Reading, reading and more reading!

I had the good intention of writing a weekly blog post, documenting the journey to get Butterfly Entrepreneurs off the ground. I've been earnestly studying for a good number of weeks and yet this is the first post. Now I could say that I've been so busy studying that I didn't get the chance, but that would be a lie! I haven't put a high enough priority, or been organised enough to get myself into gear. And so here is the first one! 

I spent time at the beginning of the year plotting and planning. I know roughly what I want to include in the four courses I am writing. I even know roughly what order it will run in. I brain-dumped, or mind-mapped, depending on your preference - although in my case it was definitely a case of emptying my head of thoughts and getting it down onto paper. I had a list of what books I'd like to read (numbering about 120), the Bible studies I'd like to cover (also about 120!), and a list of video's I would like to watch. I divided these resources up into the appropriate parts of the plan and hey presto - I have a study guide. My first two areas of study are developing leadership and then leadership - I think there is a difference between the two that needs to be explored. I would say that well over half of my resources fall into these two categories.

I'm still working on developing leadership and will be for another week (I've been studying this area for a couple of months) and I'm looking forward to moving on to a new area - or at least a new perspective on it. There has only been one book that I haven't completed - it's so negative I don't want to pick it up! (I don't think it would be fair for me to say which book it is, as it's only a matter of opinion) 

This week I have been concentrating on a YouVersion Bible study by Os Hillman called 'Overcoming Adversity' and watching the WillowCreek TV series, 'Made For More'. I have been amazed at how these two overlap at the same time - as in tell me the same thing on the same day!

In 'Made For More', the talk 'Caterpillar To Butterfly' by Steve Carter goes into the stages of butterfly development and brilliantly links the to the four stages of sanctification. He describes how the butterfly emerges after two weeks having become something completely new.

At the same time 'Overcoming Adversity' discussed the 'Butterfly Principle', how the cocoon is a necessary process that takes time - and how we need time to develop with God's teaching, there are no short-cuts - none that give lasting character anyway. 

Steve Carter goes on to teach how we should respond to evil, with the reassurance that the truth will come out, and refusing false stories both about ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in.  Good practical teaching that certainly calls close to home for me in the season that I'm working through.

I was debating with myself, and had the conversation earlier in the week about the amount of time I'm taking to research before I actually settle down to write the first course. It's easy to spend an eternity just researching and never quite following through. However, I feel that question was answered with the 'Made For More' session on 'Being Prepared'. Steve brought a different perspective that I really hadn't considered before. 

Preparation is getting ready before you go public with something, whether it's as an athlete for a sporting event, a pastor preparing for a sermon or a singer preparing for a concert. It's the unseen effort that goes in prior. It can be the unseen help getting the church ready for Sunday, or the tasks required before you can finally get a coat of paint on a wall. You get where I'm going? What I had never considered is that this area of preparation is a holy space. One where your focus is completely on God. It's that time used to allow God to work, to speak, to build character. Given the way it has been described I feel that I can take time to research, study and prepare for as long as God tells me to. Time of preparation is also time of change, where knowledge is gained, but also where character is developed. I trust that God's timing is perfect and that Butterfly Entrepreneurs will be launched in God's time- not mine.

For now I will continue to study, but having written the first blog I will also continue to document this process. 

I am open to questions and comments. The website is still under construction, so your patience is appreciated whilst I get my act together! 

Grace and peace