The loss on the backend is far greater than the sin on the front end.
  8. Keep growing through all the seasons. Study the Bible. Pray. Be widely read. Think biblically. Study to learn not to teach. Keep sharpening yourself.
  9. Learn who you are. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Build on your strengths, get others to shore up your weakness. You can’t do it all.
  10. Love God and serve others well. Put others in front of you. Empower those around you. Live for their success.
  11. God is far more interested in building you then building the church or ministry. Allow the prophetic word to be the permission for God to change you so you can live up to what He says you are.
  12. You can tell the character of someone by how they handle correction. Being teachable is, well, being teachable without being offended. Don’t wrap your identity in your gifts, manifestations or anointing. If you do, you will only be teachable at a distance and correction will be reduced to advice.
  13. Forgive people. Forgive them for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). Don’t carry an offense. Have a teflon heart. Keep the love on. Stay in a place of thanksgiving. Leadership finds it’s security in God.
  14. Pastors are human. They have families. They are concerned about their finances, housing, health, retirement, living pure, educating their children etc. Regarding the churches ministry to Staff families: don’t put your expectations on them, let them be real, love them well, encourage them often.
  15. Like the fire/cloud in the desert, God leads his church through each season. And there ARE seasons. Each season is a lesson and a learning experience. Looking back gives confidence to looking ahead.
  16. After 50 refuse to grow content, continue to experiment & take risks. Finish strong.
  17. God is Good. God is found on the highest mountain and the lowest valley. That’s why we give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18).

Your Thoughts

What things are speaking to you from this list? These are my lessons what are some of yours? Love to get your comments and feedback on this post. You can add your comment by clicking here

Greg Simas

• Pastor | Writer | Leader | Coach • Senior Leader of Convergence House of Prayer in SF Bay Area. "Building people whose lives change so they can change lives."

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10 thoughts on “17 Lessons in 17 Years”

  1. Congratulations for these 17 years! Too many transitions (moving around) work against a good portion of what you’ve listed here. Great stuff …

    1. Thanks, Brian. I totally understand how transitions via career, education and family all work. When the Lord is clearly directing our lives, it’s all good. 🙂 He knows how to lead our lives. Always good to here from you!

      p.s. I still think your blog is one of the best Standard Theme mods. Blessings!

  2. “You can’t learn much with short-term stays”… There’s something to be said about a leader with staying power. I’ve short circuited that a couple times in my life. You will find your sweet spot in longevity.

    1. Dean. So true. Leaders can’t take people anywhere if they keep jumping ship. I am glad to hear that longevity is gaining positive traction among ministry leaders.

      When I talk leaders and we tell them how long we have been with our church…some give me THAT look, as if to say, “wow, that long in the same place.” I usually ask them how long they have been married to their wives. Of course, I refrain from making any additional comments. 😉

  3. good wisdom…I pay attention when someone sticks with it for long…that doesn’t happen by mistake, & more often than not, also, not by swindle…I respect that a lot…seems to give your ministry more authority in my book…. but that’s just me

    1. Thanks Frank. When you have been in a certain profession or calling for a significant amount of time you learn to see things before they happen, you know where a decision someone makes will take them etc. The authority you mentioned comes by way of faithful and fruitful experience through the seasons that benefit those whom we come in contact with. Just my thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you for the nuggets of Gold and pearls of wisdom. One would be wise, myself included, receiving the instruction of these grace deposits and truth impartations. Many of these lessons spoke to me personally.
    Thank God for your steadfast faithful service! How exciting … the journey continues … more victories to win, more land to possess, more souls to be impacted by the gospel for the glory of God!
    Honored to be under your leadership, and to serve.

    1. Thanks so much, Steve. I receive the “more victories to win, more land to possess etc”. I love how the Lord leads. I will not always understand His ways but I am confident that He loves me and will always have my best interests in mind. Grace and favor to you!

  5. many of these lessons i have learned already, but its funny how we keep learning them again and again, and yet reading them again, even thought I know them, really hit my heart as if its new!! Right now the Lord is teaching me #7 & #9 all over again.
    I want to be me. but the culture around us is constantly selling us ideas and belief systems so subtly that before we know it we find ourselves looking back at our lives and wondering what wrong turn we took that led us to Timbuktu. Well, at least that happens to me every few years. Then you look at #9, and say, ok, “who am I?” “what did God call me to?”, oh ya that’s right.
    I’m at that place again, a few weeks ago another wave hit me and Ive been riding it with the Lord, its started with that question…”what was that LAST thing I KNOW I heard God say to me.” Then I just camp there for a while.
    I don’t want to live in anyone’s else’s shadow but the Lords. I want to learn from my mistakes, and walk worthy of the calling on my life. I want my life to count.
    So ya, I’m still in tears from this post.

    1. So glad that what I have learned “hit you” in a good way. 😉 These 17 things have taken years of learning and re-learning, having to be reminded over and over again. This is probably why they came to me in the one hour time frame I gave myself to do it.

      Running MY own race takes all the pressure off comparing myself to other people and ministries. More importantly it frees me to be uniquely me. God loves my capacities, anointing and ministry style. This is so liberating!

      Gina, love where your heart is pointed and what God is doing in you and through you!

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