The Big D: Part 1: Transcript & Outline



Part 1

February 24, 2008

Ed Young

God is a God who’s holy. God is a God of love. God is a God who’s all powerful, who’s all knowing, and who is everywhere. There is no place God is not. We think about God; we think about his character. We absorb that but there’s one aspect of God’s personality that I ran into last February. Right before I was beginning to speak at this leadership conference, I ran into an aspect of who he is that shocked me when I began to study it. God (Are you ready for this?) is a God of delegation. And that’s the big D. Say delegation with me, delegation.



Part 1

February 24, 2008

Ed Young

God is a God who’s holy. God is a God of love. God is a God who’s all powerful, who’s all knowing, and who is everywhere. There is no place God is not. We think about God; we think about his character. We absorb that but there’s one aspect of God’s personality that I ran into last February. Right before I was beginning to speak at this leadership conference, I ran into an aspect of who he is that shocked me when I began to study it. God (Are you ready for this?) is a God of delegation. And that’s the big D. Say delegation with me, delegation.

What does it mean to delegate? To delegate means to empower, to entrust. Everything in life, if you think about it, is all about delegation. And when I say everything in life I mean everything that matters. God is a God of delegation. It’s in the Trinity. God is the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, equal in form, different in function. God the Father delegated the salvation of the world to God the Son. God the Son delegated comfort and teaching and conviction to God the Holy Spirit.

God has delegated so much to you and to me. He has given us unique gifts and talents and abilities and he has entrusted us and empowered us with those abilities. And one day we’re going to be held accountable for those abilities. We either waste those abilities or we give them back to God in their most developed form as an act of worship. Have you ever thought about delegation, how important delegation is? Delegation is huge. It’s big time.

As a parent, that’s pretty much all that parents do. Parents, lift your hands. Some are thinking: it’s hard to even lift my hand. People say all the time, and I understand this, parenting is hard. Now it’s not complex, some people try to make it complex. It is not complex, it is hard. Why is it hard? You might be thinking, “I know, delegation.” No. Delegation is pretty easy as parent. You just delegate chores and responsibilities. You just get it off of your plate. That is a no brainer; yet, there is another side to delegation that most of us don’t think about when we even consider this biblical concept, this concept from the character of God. So if you’re a manager, a teacher, a coach, a pastor, if you have any sphere of influence whatsoever please understand this talk. Ask God to download it into to the depths of your being because you can play on it and think about it and live it out. And one day you’ll be doing life and you’ll be like wow, I’m involved in delegation. I didn’t realize it. It sounds kind of crazy but I’m involved in delegation.

As a parent, though, here’s where delegation messes me up. I will just use it as an example because Lisa and I have, count them, four children. Delegation without investigation is merely relegation. Please don’t miss that one. Say it with me, delegation without investigation is merely relegation.

Now, when I relegate something I just say “out of sight and out of mind.” I’ve given that responsibility to one kid, that chore to another, it’s off my plate, everything is hunky-dory, and everything is smooth sailing. Well, that doesn’t work in the parenting game. It doesn’t work in the life game. It doesn’t work in the business game. It doesn’t work in the athletic game. It surely doesn’t work in the church game. Delegation is all about investigation. And investigation, parents, is why parenting is so hard. If it weren’t for that investigative aspect of delegation it would be easy, it would be a layup, a crib shot, no problem but investigation.

Now some of you who manage people, some of you who are presidents of corporations, some of you who are headmasters and principals and coaches and some of the pastors still left from the C3 Conference, you’re thinking, “Man I feel you. I mean that relates to me. I mean I’m pretty good at delegating and getting it off my plate but investigation, that is the dark part, the dirty part, the weird underbelly of it.”

Our great God investigates our lives. Have you ever thought about that? He uses people, he uses events, and one day he is going to use this beam up seat. Are you with me? I’m talking about the judgment and I’m talking about judging those believers, you and me, who are Christ followers. Yes, we’re going to make it into heaven. Yes, once we receive Jesus I’ve got a ticket to heaven, yeah. The Bible does say, though, we’re going to face this beam up seat and we will be held accountable. You’re talking about investigation on what we did with this one and only life. So delegation without investigation is merely relegation and if you live a life like that, you’ll never discover the greatness that God has for you.

I like to say this, “what if” and “what is.” We’re into “what if,” thinking about “what if” and then if we “what if” ultimately we’ll turn it into “what is.” How do we move from “what if” to “what is”? You may be thinking, “That is easy.” “What if,” I got all these visions and dreams and aspirations for my marriage, for my family, for my career, for my education, for my gifts and abilities? Okay, “what if,” what if I try this? What if I start this company? Well, how do I move from “what if” to “what is”? That is easy; I just go to “what is.” No, I wish it were. We have to go “what if” and “what is” are good. Vision is awesome, we have to have it. God is a God of vision. Of course he sees the unseen; we need to do that as well. We need to dream his dreams and sync up with what he has for us but “what if,” next step, delegation, “what is.” So check this out when I move from “what if” to “what is” the second step between the first and the third is delegation. So now I’m at “what is.”

Well, if I remain here, it is what it is. Now I’ve got something tangible to investigate. Now I have something tangible to check out, something tangible to measure, something tangible to think about. So “what if,” delegation, “what is.” Uh‑oh, I hate this step. It’s like the Stair Master, investigation. I have got to investigate these steps because if I’m going to keep climbing and keep going to this next level it’s a process of “what if,” delegation, “what is,” investigation; “what if,” delegation, “what is,” investigation. That is pretty much the purpose and process of how Fellowship Church has grown. Fellowship Church is a God thing; there’s no doubt about it. He has done it all; yet, God always uses leaders. And wise leaders think these “what if” thoughts. What if we tried it? What if we started it? “What if, what if,” then delegation and then “what is.” Well, we can’t stay on “what is” very long because “what is” will become what was. So once we get to what is then we say let’s investigate it. Let’s critique it. Let’s see how we can improve it. Then we have investigation.

Jump back in time 18 years. Jump back in time to a small office in Houston, Texas. Jump back in time to five people on the pastor search team as they were interviewing Lisa and me. We were just about ready to make the decision whether to come up here and help start Fellowship Church officially or not. Owen Goff, if you know Owen Goff clap your hands. Owen Goff was on that pastor search them. He owned an insurance company. He asked the best question anyone ever asked me on the entire team. Owen looked at me and he said, and I’ll try to imitate Owen: Ed listen, I know you’re coming from a large organization of hundreds and hundreds of people where your father leads and pastors; how will you lead this church when you’re the only staff member? That was a great question. Think about it, I mean, you’re talking about some depth. And in my naivety and in stupidity, I looked at Owen and I’m telling you my answer was brilliant. Do you know why? It was totally from God. Sometimes I’m up here and I’ll preach and I’ll get in my car and when I’m driving home I’ll say, “Lord, I can’t believe I said that. That was awesome, thank you.” Almost every Monday, thank You for getting me through another weekend. You have to pray and study, but Owen asked me the question and I was like, how will I do it? I’m alone, I’m coming from a staff of hundreds, and you are going to be the staff of Fellowship Church. I can’t pay you. We don’t have any money. And I looked around the room and the people there, Doris Scoggins and Owen, and people began to emerge like Preston Mitchell and for the first two to three years we had a lot of people working full‑time at Fellowship without making a dime. Delegation, so I thought you know what, I’ll give the ball of leadership to these people. They can shore me up where I’m weak. I hopefully will shore them up where they’re weak. I will be responsible for leading and feeding. You folks go out and do the ministry. And it is crazy how it occurred because people would come up to me and say, “Ed, since you’re the new pastor what about student ministry?” “Stop,” I would say, “in the name of love. You’re talking to the wrong guy. Talk to our student pastor.” “We have one?” “Sure we do, right there.” She didn’t make anything but there she is. “I have a question about missions.

We need to do a missions trip, Ed, and I am wondering if you would go with us and help us?” “Wait, stop in the name of love. That’s not my area. Talk to pastor Owen Goff.” “Owen’s a pastor?” “Yes, he is. He’s right there.” And over the years we began to develop this thing of delegation and investigation. We began to develop and think “what if” thoughts and “what if” turned into “what is.” And then as God graced us we were able to hire people one by one by one by one and now Fellowship Church is what it is.

So I’ll tell you again, vision, “what if,” delegation, “what is,” something tangible then investigation. I’ll give you a case in point. We had this conference and this conference was the greatest conference we have ever done in the history of Fellowship Church. It was completely a God thing. I cannot describe to you the impact that it had because when you teach leaders you’re teaching probably hundreds of thousands of people. You have 3,000 but if you begin to count every person they influence its hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people which was amazing to see. And that’s so exciting and thrilling to be a part of that; yet, the whole thing has been multiplied, the whole thing has occurred because of this process, because of this “what if,” delegation, “what is,” investigation. And right after the conference ended, I’m talking about five minutes after we were done, guess what we did? Our entire staff, the program staff, gathered in my office for a staff meeting. We were tired. As Owen says, “We were dragging our cans.” I would not use language like that, Owen does though. And we sat in my office and we critiqued the fool out of the conference. And I told some of my friends about it and they said, “You critiqued? You investigated the C3 Conference? What are you smoking? It was perfect. It was amazing. It was incredible.” Well, yes, it was but there were some things that we missed. And we talked about that. We talked about how do we raise the bar? How do we ratchet it up? What are the strengths? What are the good things that we did as a team? Volunteers, we had hundreds and hundreds to work. And what were the bad things that occurred? What happened?

You might be thinking, “Well man you mean you don’t just show up here and this stuff happens?” Are you crazy? You just see about this much of Fellowship Church. This is the fun part. This is the easy part. Putting on a little sweater and the jeans with a hole in it, coming out here, “Holy, holy, holy, I love You Lord, open your Bible.” I mean that is fun, I love it but there is a whole underbelly of this monster that no one sees. So whenever you see anybody with a gold name badge on that says staff you should come up to them and give them a bear hug and say thank you for your leadership. Because I’m telling you man, the staff here makes my job easy. “What if” ‑‑ you might want to go ahead and clap on that ‑‑ “what if,” delegation, “what is,” investigation. You know what I’m thinking about doing? I’m thinking about putting an applause sign up there; wouldn’t that be cool? That would be a great idea. What if ‑‑ we can do it can’t we ‑‑ we put an applause sign there? What if? We always have “what if” ideas. Everybody has good ideas. Everybody has potential. Potential means you haven’t done anything, you know? I had a great idea. Well, what if, now, delegation.

I don’t know where to get an applause sign. Obviously we have some staff members down there ‑‑ look at Troy Page. He is on his cell phone already. Delegation, boom, and then “what is.” I guarantee next weekend you watch: Wow they weren’t lying. They have an applause sign in church. And then after several weeks we’ll investigate it and if it works, if we have more applause, we’ll keep it. If we don’t we’ll rip it out and sell it on eBay. That’s the way we work around here.

So it’s a really fun environment and again it all goes back to God. I hope you understand this. This is not a manmade thing I’m talking about. This is not learned in some leadership book or some magazine or at Harvard business school. It’s from the God of the universe. God delegated the salvation of the world to his precious Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus delegated conviction and comfort to the Holy Spirit of God. They’re equal in form, different in function.

Now talking about delegation, what do we have? We have the church. We are the body of Christ. What’s Christ’s strategy on how to reach the world? Well, it’s about delegation. It’s delegation, not relegation, it’s delegation and it’s investigation. As believers we have these gifts and abilities and influences and relationships so we’re to take the stuff that we have and to leverage it and to utilize it to reach others for Christ. Because if you’re not a part of the body regularly, the body is incomplete. Have you ever thought about that? That’s why we’re to come together regularly. That’s why the Bible talks about the body of Christ being in unity. And that’s what was so amazing, too, in this conference. We had denominations from all walks of life. You name the denomination and we probably had it represented right here. But if you’re not involved in Fellowship Church as a believer or if you’re not coming regularly to the local church, the body is incomplete. So if you’re on Lake Grapevine picture a foot snowboarding ‑‑ not snowboarding. What am I saying? Wakeboarding, erase, erase, delete, delete. So if you’re not here and you’re going to the movies, picture a couple of fingers and in a big box of popcorn. A finger matters; a foot matters. Together we come together in this body for unity. We’re diverse, we’re unified, we’re together, we’re one, we’re the body of Christ because if the foot is cut off it’s going to shrivel up and die, fingers cut off, it’s not going to work. Together, though, they matter. Fingers matter; foot matters; the body of Christ matters. It’s all about delegation.

Think about marriage. How many married people do we have here? Man, I’m doing a new series; I believe I’m going to start it Easter, called Happiness Versus Holiness. What if marriage was not for your happiness but for your holiness? That’s a whole other message; I won’t even talk about that. That’s kind of scary, isn’t it? Because when I look at Lisa I see my worst.

I see my best, Ed at his best, but talk to her, she sees me at my worst. And I hate to confess this, Lisa looks at me, reflected back to me she sees her best and she also sees her worst. What if, again just think about it, marriage was for our holiness not for just our happiness. That just swims against the current of everything, doesn’t it? Marriage is all about delegation. Husband’s, God has delegated the spiritual responsibility, the leadership to us. What a heavy mantle. Man, that is some serious stuff. We have this on us and that’s great. Again, ladies, don’t even sit there for a second and think that I am saying the husband is superior and the wife is inferior. You know I know that’s just crazy. I hope you know that. Equal in form, different in function like the Trinity.

Women are a lot smarter than men anyway, but that’s again a whole other message. It is, it is, but guys admit it, they’re smarter. We might be able to focus on one thing better than them but overall, just read up. I have done messages on this. I might do it again in this series, “Happiness and Holiness.” I will prove to you scientifically if you’re that kind of guy. I have to see it scientifically. I’m telling you those are the facts. But guys, how are we leading in the relationship? We have been delegated this leadership capital, we have been delegated all of this and we’re to receive it, it has been delegated to us, then we should delegate it within our family and marriage. We have that kind of power. So we think the “what if” thoughts, we should, about marriage and about spiritual leadership. “What if” and then we go to this step then delegation then we’ll go to “what is.” Man, the marriage is growing because of my leadership. I’m going to take the lead in going to church. I’m going to take the lead in reconciling the relationship. I’m going to take the lead in date night. Then investigation, I wonder how I’m doing? That’s easy, just ask your wife. Right?

Okay, wives, you are a woman of delegation. God has delegated some amazing things to you. And within the marriage you’re going to delegate back and forth. There are a lot of things Lisa does better than me and I delegate that. There are a lot of things I do better than her and she’s going to delegate to me. It goes back and forth. Equal in form and unique in function. But ladies, you have been delegated to, to be reflective of this beautiful thing between Christ and Church and then with children. It just goes on and on and on and on. So when you receive delegation understand it’s from God and then you delegate within the marriage and delegate to your children you have this beautiful “what if,” delegation, “what is,” investigation. And you’re going to have some conflict and some crazy stuff and some weird things and this and that but you’re going to go up and up and up and up and you’ll be blessed and empowered and you will not believe what will happen because of delegation.

Now, I wanted to get into the classic text on delegation but my introduction has been way too long. I just introduced the topic, because next week we’re going to get into the life of Moses.

We’re going to get down and dirty in delegation because Moses, wow, he has an encounter with his father-in-law, Jethro, not Bodine, Jethro. Those over 40 got that. If you’re under 40, Google: “Jethro Bodine.” The greatest ‑‑ I will debate you ‑‑ the greatest character in the history of television is Jethro Bodine. Don’t even be giving me Gilligan; don’t even be trying to tell me Andy Griffith; don’t even try to throw some weak cartoon, Sponge Bob Square Pants; Bart Simpson, are you kidding me? Jethro Bodine is where it’s at. But it’s not Jethro Bodine, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. Because Moses, are you ready for this, was trying to do everything himself. Have you ever been guilty of that? He was doing things right but he wasn’t doing the right things. He was doing things right but he wasn’t doing the right things. Do you ever feel like sometimes? I am just drowning, I’m just so busy, I just can’t make rhyme or reason of life, and my marriage, and my family, maybe you’re single and you’re trying to date and travel here and fly here, and my business and my CrackBerry, I mean BlackBerry ‑‑ do you ever feel that way? Moses was in the muck and the mire of that and Jethro, not Bodine, Jethro saved our boy’s life. And that’s what we’re going to talk about next time.

Delegation, just apply it in everything, without investigation is merely relegation. And you don’t want to live your life that way. You want to go to the next level. You want to keep climbing because God has steps for you to take, hills for you to conquer and things for you to do that will bless your socks off and back again and it’s all about the Big D.

[APPLAUSE sign appears on the screen behind Ed] That’s incredible. See what I said? Is that incredible? I told you, you need to stand up for that. That is not easy, I hope you know that. That didn’t just happen in a vacuum. Pace, did you do that? Pace did it, the control room did it. That is the story of Fellowship Church right there. Please be seated. Unbelievable, I mean for this conference we had the idea of an elephant and they got me a live elephant. Again, “what if,” I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room. That’s what I talked about to all the leaders, boom, there she was out there. And you could smell her, too. Owen said, “Pastor, we need to buy some humongous shovels.” That’s the truth. I like that. We’re going to get an applause sign, though. Or do you think it’s better to do that? The applause sign is too small. I like that, it is big. That’s a monster. That’s like Las Vegas applause sign. You watch, don’t miss next Saturday because we’re going to clap our hands off. Anyway. Next time we’ll look at Exodus chapter 18. You don’t want to miss this. If you’re in any leadership position or you think you will be in, and all of us are leaders, you want to be back for Moses because he gives us some momentum about the Big D. Man, I thought I had said something really profound with everyone clapping. I didn’t even know it. I was like wow, what did I say? Thank You, Lord. That was a self-esteem booster. I just feel so good now.