Author: Vanessa Hoyes
I have learned that in launch season of your own personal life, you should not be quick to title seasons or days with words that leave you locked in. When it comes to people on a team, do not be quick to hand out titles for the sake of describing a job function in launch season. The same in your own personal life, do not title your season, or define your days by the roles that you have to play, especially as you are evolving.
Launching a church, we went from having 18 staff and 400 hundred volunteers to our family, then another girl joined our launch team, then a few couples, then another guy, and then a team of brave-hearted pioneers that moved across the hemisphere to launch with us.
If we titled ourselves according to our season in a country where you could not get a decent job if you did not speak French, then the call centre our team was working at, or the factory that one of our team still works at now, after selling his very successful electrician business in Australia; or the 1am mornings that I do nearly every night to get this launch off the ground (with many others who work those crazy hours), then i would be labelling myself and my season as ‘exhausted’, hard work, doing jobs that I know someone else needs to rise up to do but being willing to do them all.
Plus titles or lables, they lock you in when all you need to be in this season is EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE AT EVERY MOMENT!
Go all in.
Don’t hold back
You’re not going to come up short.
Don’t be afraid—you’re not going to be embarrassed.
Don’t hold back—you’re not going to come up short.
You’ll forget all about the humiliations of your youth,
and the indignities of being a widow will fade from memory.
For your Maker is your bridegroom,
his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel,
called on and known as God of the whole earth
A season with no titles, no labels is actually quite liberating. It is also The Lord giving you time to REINVENT YOURSELF. Forget about all your former names.
What would the Lord name you now? Not what position does he want you to carry. But who are you? Let Him ask you those big questions.
We only now, 18 months on since launching have begun to clarify spiritual leadership and other titles in our House. We are glad we waited. Our humanity LOVES titles and rules and regulations. However we did not want to create more law. It would have prohibited everyone carrying at the same level.
Same in your own launch .. bring ALL of who you ARE into it, not just what you DO!
Sometimes the most misunderstood you will be is by those who have laboured in an environment where you are launching. We always want to honour those who have gone before us. And in fact these past few weeks have been full of those connections for us.
The challenge is though is that for relationships to evolve and unity to be strengthened there must be mutual honour. An invitation to a prayer meeting does not warrant relationship or neither does it always produce unity.
Yes we are all on the same team, but we will often have different and unique God-given strategies for how to fulfil our particular call according to the way the Lord has asked us to launch and build.
The same goes for a new business, or a fresh evolving of who you are launching into becoming. There is a unique way that God is asking you to change and grow and evolve.
So conversations with those who have gone before can be both healthy and God-ordained, or they can come with some ego and insecurity. My only responsibility is to be humble and love.
It doesn’t mean though that I have to accept their explanation of ‘the ways things are around here’. That explanation will be different according to the view, perception, experience and faith of those who have walked these streets. Again we will honour the labour that has gone into this soil, but we do not have to accept certain mindsets.
I don’t need one more person to tell me that Quebec is hard soil, or a large church can’t be built here, or Canadians don’t volunteer (not true) etc etc. We can smile and politely stand our ground without being arrogant and bold.
After talking about the stretch and the promises the people of God will experience the Lord says in Isaiah 54:16 ͞I have created the blacksmith
who fans the coals beneath the forge
and makes the weapons of destruction.
And I have created the armies that destroy.
17 But in that coming day
no weapon turned against you will succeed.
Sometimes people point their battle weapons the wrong way. Believers turn them in on themselves. It’s hidden beneath a smile, but it’s still an attack. An attack on your theology or your methodology. It’s laced with insecurity intolerance of another expression that differs to their own.
But between you and me .. I can’t afford to listen or to believe that! I need to hear the heart behind this. When going into a new job you are either going to be shown the ropes by someone secure and life-giving who isn’t threatened by your presence on the team, or you will be walked around the office by someone who is battling the feeling that ‘you may just cut his grass and take his place’ … and that office tour is very different.
I pray that as I build the years into this nations soil, that I will always be the one ‘showing the office’ to a newcomer with life, encouragement, welcome, security and hope that this team player makes all of our world better! And I am so grateful for those life-giving welcomes that we had to our city, and into the arena of our new church plant! Some of those people are now my closest of friends and I couldn’t be more grateful!
Isaiah 54:2 … and spare no expense! (Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep)
Leading up to launch you begin to feel the weight of what expansion is going to mean in your own life. When the dream actually does come and you begin to really feel the stretch of the launch you don’t want to draw back!!
For example, a woman who desires physical children and then it all get too hard when she has them. Those tent pegs of the expansion need to go deep so you do not despise the blessing you were given. Of course, you can have hard moments but continue to remember this is what you asked for.
You start a business and then it’s really big and takes everything of your time.
You ask God to use you – So He does – and then you feel used!!!
A husband or child gets saved now you complain about them being too committed in the house of God
You get your financial breakthrough and now god asks you to steward it effectively
It’s like someone who wins the lotto but has no ways of handling the increase because inside he is still small.
Drive the tent pegs deep because enlarging your capacity is not easy and those tent pegs need to become your conviction that this is exactly what you had been praying for. So the hard moments do not knock you off course. You can see it as part of the stretch and expansion.
I am doing the hard work now so that I do not draw back as we expand to two services. I am thinking what will those days feel like? How will I prepare for this? What will Sundays look like? For me and for our family? What will Mondays feel like? But I am up for it because i am driving those tent pegs deep, and seeing it about them as well.
As we prepare for our launch we were thinking about the way we stepped out to launch our first church here in Montreal.
We had gone off staff, sold up all our belongings and were living in a small caravan with nothing left of our old life but a promise to become apart of something greater than anything we had been apart of before. We had to break the power of loss, doubt, fear and that my identity was not in my past successes instead of in Christ and His constant victory! We were stretching in faith although humbling at the time for a bigger future.
2 Corinthians 6.11-13 Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! Message Version.
There would be a lot going on in people’s lives right now that wants to keep you small and restricted. Negative Diagnosis, relational struggles, financial challenges, pressures of life and past failures/mistakes. It will all come up in launch season. But just positioning yourself in launch atmosphere encourages you to look up and dream bigger with a team.
This church has grown from our family of 6 plus 9 people from Australia. We began to meet in our home, then outgrew our home into a training centre, then grew out from that before we launched into the foyer of the building we would launch in, then into our building we launched in, then into a theatre. And now it’s time to multiple and expand to two new locations across our city.
Not everyone can handle the transitions that need to take place as it grows. But if you carry a big spirit on the inside of you, then you find you can grow with environments that stretch you.
I am convinced my personal growth has come because I placed myself around big people in big environments. My personal growth also took place when I chose to grow with change. I didn’t want to be left out or left behind so I decided to get good with change. I am SO glad I did.
Even in a launch season on a team before you even launch, you will need to adapt to change. To trust your leaders. get good at being flexible and not stay loving ‘small’. Do not get comfortable in the small beginnings. Nothing healthy stays small. Do not despise those days of small beginnings either. The worst thing you could do though is restrain the growth with small thinking.
Give yourself permission to dream of who you will be. What you will be apart of, and who is on the other side of your enlarging of your tent.
What if the launch you are believing for happened today? What would be different?
WHAT WOULD NEED TO BE FOUNDATIONS CHANGED AND CLEARED THAT ARE CLUTTERING AND MAKING ROCKY WHAT GOD WANTS TO BUILD THERE? QUESTION – IF I DID HAVE WHAT I AM BELIEVING FOR WHAT WOULD LIFE NEED TO LOOK LIKE?
I love this blessing that John ODonohue wrote:
A Morning Offering
‘all that is eternal in me welcomes the wonder of this day
The field of brightness it creates offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate
May my mind come alive today to the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers
To break the dead shells of yesterdays
To risk being disturbed and changed
May I have the courage today to live the life that I would love
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more
Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge your house; build an addition. (clear ground for your tents). Spread out your home (let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out – spread out, think big)
I believe that you have to begin to do the enlarging and the spreading out and the launching in your mind and your heart before you ever see it happen.
IN COACHING THERE IS A MIRACLE QUESTION WE ASK PEOPLE
IF YOU WERE TO WAKE TOMORROW AND THE DREAM HAS BEGUN WHAT WOULD BE THET FIRST THING YOU NOTICE DIFFERENT?
ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN IF THE CHALLENGE IS IN YOUR LIFE RATED WHERE WOUD IT BE?
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO MOVE IT JUST ONE DOWN ON THE SCALE?
START TO USE YOUR IMAGINATION!!!
ENLARGE YOUR HOUSE….
PREPARE FOR A NEW LIFE AND THE DREAM..
Enlarge your ‘house’ – is a physical capacity thing. What would you do different with your TIME when you launch? What can you begin doing now?
But “spread out your ‘home” is a spirit and soul thing.
WHAT HABITS NEED TO CHANGE AND EXPAND? WHERE ARE YOU DWELLING?
WHERE ARE YOU NOW AND WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE
Goals – don’t be scared by them – what would you be doing if you had what you are believing for??
“don’t just think it, INK it!”
Write the vision down and make it plain and the heralds can run with it..
Have you written down a typical day in the life of your launch? It is time to get serious about this and begin to develop habits that can sustain the expansion. Trust me .. when it begins to happen you do not always want what you believed for!
It is always a challenge in launch season to not be so future focussed that you forget to focus on the really special now moments of your life. This day will never come again. This size church will never be this small again. This season will never come back. So do not rush through it because you are so desiring the change and the launch!
The key in living the miracle of your launch is actually in the word NOW!
Isaiah 54:4 For the desolate woman now has more children
than the woman who lives with her husband,”
says the Lord.
THE WORD HERE IS NOW – FAITH IS THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT YET REVEALED TO OUR FIVE PHYSICAL SENSES…
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].
Waiting each month to get pregnant – NOW even though it wasn’t yet revealed to my five physical senses. This was so disappointing for years.
THE NOW AND NOT YET MOMENT AND THE GAP IN BETWEEN… WHAT DO WE DO WHEN WE ARE WAITING…THE GAP?
What do you do in the waiting?
What do you celebrate?
Me, in the deepest grief and unending desire to have chidlrens, whenever other friends would get pregnant i had to choose to celebrate! And quite literally buy them gifts to CHOOSE to celebrate them. Even when it hurt. Ad if God was a pie where there was only so many children to go around!!
Its staying present in that NOW moment and not drawing back emotionally or spiritually..
Its seeing every moment as our now and not yet..
“Taking your children to school and kissing your wife goodbye
Eating lunch with a friend, trying to do a decent days work . Hearing the rain patter against the window. There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving room for us to recognize Him or not to recognize Him, but all the more so fascinatingly because of all that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly. If I were called upon to state in a few words the eseence of everything I believe – it would be listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and the pain of it, no less than in the excitement and the gladness of it : touch taste smell your way to the holy and the hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments and life itself grace”
I began to find that i needed to stay super grateful for my days. Right here and right now. They say if you are going to make any changes in a renovation that you have to sit in the room until you are fully satisfied with it, grateful for every part of it, so that when you make the change, you do not do it out of discontent. That is a great challenge in a launch season. The balance between contentment and holy discontent to not have your environment stay the same!
So i began to review my days with these questions from John ODonohue.
Questions for the end of my day:
What dreams did i create last night?
Where did my eyes linger today
Where was i blind?
What did i learn today?
What new thoughts visited me?
What differences did i notice in those closest to me?
What did i begin today that might endure?
How were my conversations?
Where did i allow myself to receive love?
Where could i have risked doing something different?
With whom today did i feel most myself?
What reached me today? How deep did it imprint?
Who saw me today?
What did i avoid today?
From the evidence – WHY WAS I GIVEN TODAY?
This helped me begin to pause into the everyday. This is a crazy season in launch. Messy kitchen, beds unmade, late nights and early mornings. A million phone calls and number crunching. But i do not want to miss the moments, with Jesus, with my husband, with our kids, our neighbours and our team.
Launch season can be long .. with so many ups and down, panic moments and celebrations, late nights and early mornings. Its the season of stretch!
You need to determine early on that you are going to grow with this and embrace the stretch. Your words will shape an atmosphere that keeps giving you permission to stretch!
Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren woman, you who have never given birth! Break into loud and joyful song, fill the air with the song, you who have never been in labor.
This was meant to be a birthing song – sung only by women in childbirth.
- WELL WHAT DO I SING ABOUT? ITS SO EMBARRASING TO SING ABOUT SOMETHING THAT YOU DON’T HAVE YET.It is the same in launch season – you do not yet have what you are believing for. You can see it in your heart but it is not yet in existence.BUT THERE IS SOMETHING POWERFUL ABOUT YOUR VOICE….
“real voice is the experience of speaking and not leaving. Of saying what we know and feeling it ring true all the way down to our shoes, and continuing to stand in them. Of feeling strong as we stand and hearing the words and meanings that come back to us as we are standing strong in our own voice” Nancy Beach
fill the air with the song – the THEME OF YOUR LIFE
Create the atmosphere with your voice – not your WORDS – but your voice!! It’s the essence of who you are and all you hope and dream of….And it quickly becomes a theme by which you shape your world.
The theme of your heart is revealed in the theme of your voice
So what are you declaring over this season? What are you saying? Speaking? Posting on social media?
Let the theme be all LIFE GIVING….
Its not your lack its your fullness & overflow
Its not your sympathy its your empathy
Its not your jealousy its your security
Its not your disbelief but your belief
Speaking to yourself …
Addressing what your words reveal
Out of the abundance of your heart you speak
Analyse what you are saying in this season
It will frame all of your expectation.
I have to speak to myself constantly in this launch season. I have to declare things out of my mouth that my mind will hear because i use MY VOICE!!
What are you believing for? Speak it loud.
What are you praying for? Tell others
What is your expectation of the launch? Say it out loud
Do not hold back ….
It is so easy to think that you are launching somewhere, or into something new, because you have something to offer that is not there. That is kind of true ..
You do need to know that who you are becoming or what you are bringing into an atmosphere matters deeply. Your voice in the kingdom dynamic is needful and necessary. However i think it is important to also be aware that you are coming on the prayers and faithfulness of many gone before you.
We sat in our neighbourhood, in a small group full of people who will be launching with us. I invited some neighbours who faithfully serve in the local Catholic Church here in our village. They love Jesus and have become dear friends. In the room that night i was just so aware of the years of prayers my friend has prayed for our community. For my neighbours. The tears that she has shed for the brokenness and pain she sees in and around us. She has faithfully served in her church to reach her community with the love of Jesus.
We are certainly not coming in as the ‘answer’ and it would be arrogant of us to think otherwise. There is actually a real balance to walk of humility that you come on the years of other people’s sowing… and also a confidence though that it really is your time and your moment to add something of strength into what is already happening in the kingdom here.
You really do need to believe in that you are the right person, in the right place, at the right time.
One of the positives is that you as you are launching will bring a FRESH perspective. Fresh eyes, fresh expectation and fresh hope.
When people hear us speak well of our city and of what God is already doing here they are shocked. And for many of them it has felt hard, and the battle unrelenting. Sometimes the years you have sown do not always show the fruit.
So we consider it our responsibility to challenge people about the way they speak over the city. We began to encourage people to declare blessing over this city. That she will flourish as the righteous within her prosper.
Hezekiah 8:3Thus says the Lord: I shall return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the [faithful] City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain.
Gods Church is called to impact a city where the Church is strong –
Zion is to be not only a church – but a whole city where there is felt presence of God
We can love this city for all its natural reasons
CAN YOU BELIEVE WE GET TO LIVE HERE??? Keep saying that!!
4-5A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
“Old men and old women will come back to Jerusalem, sit on benches on the streets and spin tales, move around safely with their canes—a good city to grow old in. And boys and girls will fill the public parks, laughing and playing—a good city to grow up in.”
A city to grow old in
A city to grow up in
Seriously it is – don’t grow familiar with that and ENJOY this city and your family in it
Whatever you are LAUNCHING into the atmosphere of .. speak well of her. Do not come in speaking so negative that you think you are the only answer. Be aware of what else is in your environment that you are to celebrate and honour!! See your launch as lending your strength, not saving the world!!!
Jesus does that!!
When you are going to launch into a new season, you need to know what you will and will not do. You also need to know what you will and will not place value upon.
David proved this in his attack of a giant called Goliath. He was a shepherd boy and when he offered to attack the giant all his family and friends and boss laughed at him. But David replied
1 Samuel 17:34 But David persisted. “When I am taking care of my father’s sheep,” …… I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this heathen Philistine too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!
He said, i know what I am good at. I know what i have valued. I will just value the same thing here.
One thing I see too often is church launches feel pressure to be everything to everyone all at once.
Then they begin to over promise and under-deliver. They do not stay true to what they value. Their values are the ‘way’ in which the very same mission all over the world can be accomplished. But certain churches have a mandate to get there a certain way, with a certain style and culture.
David could not wear anyone else’s garments of war. He had to be himself.
1 Samuel 17:49 As quick as a flash, he reached into his bag, put a stone in his sling, and launched it at the Philistine, hitting him in the head. The stone sank deeply into his forehead, and the Philistine fell face-first onto the ground.
So whats your stone?? What do you have in your hand that you can use in your attack of the enemy or the giants in your life! What are you GOOD at, known for, what comes naturally?
I just know that we draw back so often from celebrating our strengths and our genius. And to be honest we don’t do great celebrating it in each other with our own insecurities – often we think if I acknowledge what you are good at that then I am acknowledging I am ‘not’ good at it – but that’s not the case!!
The more we stand strong in our own genius the more clarified the weapon .. and then LAUNCH it in the forehead of those giants –
For us collectively at Resurgent Church we feel like what we have to offer this city and the Body of Christ is who we are .. defined in our manifesto .. A public declaration of our intentional core values .. This does not make us better, it makes us complimentary to what God is already doing here.
This is our personal distinctive
There are FIVE of them .. They are our stones ..
We will focus on living these out and using them to build something of strength here as a local church. They are ours from heaven .. not for everyone but each church is given specific ways to go about their mandate.
Authenticity … we will use our realness, our imperfections, our courage of transparency and vulnerability, our journey not our destination to come against an enemy that says you have to be perfect to make a difference, you have to have it all together to feel safe here. That’s what religion says ..
but GRACE says “I accept you where you are but I love you too much to let you stay the same .. so come on a journey of growth and wholeness with me”
Generosity .. we will use this core value to come against a spirit of not enough, a pie mentality that says there is only so much to go around, a selfish ‘only about me and mine’ mentality … we will be generous with our words, our encouragement, our time, our money ..
And we will create margin for the Lord to do the miraculous..
We will give and we will receive
We will fight against a spirit of stinginess and withholding due to fear and insecurity.
Creativity – because we were formed in the image of a CREATIVE GOD who gave us all the power to innovate and THINK with the mind of Christ. Our frustrations can lead to innovation
Devotion – a loyalty towards that which is sacred and we will live for a cause greater than ourselves
Passion Requires Your ALL – an all consuming enthusiasm requires your all in praise, the loud amens, the energy of a HABS GAME in the House of God..giving God our best and life our all.
These are our five stones, our core values, our distinctives .. what we will be good at..And we believe that these building a church can change the spiritual atmosphere around us.
In your own personal launch you need to define these core values early on so that you can lean into them as your ‘stones’ when the enemy wants to intimidate you.