Are you so busy that you come home after the spouse and kids are asleep and are out of the house before they are awake?
How many times have you bumped into a friend, suggested you get together for coffee sometime, but couldn’t find time on your calendar?
Are there so many good things in your life that you can’t seem to get your arms around them?
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to say “no” without feeling guilty or to say ‘yes’ without feeling overwhelmed?
If any of these describe you, make plans now to be at The Cove in Asheville, N.C., on May 24-26. Chip Ingram will teach Biblical ways to say “yes” by saying “no.” He learned helpful principles of life management through personal and pastoral experiences. He says this isn’t a time management technique. Rather, it requires looking at life through a new lens.
“I was beginning to experience this deep sense of passing in the night with the people I love the most — the ones under my own roof,” he said. “It seemed important that our kids participate in sports, church and music lessons.
“The more stuff we were involved in, the more I knew I needed more margin for time with God, for myself, for friendships, and deep family relationships.”
Ingram soon realized this wasn’t just happening in his own home. He began to see very little margin in the lives of his busy Silicon Valley church members. In this area of California, which houses high-tech firms like ebay, Microsoft, Google and Facebook, people rise early to go to work and come home late because of their demanding careers.
“I live in a very diverse, educated city. We have these great people that are super smart that want to make disciples and help people. But they have these complex lives that keep them from growing or loving one another,” he explained.
So, what is the key to spiritual simplicity? Ingram sums it up in one word — love.
“Jesus said the goal is to love God and to love people. As many good things as busy Christians are doing, can we really say our lives are reflective of this goal? Everything minus love is nothing,” he said.
For his seminar at The Cove, Ingram will be teaching about the value of love in the context of the church and relationships.
The passage of 1 Corinthians 13 will be the springboard for the weekend. The church in Corinth was a very gifted and high-profile church, yet it was very unloving. They were having the Lord’s Supper and skipping people and having cliques — unloving practices. So, Paul wrote this letter to the church to address the missing link — love.
“Paul is talking about spiritual maturity in chapters 12 and 14, more than he is spiritual gifts. The key is to have the spiritual maturity — grown out of love — to serve the Body of Christ through your gifts,” Ingram explained.
He hopes that the seminar attendees will not just be transformed by the way they love, but they will start a love epidemic in their homes. This past January, he released Spiritual Simplicity, a book that fully addresses this topic. There is also a small group study guide that will enable churches to learn how to love more deeply — together.
“How does love respond to hurt? How does love respond to differences? How does love respond to failure? How does love respond to misplaced priorities? These are all questions that need to be asked as we try to live this out in the future,” said Ingram.
“My hope is that people will walk away empowered to do that in the home, workplace, church and social circles. I want to see this go to the next level.”
For more information on the May 24-26 Chip Ingram conference at The Cove, click here.