November 11, 2019
More than any other generation, information is at our fingertips. While living in the Information Age makes it a challenge, turning rest into a discipline is not out of reach.
Concluding the “Restless” collection of talks, Manouchka Charles, Luke Barry, and Adrian Molina give us pointers on building restful habits in “Practice What You Preach.”
Typically, we know what brings us peace but feelings often get in the way. But we can fend off their fickle effects if practical steps are applied. By paying particular attention to our schedule, environment, checklists, and work we actively choose rest. Add in Jesus' example of reading, resting, and retreating, a spiritual system we should run on repeat, and we'll truly enjoy God's rest.
Ultimately, we must believe Jesus will continue showing us how to live rested. But we must also be willing students of the Master. Let us practice what we have come to know about rest, trusting that God will take care of the rest.
November 7, 2019
When we want to prepare for an exam, we study by reading and maybe mixing in a few flashcards. But when we want to prepare for life, what do we do?
In the talk “Hearing God’s Voice: Conversations with God,” Manouchka Charles answers the question by showing us the Bible is our manual for living well.
More than just a book, the Bible is God-breathed word. It serves the purpose of instructing, correcting, training, and transforming us into who God created us to be. The problem is at times we fail to understand how good the Bible can be for us.
The answer is to stand on the truth that the Word comes from a loving Father who desires the best for us. By knowing God's love, our conviction of the Bible's benefits will never falter. We won't just read it once in a while, but continuously. Because it contains all we need, for all we are called, for all of our lives.
November 4, 2019
Imagine God handling life's surprises the way some of us do—with panic! We probably wouldn't turn to him much. Thankfully, God doesn’t struggle with our circumstances. When it seems to us he’s sleeping, he’s bringing peace to the chaos.
In the “Restless” talk "How to Sleep in Your Storm,” Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. explains that practicing rest during our storms will help us get through them.
We may feel that resting will cause us to miss out on solving problems and reaching goals. But that is far from the truth. Jesus took his time and was intentional about being alone with the Father and still, he accomplished more than anyone ever could. We can follow his example in every season.
Slowing down, participating in solitude, and honoring the Sabbath are all vital to finding rest in the hectic moments. No matter what's thrown our way, God's promises to us in the stillness are sure in the storm.
October 28, 2019
Finding validation from all we accomplish and obtain can lead to a continuous cycle of striving. Eventually, that mode of operation keeps us from what we need—moments of rest.
In the “Restless” collection of talks, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. draws our attention to why rest is important, how God established it since the beginning of creation, and what taking a Sabbath really looks like in the message “Closed on Sunday.”
God did not intend for us to live a life solely dedicated to the grind of responsibilities and commitments. We should have a cadence of work and rest, creating a healthy balance between the two.
Though we may have forgotten the last time we made room in our schedules to be restored, God reminds us to find soul refreshment and live in rhythm of resting in him.
October 24, 2019
The church isn't a place, it's a people. In seeking to equip and empower people, we have to remember there's a difference between a church _with_ small groups and a church _of_ small groups.
Members of the VOUS Church staff, Michelle and Adrian Molina and Kyle Graham, get into the nitty-gritty of "How to Turn a Crowd Into a Community" during their VOUS Conference 2019 breakout session.
Crews are the small groups of VOUS Church. It is where community culture gets developed by design. Crews draw support through leadership structure, resources, and systems.
Each element of Crew, be it a building block, the seasonal calendar, or embedded moments to honor up, down, and all around, is there to make it better. Because, in the end, our godly goal is to foster healthy relationships and transform lives.
October 21, 2019
We can get so caught up in distractions that we lose rest, and it's impulsive desires that are to blame. Our worldly wants put us in a constant and overwhelming search for more.
Kicking off the “Restless” collection with “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. explains we can exchange the burdens of our wants for what Jesus offers.
Rather than being driven by our desires to a certain breakdown, we can instead hand over the steering wheel to God and allow him to set the direction toward peace. He provides us the solution by exemplifying calm amid frustrations and disappointments.
Jesus tells us to come, take what is his, learn from him, and find the true source of our desire in him. It is an invitation we must accept if we hope to enjoy the benefits. When we say yes and focus on God and his promises, only then can we fully rest in the work he has already done.
October 18, 2019
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Suicide has become a leading cause of death in America. As alarming as that fact is, we don't have to settle for it. We can instead choose life and aspire for a better tomorrow.
In his poetic style, Ben Courson shares how this generation can move from mope to hope during the “Are You OK?” VOUS Conference 2019 breakout session. He challenges us to think about what we think about and inspires us to know that even if we are not OK that it’s OK because by the power of God eventually, we will be.
In life, to thrive, we ought to know hope is a journey and joy is a choice. We must fight for what we don’t feel. When we hear the word of God, we can reject being defined by failures, be relieved from depression, and enjoy Christ's freedom.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, if you or someone you know needs help, 1-800-273-8255.
October 14, 2019
What is an influencer? Going by society’s current definition, we’d be led to believe an influencer is a person with a large social media following. Yet, while a social platform may be good, it is simply a tool and shouldn't be mistaken for the real influence God wants for us.
In an inspiring message, “How to Become an Influencer,” Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life.Church shifts our perspective on the impact we Christ-followers can have on the lives of others.
God is not looking for platforms to use but people. Individuals who are willing to take any and every moment to share the grace and love of Christ. Whether a conversation, a word of encouragement, or a gesture, every action is a seed that can be planted into the right soil for harvest.
Thankfully there are plenty of opportunities to partner with God to create life-giving experiences for those around us. And we don’t have to have it all together to be of influence, we just have to be willing. We’re all influencers.
October 11, 2019
When leaders lead, people follow, and God gets the glory. It is a sequence we're all designed for, and yet great things don’t just happen. It starts with a willing leader equipped with the right tools.
In his talk with Hillsong Germany, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. shares what there is to know and do when it comes to leadership in “Life to Lead.”
Vision anchors a leader’s path. Energy toward an activity will show little progress if there is no direction. And it is a leader’s vision that rallies a team around a cause. The team amplifies a leader’s work for a more resounding the impact.
But it is not enough to have a vision and team, leaders must approach their endeavors with the right attitude and determination. A proper system in place will ensure that attitude and determination are always in check.
A leader can't lead in a vacuum, we all have our part to play. So long as we apply these tools of leadership effectively, we will gain many wins for God's kingdom.
October 11, 2019
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Having strength alone on the mountaintop may seem easy but journeying on through the valley makes us realize we should be surrounded. Surrounded by people who speak hope into our circumstances.
In the VOUS Conference 2019 breakout session “Sisterhood of Strength,” Pastor DawnCheré Wilkerson inspires women to be intentional, engaged, and encouraged. None of us are exempt from the pain that exists in life and that is why we should never walk alone.
In community, we find authentic relationships that breathe strength into our lives. We are called to speak up and speak out and stay in proximity to the pain of the women in our community, remaining relatable and vulnerable.
God is instructing women to raise the banner of freedom and stand united. The way we win is as sisters celebrating and speaking life over each other because together, we are better.