Mark Defining Moments in Your Ministry with Celebration and Anticipation

There’s a tension that exists whenever God has moved greatly in the life of a person or church. It’s the tension between looking back and looking forward.

Celebration and anticipation.
Both must exist. Together.

But what usually happens is we specialize in one of them at the expense of the other. Some people really celebrate what God has done, but they don’t anticipate the next thing He wants to do. Others really anticipate what God’s going to do, but they don’t celebrate what He’s done.

According to the way God wants it done, He commands both.
Commemoration is equal parts celebration and anticipation.

You can see this in Joshua 4 when God tells the Israelites to put down stones in order to commemorate their passing through the Jordan River. The purpose was for it to be a reminder of how God had led the people through the desert for forty years and through the Jordan. It was a symbol for what He had done.

But it was also looking forward to the Promised Land and taking possession of it. It was a symbol for what He was about to do.

Celebration and anticipation belong together and flow into one another. And we need to be good at both.

It seems trivial, but it’s not. I believe this is one of the main reasons Elevation has seen God move mightily in the past five years. We make every attempt to celebrate passionately and adequately when God blows us away. But we also really try to anticipate how He is going to blow us away next and plan accordingly.

We’re trying to live in the tension. You need to as well.

Some of you are too busy dreaming about where God is taking you next to appreciate how far He has taken you recently. Stop for a moment and celebrate.

Others of you are so busy celebrating what God has done in your life that you’ve yet to realize it’s just a taste of what He still has to do in you and through you. Stop for a moment and anticipate.

Commemoration is equal parts celebration and anticipation. Learn how to do both well and don’t be surprised when God gives you more things to commemorate.

Read more from Steven here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick

Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church. He and his wife, Holly, founded Elevation in 2006 with seven other families. Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the New York Times Best Selling author of Crash the Chatterbox, Greater, and Sun Stand Still. Pastor Steven and Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
comment_post_ID); ?> "While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 

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