Lessons from Week 1 – New York

The sabbatical time began with 10 days in New York City…during which I stayed at Union Theological Seminary, and spent time with God thinking and dreaming for Highland Oaks. I was able to, among other things, work through a sermon plan through up until Easter 2008, and get a jump start on sermon preparation for the first sermon series of the fall. I was also to spend some time before the Lord searching for what he might want to do with HOCC in the coming years. It was a great experience. Here’s a bit of what I came to…

-HOCC is uniquely equipped for certain things — we simply must pursue certain things.
-HOCC is completely ill-equipped for certain things — we must simply avoid spending too much time and energy on those things…or support those who do them well.
-The same is true of HOCC’s preacher–I simply must be about certain things, and try to encourage others with variant gifts to do some of the things that I am simply not gifted to do.

Here’s the question…do you think people should spend more time focusing on improving their weaknesses, or on growing further in their areas of strength?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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5 thoughts on “Lessons from Week 1 – New York

  1. I think there is a time and place for both. I think of many things in terms of what I experienced in business school, so I will use that as an illustration. I excelled at my financial management and investment courses, but not matter how much work I put into my accounting courses (which were far too numerous in my opinion), I didn’t do so hot. I passed and got decent grades, but the information didn’t sink in nearly as much as the finance.
    I know better than to waste my time trying to become an accountant. It would take far too long and there are MANY others who are much better accountants than I could ever be. However, I learned enough accounting to understand the concepts. I know how to manage finances, currency transactions, etc. But I would hire people to do the accounting. But I know enough that when the accountant explains things to me, I will at least have an idea what they are talking about.
    I think this is also something that a good leader should realize. The CEO of a large company is not going to be able to do the job of everyone. He may not know much about marketing, accounting, law, or public relations to do those jobs. But he surrounds himself with those who can. And he will know enough about multiple subjects to understand their importance.
    Stephen Covey does a great job of explaining the concepts of independence and interdependence. Independence is being able to do something on my own; the I can do it mentality. Interdependence is knowing that we, as a group, can do something (possibly even greater) by combining our talents and abilities. This is why God gave us different skill sets.

  2. I think the answer to your question is “yes.” : pursue strengths…overcome weaknesses. The NT character I identify with most said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Not to say I think we should be or can be best at everything. I appreciate your discernment re. HO strengths and weaknesses (and would like to discuss with you further) and also your own. (I’ve done my own inventory, too.) We have paid a high price for our historical lack of sophistication in this arena, and I’m thankful for you and others of your generation who are leading us into saner waters. I do caution you (and us all) to beware of the sane-water monsters which lie in wait: arrogance and pride. I believe that good thinking in the process of supplanting bad thinking is best dressed with charm. rtrr