Route To Greatness

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At the Fearless Awards, we celebrate all those at Mavuno who have served diligently throughout the past year. None of the great things that God has accomplished here over 2013 would have been possible if not for their service. When people ask me what is the secret of Mavuno’s impact, I say that #1, it’s clear that God’s blessings have been upon this church ever since we began 8 years ago – and for that we give God all the credit. And #2, it’s because of the team of fearless influencers who have believed in and radically owned this vision. Whether it’s teaching our children or managing our sound and video, whether it’s hosting our visitors or praying for those in need every week, many ordinary people have given selflessly of their time and resources in order to help our generation connect with God and with purpose.  And that is why we want to take time to say a big ‘thank you’ to all who serve for the great work you do.

This last weekend, my wife Carol and I had the privilege of visiting the beautiful country of Rwanda and spent time at Mavuno Kigali was amazed at the influence the young church is already having on its city. In just the 4th Sunday, they had around 180 in attendance and we had at least 5 people give their lives to Christ! After the service, we had lunch with some of the around 30 people who actively serve in the church. Many of them have only just begun a relationship with God in the last few months but they are passionate about serving at Mavuno Kigali and want to be a blessing to others.

For example, George told me that his wife received Christ at Mavuno Kampala and began to serve there. He dropped her & the kids at church every Sun but didn’t think it was relevant for him. But then he was transferred by his company to Rwanda and when his family joined him, they began to attend Mavuno Kigali. One day his daughter asked him, ‘dad did you know families are meant to worship together?’ that day he decided to visit Mavuno and to his amazement, he really enjoyed the service. He did Mizizi, accepted Christ in the process and now belongs to a vibrant life group that He considers a part of their family. Both he and his wife serve in church but his biggest passion is inviting people to church. On a recent business trip to DRC, he shared a copy of financial fitness to the businessmen who were on the trip with him. After the ensuing conversation, he invited them to church. Several of them have already done so and even signed up for Mizizi. This last weekend, he was almost jumping up and down with joy when one of the men showed up with his wife and they made a decision to start coming to Mavuno! Here’s a man who a while back did not think church was in any way relevant – now his greatest passion is serving God and introducing others to Him!

Hanging out with George and many others like him helped me reflect on why we do what we do at Mavuno. That’s what I want to reflect on briefly …

Mavuno’s mission is, “Turning Ordinary People Into Fearless Influencers Of Society”. These are not just nice sounding words to us! Three important phrases there that define who we are…

1. TURNING – Turning is about transformation. That’s what Mavuno exists for. We are not about information or education or entertainment but about transformation or life change. Our passion is to present the life changing truth of Jesus in such a way that people who think church is irrelevant not only understand it but get completely transformed by it. We go the extra mile to reach people who wouldn’t ordinarily go to church, to help them see that God’s word contains practical answers to their real needs and aspirations. We show them that a true encounter with God should result in real change that should be visible in their work, parenting, marriage, dating, and every aspect of their lives. We’re about transformation.

The second phrase is…

2. ORDINARY PEOPLE – Whenever you read about Jesus, you will notice that he was not surrounded by super-saints or theologians but by ordinary people with real issues. Jesus always began with where people were before leading them to where God wanted them to be. In the same way, we say Mavuno is about ‘real people with real issues encountering a real God’. We are keen to never be a place where people ‘play church’ as hurting people pretend that all is well with their lives. We believe that church was meant to be a hospital for sinners and not a hotel for super-saints! Mavuno is not a perfect church for perfect people. Many of us had not been to church for years before coming here. Others had walked with God for many years. But one thing we had in common – We recognize our limitations and our need for God’s help. We are all in this journey of seeking God together. And it’s only as we’re real before God and each other that God’s word can transform us to be who He created us to be.

The third phrase is…

3. FEARLESS INFLUENCERS OF SOCIETY  – What does that mean? Jesus didn’t just stop with hanging out with sinners. He loved people just as they were but he loved them too much to leave them that way. Jesus began with ordinary people but through His influence, he changed them from the inside out so that by the time He was done with them, they could hardly recognize themselves! Ordinary people had become world changers and history makers. And that has been the testimony of many here. That they walked in with ordinary dreams that were all about them. And that God has changed them so that they no longer live just for themselves but for a greater purpose. And that those around them can hardly recognize them because of what He has changed them to be and because of the impact they’re having on others! And even though they may not be where they’d like to be, they are sure not where they used to be!

In short, Mavuno exists to raise up a global movement of fearless influencers – change agents who bring transformation to every sector of society.  And that brings us to why serving is important. There are some very powerful words spoken by the founder of our movement, Jesus, to His followers about the type of leaders He expected them to be. Luke 22:24-27 (NIV) 

Two things that happen when we serve… 

1. We train for fearless influence. Interestingly, serving plays a big role in helping us become fearless influencers. As many come to Mavuno, discover their purpose, and begin to have great impact on society, it is critical that we are raising servant leaders. Too many people start to do great things and impact others and they become proud. They forget where they came from and start to feel it’s all about them. They say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! But Jesus says that His route to greatness is the opposite of the world’s preferred route. God’s route to greatness is through the highway of service.

What this nation needs is not more gifted leaders. What this nation needs is more servant leaders! I believe God is raising many here to be leaders in politics, business, education, and entertainment and so on both nationally and internationally – but that you will be different because you will first of all be servant leaders. God’s route to greatness is through the highway of service.

So #1 we train for fearless influence. But secondly…

2. We become a blessing to others. I know many marriages that have been saved because our Ndoa facilitators took time to pray for and counsel a couple on the verge of divorce. I know many children whose parents testify they are so different that they stand out even at school, because of the patient and loving teachers at the Greenhouse. I know many who are walking with God because their Life Group leader faithfully kept the group together. I know many who came and accepted Christ because the media team prepared well and they could clearly receive God’s word. Thousands have been blessed because of those who serve. These who serve are the real heroes of Mavuno! God’s route to greatness is through the highway of service.

All the many who serve don’t do so because they’ve nothing better to do. They do so because they are compelled to be a blessing to others.  And they don’t serve because they have their act together! They serve because even though they’re not perfect, they have encountered the love of a perfect God and they want others to encounter that same love. God’s route to greatness is through the highway of service.

I want to invite every one of you who calls this their church to join Team Mavuno for 2014 and to serve, #1 because it is how you train for fearless influence and #2 because you have unique gifts, talents, passions and skills that God has given you to make you a blessing, and to ensure that we accomplish our mission of turning ordinary people into fearless influencers of society.

Many of you have already signed up to serve on one of our ministry teams. You are already part of Team Mavuno 2014. Praise God for you! May you serve His people faithfully and diligently through the year to come. If you still haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late – you still have a chance to do so after this service. Please go to the info desk and indicate which ministry you’d like to serve in and we’ll make sure we give you a call. You can give it a try for a couple of months. If it doesn’t work for you, we can help you explore a different post to serve in. God’s route to greatness is through the highway of service. 

As we give out the awards today, I want you to keep in mind a far much greater award ceremony that the bible tells us will take place when Christ returns. Jesus in his parables hinted that one day, each of us will receive a divine award based on the way we lived our lives here on earth. Did we live for ourselves? Or did we invest our lives as a blessing to others? And when that day comes, I pray that all of us here will hear our Father’s voice warmly speaking to us with the words, ‘well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful with a few things. Come now and take charge of many more’.

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One Response to “Route To Greatness”

  1. Very encouraging. I am set to start some service to God’s creation as we come to the end of the year. My 2014 is comming into clear focus. God bless.

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