The Right Circle.

I am so grateful for the people God has placed in my life – family, staff, pastors and friends.  God has blessed with some of the most incredible relationships.  I take none of them for granted.  Every person in our life has been placed there for a purpose.

Today I am celebrating the friendship of Mark & Lora Batterson – they have been on this journey of faith at Church Unleashed since 2008.  They have invested money, prayer, time and friendship into our lives.  These two mean so much to Mary and I.  People like the Batterson’s are placed in your life to push you higher.  Yesterday we spent the day together and invest in 145 pastors/leaders across the NY Metro area.  Wow.  They have a passion for friends but they also have a drive to impart something into the heart of God’s people.

Mark & Lora Batterson with Todd & Mary Bishop

As I was thinking last night I thought about the 4 groups that Jesus interacted with:

  1. The Religious.  He had very little tolerance for the critical religious.  This group focused on everything negative and failed to see that Jesus was the Messiah.  We have the critical religious all around  us too.
  2. The Crowds.  He spoke to thousands of people at one time.  Jesus showed compassion and love for the people.  He touched as many people as He could.
  3. The Disciples.  The 12 individuals that Jesus invested a lot of time preparing them for ministry.  He gave numerous object lessons, ate dinner and did life with these guys.
  4. The Inner Circle of 3.  Peter, James and John were the 3 that Jesus spent the most time with.  Notice Jesus’ circle of the most trusted was small.  Just 3 out of the tens of thousands of people he personally spoke to.

I believe each person needs the “right circle” in our lives.  All too often we are surrounded by the religious who criticize and we become discouraged.  Or we just love the roar of the crowd and we become arrogant.  Or we have a closer group of friends/staff/family/leaders who we invest a lot of time with.  But the most important group we need is the inner circle.  Who is holding you accountable?

Here’s the challenge – the religious, the crowds and the disciples will always try to hold you accountable – don’t let them!  Leave the accountability to the right people in your life.  Let the inner circle challenge you – speak into your heart – and provide you correction.

I am so thankful that Mark Batterson is one of those guys!  He pushes me to be better.  He challenged me yesterday to take a 1 month sabbatical before our churches 10th anniversary.  At first I was “What?”  But the more I think about it the more I believe God used Mark to “hold me accountable.”  That’s why he is in my inner circle!

Get the right people in your life.  Who is your inner circle?

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