Friday was the 2nd day of MinistryTECH 2008 conference in Oklahoma. It was a day that really messed me up! It started when Terry Storch gave the morning keynote talk. He said he was lead by God to change the topic of what he originally planned to talk to us about and instead spoke about “Being an Idiot”. Terry used this opportunity to openly share with us his personal story of coming to Christ as an adult and God’s directing him away from the “Zuckerberg Dream” and instead into a life of ministry first at Fellowship Church in Texas and now at LifeChurch.tv.
To have the skills that Terry has and to see how he gave up a potentially very lucrative career to work in and serve the church is quite an inspiration. As Terry puts it, he was an idiot. His family and co-workers knew it was the only explanation for doing what he did. Who else gives up the kind of money that could be made in the secular IT world and the kind of fame that could be had. Who else trades a life of comfort and convenience for one of extreme challenges and anonymity? Only an idiot.
The church today is in the midst of a world undergoing a digital revolution. There are 6.5 billion people in the world and over 1 million of them are connected to the internet (and growing). The church today has an opportunity like never before to fulfill the Great Commission and idiots like Terry (and us) can help be a part of that.
3 characteristics of idiots that Terry discussed:
- Idiots embrace being idiots – following God often doesn’t make sense to the ‘world’ but to the idiot, that doesn’t matter. As a result we can do things that everyone would think are impossible.
- Idiots are comfortably uncomfortable – as technology guys we can easily focus on process and forget about the real goal of why we do what we do. We always need to ask ourselves ‘why’ and make sure we are not doing things just to make our lives easier and more comfortable.
- Idiots expose their weaknesses – Satan knows them and will use them to take you out. Acknowledge them, deal with them before God and do not allow Satan to use them against you. The unexpected reality – your will often find your biggest weaknesses in the areas that are also your strengths.
Some key suggestions Terry gave to help counter attack your weaknesses: setting priorities, making boundaries for yourself, and having accountability to someone.
While being an idiot is really stupid in the eyes of the world, It can give you the opportunity to demonstrate extreme child-like faith. Some key questions Terry left us with:
- What have you been holding on to that you need to let go of?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What faith jump do you need to make?
Of coarse this post does nothing to justify the impact Terry had in person and the way I felt God speak through him. I cannot describe the feeling I had that morning and the way it totally messed with me. I have been prayerfully considering what God wants next for me in my life. I have been doing SAP consulting for the past 10 years and volunteering as I could in technology and creative areas within the church, but I have felt his calling recently to something more, something different, something that He has in mind. I don’t know if there were others in the room in a similar position as me, but I believe God truly lead Terry to change his topic and it was one that He wanted me to hear.
Thank you Terry for being open to God’s leading with your talk. Thank you for being an idiot for Jesus and the mission of the church. Thank you for the friendship you showed me during these 2 days of the conference. While the world may look on us as idiots, in the eyes of Jesus I truly believe we are warriors!