Maybe it’s Time for Daily Communion with God

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The last post in our series: How to Be at Your Best

Number Five: Daily Communion

By Dan Zimbardi

With all that is going on right now, maybe today is the day to begin intentionally experiencing daily communion with God. I am not talking about the physical sacrament of communion, though it is always good to start each day in remembrance of Christ and all he has done for us. We are referring to spending time daily with God. 

Lori and I were with this counselor for a couple of days, and he said something that was so incredibly profound. I will try to get this quote right, “Commune well with God in the first half of your life…” What does commune mean? In this context commune well means to spend time with. Commune well with God in the first half of your life. Here is the second part of what he said, “…so in the second half of your life, you can live the freest creative life possible.” 

The moment he said it—if I do communion well with God now, in the second half, I can live the freest and creative life—I immediately thought about the possibility of living in this ridiculous freedom. That’s for me! A lot less stress. A lot less worry. A lot less concern about performing.

“Commune well with God in the first half of your life so in the second half of your life,
you can live the freest creative life possible.”

Thinking about my most creative life possible, I started to think about the things I love to do. Spending all of my days creating and using my imagination. Not bogged down by all the other things I don’t enjoy. Commune well with God. Commune well right now. 

John 10:10 states that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly. God wants us to live an abundant life. Abundant life in this context doesn’t mean more stuff. Abundant life means a deeper communion with God. A deeper relationship with God—this is abundance.

Here’s a question for you if your focus is on daily communion. 

Question: What are my daily spiritual disciplines and rhythms? 

Action: Describe and process your most free and creative life. What fruit might you see if you are free from worry and stress? Write it down and talk about it. Then what does your most creative self look like? What are you doing? How are you spending your days?

As we wrap up our How to Be Your Best in 2020 series, I know things are a bit different in the world now than when we started. But we might just have a little more time while we are isolating ourselves from the outside world to work on the one thing that will help us be our best. 

Pick the one thing that you will work on this year. 

  1. Pursuing healing
  2. Growing in self-awareness 
  3. Conquer deep-rooted insecurities
  4. Mature and grow up 
  5. Make a big change. Especially during this time when businesses are shutting their doors. Maybe getting creative and doing something you never thought you would do is the thing to pursue right now.
  6. Daily communion 

Once you’ve picked your one thing, here are some next steps for you. 

It is called the Four C’s 

  1. Commitment – I think all six of these are the tough things. I don’t think you pick any one of these and it’s like, man, no problem I’m going to go whiteboard this out, and I’m good. These are difficult things, and it requires a significant commitment. You have to work on it consistently. You’re going to need some tenacity, so once you identify your one thing, focus on commitment.
  2. Community – Invite people into your one thing. Don’t go it alone. Invite your community group. If you’re not in a community group, getting into a group. Right now, online groups are readily available. They are not always ideal, but they are easy to join and be a part of from home. 
  3. Courage – You will need courage. When I think about this deep-rooted issue, I shared in the first post of feeling left—it is a big deal. I’m going to need courage. I have carried this baggage for a long time. I’m going to talk about it and get real about it. For some of us, courage looks like going to a therapist. For others, courage looks like going to see a doctor. Be courageous. It takes courage to share your story. 
  4. Clarity – So that we know what God wants us to do. We all have busy, complicated lives. Clarity will help us have direction and give us the energy and the commitment to process through and work on hard things.

Invite God into your one thing and then submit yourself to him you can’t just do it with your small group, and you can’t just do it on your own you need the work of God. 

Pastor Dan Zimbardi has been the Executive Pastor of Sandals Church, one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America, for the past eight years. Dan spent twenty-two years as an entrepreneur and corporate executive and has worked with some of the most dynamic brands in the world, including Google, Nike, and Burton Snowboards. Dan’s passion is to train and develop leaders both in ministry and the marketplace.

 

 

Banner Photo by Noah Silliman

One Thing – How to Be at Your Best in 2020 by Dan Zimbardi

My Hope and prayer are that you and I would be at our best both at home and work in 2020. I want to share with you this idea about identifying the one thing that we need to work on this year to be at our best. 

This one thing idea came from Jim Cofield and Rich Plass from Crosspoint Ministries. They came out and visited with us a couple of years ago to train our team on the Enneagram. At one point in the session, Rich said that we should find one thing and work on it for the next two or three years. I thought to myself, “that is ridiculous.” By the end of the two-day session, I was convinced that these guys are onto something when it comes to the most profound challenges in our life. Working through these deep challenges takes time, and it’s a journey. 

They got me thinking about this “one thing” idea. 

I am certain there are more that I could have chosen, but I have six things I want you to process through. As you go through all six posts, take notes on what you think the one thing might be. You can be sure, or it can be an inkling. Either way, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what that one thing is. 

I believe God is going to do extraordinary things in our lives and our ministries this year.

Today we will talk about number one. Subscribe here so you don’t miss any of the next five posts.

#1: Healing

For some of us, the one thing is deep personal healing. 

Here’s the big idea: 

The greatest barrier to your greatest self is a lack of healing from your greatest wound.

I want to talk a little bit about the word sanctification. A simple way to describe this fancy Christian word is: becoming more like Jesus. Sanctification is becoming more like Jesus, and so often we think about becoming more like Jesus in terms of virtues, being more kind, more loving, more patient, more generous, more compassionate, etc. When we think about becoming more like Jesus, we think about growing in these virtues, and that’s true. What is often missing in our thoughts and even in our teaching is:

Becoming more like Jesus is also about finding healing. 

There are parts of us that struggle in everyday life because we have not healed from a very deep wound. As we go through the process of healing, we will become more virtuous. We will become less angry and, therefore, more kind. We will become less self-centered and, therefore, more compassionate and so on. So we must go through this process of healing. For many of us, our greatest wound happened before we were ten years old. There’s a reality that, for many of us, we are currently going through a challenging season because there’s a real deep wound that happened when we were children. 

I was away with my wife, Lori, a couple of weeks ago seeing a counselor, and he asked us that first day to share our story. And at some point, he asked this pointed question:

“What’s your wound?” 

For me, I knew right away. When I was about six years old, I walked into my parent’s bedroom in Plainview, New York, out in Long Island, and I remember seeing a cardboard box on the table. My dad was putting his folded socks into this cardboard box. That memory burned in my mind symbolizes his departure from my life. My dad left us, and for the rest of his life, he was absent from mine. There was a huge ripple effect that happened when he left. It was the 1970’s. My mom was young and didn’t have an education or a trade. She stayed home to raise my brother and me. She immediately went to work to support us working three jobs to make ends meet so we would have a roof over our heads. She was and still is an incredible woman. Because she was gone most of the time, my brother and I had to figure out how to take care of ourselves. We were often left alone. I can remember my mom being gone in the mornings when I would wake up. My brother went to a different school that started earlier than mine. So I would get myself ready and walk across the street to Mr. and Mrs. Huff’s house. The Huffs were a kind older couple. To this day I don’t know if my mom had made an arrangement with the Huffs, or if they just took me in each morning out of their goodness.  They would feed me breakfast before I would walk alone through the woods to school each day. Then I would walk home alone to an empty house. I learned to be independent and self-sufficient. 

But ultimately, through this discovery process, I learned that I was dealing with abandonment. That struck me because I would never have said, “Hey, you know I deal with abandonment issues.” The counselor went on to show me ways that the abandonment from 40 years ago manifests itself in my behaviors and bad thinking today. This has set me on this journey of healing. I need to go through it so that I can improve my thinking, some of my behaviors, and how I relate to people that are closest to me. I want you to think about where you need to focus on healing from a deep wound that is causing you to stumble or struggle or to have difficulties in your everyday life and your most important relationships.

For each of the six points, I am going to give a question and an action. These will help you process through what you are going to work on in 2020.

Question: What is my deepest wound?  

If, when reading this, you knew the answer immediately and it still hurts today, or the holy spirit is speaking to you now, maybe healing is the thing that you need to pursue.

Action: Start telling your story. 

I’m not suggesting you tell your story to everyone, but say it to the right people—mature people who love you and care for you. 

 

Next Post: One Thing – How to be Your Best in 2020: Number Two – Self Awareness

 

Pastor Dan Zimbardi has been the Executive Pastor of Sandals Church, one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America, for the past eight years. Dan spent twenty-two years as an entrepreneur and corporate executive and has worked with some of the most dynamic brands in the world; including Google, Nike, and Burton Snowboards. Dan’s passion is to train and develop leaders both in ministry and the marketplace.

The Doors Kept Opening: Meet Nancy Marthedal

In our final week of preparations to launch our Sandals Church Fresno campus, we want to introduce you to a few of the devoted members of New Life Community Church as we honor them and ask God to multiply their faithfulness.

Meet Nancy.

I have been at New Life Community Church since 1970 when I was a sophomore in high school. The last three years have been a little bit rough for us. We had several pastors come and go. Our last one left over a year and a half ago. We were asking God what was next four us as we were considering getting another pastor, but that didn’t seem like the best option. We started praying. We heard about some churches partnering with other churches and knew of a church in Fresno that had a satellite location and thought about talking to them. My daughter, Anna, had attended Sandals Church when she was in Southern California, so she emailed Ron McCoy from the ROGO Foundation. When started talking with Ron, it was pretty exciting.

I am one of those people who is pretty passionate. So the thought of moving forward in a direction where God was going to be here and move and we could be a beacon in our community was thrilling to my heart.

I have worked with the Washington Union Fellowship of Christian Athletes for quite some time. We have 160 kids coming to lunch every week, and most aren’t plugged in at a church. At New Life, we didn’t have something for them. We had a youth group, and they were awesome, but we needed more. Someone be able to connect with the kids, help them be more loved, be more discipled, learn more about Jesus, and help them develop their relationship with Christ.

From the beginning, I was very hopeful that merging with Sandals Church
would be what God’s plans were for us.

He put it in my head and heart before we had the last Pastor that maybe joining another church was a good option for us. The minute we started talking to Ron, it was like, “Okay, God, is this it?” Our little church Council leadership group had prayed that the doors would either be flown wide-open or slammed shut. We did have a couple of those slam shuts along the way, which was extremely difficult, but we knew God was leading us. The doors to Sandals Church kept being opened and opened, and so as it drew closer, we thought we were going to be a yes. We keep hanging on and moving forward as they kept asking more questions and wanting to know more about us, which to me, was wonderful. I thought, If they want to know more about us, then they are serious about us becoming a Sandals Church.

When it became apparent that it was going to happen, it was overwhelming to me, so I am so thrilled
that we could bring Christ in a real and authentic way to our community.

 

Sandals Church Fresno launches February 16th at 9:00 am with a second service at 10:30 am.

In A Church Merger Both Churches Bring Something to the Table 

In every church merger, there is a lead church and a joining church. Both churches are significant to the kingdom of God, regardless of size. They both bring something unique and valuable to the table to make the merger a long term success. 

The lead church brings vision, strategy, resources, and a proven ministry model. All of these things work together under the strong leadership of the lead church. Any one of these alone is not enough to make a church thrive. 

Both churches are significant to the Kingdom of God, regardless of size.

The joining church typically brings a core group of committed Christ-followers who understand and reflect the heartbeat of the local community. They bring an asset or a building that, with updating and repair, can serve that community well. 

Both churches bring key attributes to the table that combined created a thriving church that will impact their local community with the Gospel. And in a way that only God can, He uses the unique gifting of each person, and the resources available so that when the two churches successfully become one, God is glorified and people meet Jesus. It is a win for both churches and certainly a victory for the Kingdom of God.

 

Last post: Empathy is Key to Walking the Church Body Through Change

Communities are Transformed When Dying Churches are Transformed

A thriving gospel-focused local church represents hope, love, and purpose in a community. As a local church continuously declines in attendance, giving, and a well-maintained facility, it’s light often dims in its community. As its light dims, the eternal hope of Christ in that community dims as well. Ministries and outreach halts, the facility falls into disrepair, the pastor takes on all duties of the church, even those outside his gifting, and mere survival becomes the focus.

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A thriving gospel-focused local church represents hope, love, and purpose in a community.

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When restoration happens to a dying church through a successful merger, attendance, giving, and hope in the community rises. The Gospel message emanates into the community. The good work to care for and love their neighbors is once again a priority. Outreach and community events become a regular activity in the neighborhoods. People come to faith, get baptized, and are sent out on a mission. It is inevitable that post-merge a sense of life and purpose return to the community.

 

Next Post: God Does so Much More with an Open Hand than a Closed Fist.