Hey, welcome. I'm Andy Mason, the director of Heaven and Business. I'm going to be talking with you about the power of community, and in the process of this, I'm going to tell you some stories about just the context of where I've come from and what we are doing with heaven and business. I've got some scriptures to anchor this for you, and I want to finish with three really practical tools that you can apply in building and accessing the power of community around you, not just in your personal life, but in your workplace, in your home life, in every aspect of all that you are. So let me start with a story. A couple of years ago in the process of building heaven and business, I get to build and connect with people all over the world. One of these people is a guy by the name of Tommy Tommy's from Zimbabwe, entrepreneur of the Year of Zimbabwe and loves Jesus doing great things.
We hit on down there and we're doing a heaven and business conference in Harare, Zimbabwe. There's four or 500 business leaders. It's a great time. And then Tommy says, Andy, is there anything else that you want to do? Like for fun, joy, we just love being with you. And I said, yeah, can I run? Can I climb? What can we do? He goes, well, I got some mountains here. Let's climb this rock together. Now, secretly I wanted to go running, but he wanted to climb. So he ended up doing what he wanted to do, which was climb this bald mountain, big pile of rock. Now, as we were getting closer to that rock, he's showing me now, it's a monster sized rock. You probably call it a hill or a mountain, a small mountain. And he points out this, you've got to climb to get up.
And he goes, now there's one thing that you need to know. There's a point at which you climb up like this, and then it goes up like this. There's no ropes, no helmets by the way. You're going up and it gets steep and there's a point at which it gets kind of steep. It's a short period of time, but you must maintain momentum at that point. Otherwise you kind of slip back, fall down, and it's kind of not really good if that happens between you and I. That's code word for helicopters, hospitals, and you don't want to do any of that. But I'm thinking, okay, well Tommy's done this before. He's taken other people before. And by the way, that morning in my daily devotions, I read this scripture that says to God, belong escapes from death. So I'm like, okay, should I be concerned? But I'm with Tommy, he's my community. He's my friend. I trust him. It's going to be okay. So we head on up, I'm following Tommy. There's momentum. It's like a really grippy kind of rock and it's so easy to hold onto, but literally there's no ropes and no nothing. And we get up and sure enough, we get to this point where you're supposed to maintain momentum and I don't. I can literally feel myself starting to fall backwards.
Just the sheer angle. It's hard to describe it. It was freaky. Your mind starts to think, what is going on? I'm thinking, to God belong escapes from death. I'm thinking, where's Tommy now? But Tommy was just in front of me at a area where there's a slight easier incline and he's sitting there and it just at the moment that I lost momentum, he turns around and he reaches back and he takes my hand. And that was enough for me to maintain momentum and focus, to be able to get up over that little hump and to better to sit back. Now, here's some context for the next 10 minutes. There was so much adrenaline going through my body. I couldn't climb. I was completely jacked up. Secondly, we are sitting now, we are looking over this phenomenal view that there's no way that I would've got there by myself.
And thirdly, it's just a phenomenal way to build a life-changing friendship. He helped me get somewhere that I could not get by myself. What's the point of all of this? You need community. There's this ancient proverb that says, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Actually, if you want to die, quickly go alone. The easiest way is to isolate you, cut you off, and it tell you in your voice of this voice in your head that says, you're the only one. No you're not. There's thousands that have walked through exactly what you are walking through right now. But the key is do not isolate yourself. Stay in connection. Stay in community. Some of us just need to be told the scripture, get up there. You're not going to die. It's going to work either of us.
You need to hear the testimony of someone who's gone before you, but most of us is that someone would be in the right place at the right time to take us by the hand and lend us their momentum so that we can go further, stay on that hill and not die. So why am I talking to you about this? So I get to lead heaven and business. Heaven and business is a movement of business people partnering with God in their place of work and engaging in the wellbeing of the city that they serve. How this all come about? Well, I'm from New Zealand. I'm a shepherd horse dogs. That's my background. New Zealand is like one big ranch, 40 million sheep, 10 million cattle and a bunch of people and then some tourists thrown in. So my background, agriculture, business, consulting in agriculture, business, finance in agriculture, local church, very involved.
And then 2008, my wife and I heard God speak to us and say, leave everything and go to a new country. So together my wife and I jumped on a plane with our four kids, age two, four, and eight. We end up in Redding, California at a ministry school, which is fantastic except the only expression of the kingdom at the time was chasing sick people, which for business people, I don't want my patrons, my customers being chased away by a bunch of zealous students wanting to pray for them. So between me and one other student at the time, he was a business person. We said, you know what? Is there something we can do for the business people? Because I know that Jesus didn't just die for us to heaven, to get to heaven. He died for us, for heaven to get to earth, for cities to be fully alive, and for a city to be fully alive.
That means you and I in our place of work, which is the economic engine, which is the business people. So is there some way that we could partner with local business people, encourage them and see what God's doing, and the school had the wisdom and the tenacity to say, we're not doing anything but you do something. And so we did. We learned, we fumbled, we tried different things, but here's the key, and you're going to hear this again and again and again. Two of us went together, connected with the local business, just prayed what is possible, joined together in one accord, and boom, things started happening. Five of us started to get together and share over coffee once a week, the stories of what God is doing, the testimonies that propel us forward, the hope, the vision, the encouragement that's released in that it got us excited and it keeps us going when the going gets tough because sure as anything it will, we started to grow over the next decade that grew into a curriculum in the school of ministry, a conference, a retreat, workshops, a book, a whole weep of things.
And now I can say that that's what I'm doing. I stumbled into what God had for us simply by following his voice, being in agreement in one accord and then building and growing community around me. So what's the power of community? It is limitless. I'm going to tell you three key scriptures in the process of this. The first one is actually in the book of Genesis, Genesis 11 verse six, and it's when a bunch of the people in the world at the time came together, they all spoke the same language. They come to this plane and it says that they decide amongst themselves, we are going to build a tower, we're going to make a name for ourselves and it's going to go all the way to heaven. And they got to work and started to build. Then Bible says that God came down to see what they're doing, and he saw that they were in one accord with one language and they'd set about to do the work. So they're speaking the same language. They've got the same playbook, they're on the same page, and they're doing something, not just sitting around talking about what they could do, and God says this.
Now, nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do one accord, one focus. So together with a single focus and they go about doing it. God says, nothing will be too difficult for them, nothing will be impossible. And he's like, this is not a good thing that they're doing. So he confounds their language and that's how we get the Tower of Babel, Genesis 11, taking note of it. Then fast forward to Jesus coming in the book of Matthew. We read all about that and then he carries on. He prays for them, John 17, that they may be one, that they may be one, that the same glory that I have may be in them, that the world may know that God you sent me. Why? Because they are one, how they love one another. And then in the book of Matthew 18 book, Matthew 18, it talks about what do we do if we disagree?
It walks through this whole process because when two or three agree are in one accord, are you catching this? The power of community? There is an incredible power both in the natural but in the spiritual and the supernatural as well. When we agree together, when two or three agree in my name, it shall be done for them because what you loose on earth will be loose in heaven. What is loosed and what is bound on earth will be bound in heaven. Why it is so important, the power of agreement or unity. Now, Psalms says this, that the blessing of the Lord comes upon unity. When there is unity, the Lord commands a blessing. So that's one accord, one place. You catching this because it builds up to this third scripture, which is in the Book of Acts. Acts two says, it was one time in one place with one accord and the Holy Spirit fell on them and simple Galileans, so in our day that'd be rednecks, a bunch of rednecks, uneducated, unskilled, bunch of blue collar workers, great people in our day, but in their day, they were like the redneck country boys from up the back of Galilee.
The Holy Spirit comes upon them in such power that they went from Galilean simple folk to world changes, how the power of God that gave them confidence and courage to do things that they could not do upon themselves. A momentum was released in them that we are still experiencing today. What's the point? There is power in community. There is supernatural power, there is practical power. There's so many different elements of this, and I want to you in this, do not isolate yourself. Do not separate yourself from others. I'm not saying sit around kumbaya with lots of people, but I am saying that there are practical ways that we can build in connection with key people that will add momentum to you, will add momentum to them, will help you stay strong and focused, and here's some of those real practical things that'll happen as a result.
Number one, momentum. Momentum. One person can go so far two more together. When you put a bull with another bull and you put a yoke over them and they compare that an individual bull can pull a certain amount of weight in a sled. If you put two bulls together, it's not just double, it's more than double the amount together. Why? Because there's a power in unity and momentum that comes together when we are pulling together. Number one is momentum. Number two is wisdom. Wisdom is found in a multitude of counselors. The opposite is also true if you find yourself alone and you've only got your own thoughts. It's a fast track to thinking stupid. Wisdom is found in the multitude of counselors. We need people around us not just saying yes, but saying, Andy, that's a really stupid idea. Hey, have you thought of doing something different?
Hey, have you prayed about that? No. Well, the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So how about pausing and asking what the Lord has to say? Number two is wisdom. Number three is feedback. Have you noticed that you don't notice everything? If you're anything like me is if you're a business person, you like to run, let's go. Ready, fire, aim. No. Oh yeah, that's right. I forgot to aim, ready, aim for. I need feedback. I need people to tell me where I'm missing up, where I've got a button undone where I'm doing things. That's not going to lead to a path of life. My wife does that. That's my first power of community. Then my kids will do the same. I've got four of those. They'll give me lots of feedback if I will empower them to do so.
But what about my employees? What about those that I lead? What about the people around me? Am I listening to that feedback? Access the power of community? That's number three. Number one, momentum. Number two, wisdom. Number three, feedback. Number four, accountability. Accountability. Not to just what's going wrong, but what about what's going right? I was on a call this morning with one of our mastermind groups and a particular person on that call has access to a very, very powerful person, but talking to them is really awkward and vulnerable. So I just said, so whatcha are going to do about that? When are you going to reach out and contact that person with This feels vulnerable. And she said, oh, I guess so I could call today. Well, I said, great, because if you don't, I'm going to text them tomorrow. What's the point? She and I know the best step for her to move forward is to have a powerful conversation with this person who can actually help her, but our own insecurity, our own fear, our own ego, our own pride stops us doing that.
That's just stupid. I want people around me. This power of community helps me stay accountable to the greatness that's in me. It also helps me stay accountable and keeps me safe from doing dumb things. Have you imagined or you realize that if I run at you and there's a gap, maybe 50 yards, 50 meters between me and you, I can build up a lot of momentum before I hit you. Now, if you are standing in between me and some big hole or a cliff, I'm going to get up so much momentum between me and you. I'm going to bowl you over and I'm going to head straight over that cliff. That's someone really determined to do something stupid. But if I've got a community around me that's at arms length, how much momentum can I get up on my own heading towards stupid? If I've got people right around me saying, Hey, feedback here, accountability here.
Hey, that's a dumb thing to do. If I don't have the time and the space and the gap, it's be able to build up bad momentum towards doing something dumb. That's why I've got to have intentional connections with intentional time in a consistent way. It's every month, it's every couple of weeks, these irregular people that I meet with to give me feedback to help me stay accountable. And it does not matter how awesome I think I am. Actually, the more awesome that I think I am, the more people that I need around me helping me to stay in this power of community. If I find those voices getting more silent, if I find that I'm the loudest voice in the room or the most powerful, most knowledgeable one in the room, you're probably in the wrong room or you've disempowered the people around you. So number one, momentum.
Number two, wisdom. Number three, feedback. Number four, accountability. Number five, a barrier to stupid. We talked about that. So let me just give you now some three or four even keys, just real practical keys to start to access the power of community, the power of momentum, feedback, accountability, all of those things. I want to access that plus what God can do. First one is what we call a social covenant. A social covenant is an agreement between the people that you may work or meet with or building a team with as to how you will treat one another. What I'm going to do is I'm going to send this so you can download it or get access to it. It's Ford Taylor in his book, relax Leadership. He writes about this, he gives this away. It's really Matthew chapter 18. It's the whole thing of what would bring out the best in you.
Trust, respect, honor, kindness. You and I know those are the things that build out the best. A lack of gossip, no gossip that undermines momentum. It undermines community. So what are we going to do and how we commit to treat one another, to bring out the best in this intentional team, relationship, tribe, family, community, whatever it is, you write those things down, then everybody agrees to it. This is called a social covenant and then by itself it's powerless until you give it some teeth. You've got to ask the question, what are we going to do if one of us breaks this covenant of how we're going to treat someone's gossiping? Someone is lying, someone is disrespectful, someone is unkind. That is simply the process of Matthew 18. I'm going to go to them one-on-one. I'm going to have a conversation. Hey, you signed this. You agreed to this.
You agreed that this is the way that we're going to treat one another to bring out the best in one another, and right now, this is what I experienced. Number one, we're going to do that. Number two, if they don't agree, we're going to get someone else that agreed together that witnessed one another. And number three, if they refuse to do that, refuse to respond, then they have chosen to no longer be a part of that group, team, community, tribe or whatever it may be. Matthew 18, it's there and it works. I'll send that for you. Secondly this. Now this is, you can't do this with everybody, but with a small group of people that are committed to one another, and one was the relationship, the social covenant. This one we love to call a baseball bat covenant. Now, this right here is a baseball bat.
It is a Louisville slugger and it's got names signed on it. You can see that. Now, just so you know, I'm not going to hit someone in the head with a baseball bat, but this is a metaphor for my covenant, my commitment to for other guys that I walk with, that I met with from 2020 for the next two years to help one another grow in wisdom, collaborate, and how we can strengthen one another and gain momentum through the pandemic. What happened? We meet every two weeks together, fixed time, consistent and committed to one another. And what we knew is we're all, I would say, stubborn, maybe headstrong, visionary driven people. And what we can tend to do is we've got blind spots and some of us, because we are so focused on where we are going and what we're doing, when someone gives us some feedback that's really kind and tender and soft, we don't hear it.
And so what we need is somebody that's willing to speech marks, stab us in the front or hit us with a baseball bat. The scriptures say this in Proverbs, faithful are the wounds of a friend. What's the point? I've got to have someone that's close enough in my life that's committed to say, Andy, I care more about you than I care about how you feel towards me. I am prepared to say what needs to be said. Even though you may misconstrue this, take it wrong. I love you enough to say, I would rather speak the truth in love than see you continue the direction that you're going, which is distractful distracting, and rather than see you keep going and destruct the life around you. So I've got this baseball bat, would you like me to hit you in the front, the back, or would you like your spouse to contact me when you need a baseball bat?
So what's the point? I've got a baseball bat covenant with people that I've been walking with consistently over time that if we find one another doing something really stupid, we can refer back to this and hopefully we never have to use it in person. Unlikely, but maybe for some people. So that's the baseball bat covenant. Third one is structure and energy. So I want you to imagine a square. It's a graph, and on one side of this graph, a vertical line is energy and on the side is structure. Now, I want to grow relationships and community. I don't want sister be hang out together because that doesn't achieve anything, and I'm here not to just suck oxygen and die, but I want to put a dent into the universe. We want to bring about change, and that's what we believe. The kingdom of God is forcefully advancing and forceful people lay hold of it.
What that means is it's not going to be all skipping through the roses. There's challenges. It's difficulty. It's messy. That's normal. So what I want to do is I want to walk with people, and so where I've got low energy and low structure, that's an acquaintance. That's the crowd. That's just a contact that you've got of the email. That's a Facebook friend. That's like someone that you bump into at church. It's a crowd that's low energy, low structure. If I increase the energy, that means someone I've taken from a crowd or a contact, now I've turned into a friend or a companion, high energy, low structure, say, how are you doing? Let's go to the movies. Let's go do something together that's low energy, high energy, but low structure. If I take that same person from the crowd and I start to build intentional structure, but don't change the energy.
So low energy, but high structure, that's a colleague. That's someone you work with. That's someone that's in contract with you. It's transactional. There's some structure that keeps this relationship together. But if you take the structure away, there is nothing else holding you together. So we've talked through low energy, low structure, high energy, low structure. Then we've talked about going across this way, increasing the structure, but low energy. But what's this gap where there's high energy and high structure. That right there is a partner or somebody that I'm co-laboring with someone that is intentional and there's a structured and energy filled relationship. What I'm looking for is that that's where the power of community comes in. It's not just people that I'm with, but actually there is a structure. There's a level of commitment to one another. There's a greed time. Actually, we may write down some things and get into one another's lives because I know that you and I need that structure, but it's not just that.
There's also energy. We've got a shared vision. We've got a shared language. We are meeting together because we believe that nothing is impossible, that God is good, that we are changing the world. We are seeing amazing things happen, and I'm not going to stop and see the fullness of what Jesus paid for. There's an energy and a joy because we are like-minded going a common direction. That's what I want to encourage you to do. Now, that also applies in your business. If you're working with people and it's boring, structured, but there's no energy, add some fun, some joy. If you've got a relationship with someone and it's friendship and you want to take it to the next step, add some structure, some commitment, some, Hey, let's have a date night once a week. Now that's with the appropriate person, but you get what I'm saying, structure energy. You can work those things together. So number one, we talk social covenant. Number two, baseball, bat covenant. Number three, structure and energy. And here's a bonus one for you. This is about agree and pray. Matthew 18 says, when two or three agree together, it shall be done. Jesus prayed that they may be one as we are one that the world may know that I sent them, and then he prays this, that the glory and
Glory, the power, the weighty, heaviness, heaviness that God put inside Jesus, the glory that Jesus had on the earth may be in them. What's the point? There is a limitless power that comes when we combine with one another, prayer and agreement and with the spirit of God. Those three together, there's so many ways we can do this. One is through communion. When we have communion, when we make sure there's nothing between us, but we're actually going the same direction, committed to the same cause, and we call on the name of Jesus, he calls and he responds to us. I've seen this happen with businesses. I've seen witchcraft supplies. Companies shut down because we had communion as a team, walked around the building and prayed. What's the point? There is power in agreement. There is supernatural power when I pray and agree together. So let me pray for you.
Father, I thank you for every person here right now. I want to thank you that you are inviting us into a greater measure of community with you and community with one another. Not just sitting around but actually seeing what God can do. Lord, I just pray momentum and faith, Lord, where people are feeling knocked down, beaten down, I pray, incredible, uplifting faith that would pull 'em out of that place, that would lift their burdens off them. Holy Spirit, even as the disciples were in one accord, in one place, and you poured out on them. In Acts two, I pray right now, let your spirit fall in this place. Fill them and flood them anew. Increase your presence on their lives, that they know that they know, that they know that they're not alone and they're with you, and you call us into partnership, companionship, relationship with you first, and then to co-labor with one another. As we co-labor with you. I bless you to prosper. Have a wonderful week.
This transcript was exported on Oct 11, 2023 - view latest version here.
The Power of Community andy Mason (Completed 10/11/23)
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