Part 6 of the 10 things I wish I knew before I left Africa
Today, I challenge you to examine why you think the way you think. Who is it that gave you your ideas, your thoughts and your feelings about the world you live in? Who are the teachers, not necessarily academic, who impacted you the most? I think when we know where our thoughts and ideas came from, that is power. We begin to see what draws us to our teachers and what draws us to ideas and certain feelings. With such knowledge, we gain better control of ourselves and ultimately better control of our environment. This of course gives us greater power to make a better world.
Today, I thought I would share with you the first seven people who have had huge impact on my thought life and tell you why they did that. Without further ado:
1) Erwin Mcmanus
The head of Mosaic in Los Angeles, America. I first saw him speak in 2005. He was meant to speak on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at a conference that our church was hosting. I was only supposed to attend on Friday and Saturday. Instead, I not only attended all three services but I also seriously contemplated leaving Melbourne behind and following him back to LA as his personal servant (ala Jesus and his twelve helpers). However, of course I began to think about accommodation, air fare etc etc and chickened out.
A Bit of Erwin Mcmanus Life Story
For a brief biography on Erwin Mcmanus please check out this article on Wikipedia
Listen to the story of how he got his name and tell me this man doesn’t move you!
What I love about Erwin is:
1) He is a rebel: He is always challenging the status quo, be it with the subject matter of his sermons, the way he runs Mosaic or even the books he writes. I have always been a huge admirer of the rebel WITH a cause.
2) He speaks from the heart: I remember watching this guy pray and thinking to myself, “Wow! This guy is really dredging his words from the core of his soul. He is truly treating the moment and the words with respect.” He speaks without notes or visual aides of any sort, a bible in one hand and his heart on both his sleeves.
3) He is a servant of humanity: Prior to starting Mosaic, he lived a less-than-modest-actually-he-was-just-above-straight-up-poor life where he served the urban poor in the US. In addition to that, a lot of his talks are challenges for us to put our selfishness to the side, serve one another and love one another.
4) He is one of a kind: I have never heard anyone quite like Erwin in terms of speaking style, biography and even what he does at present – he is a futurist, lecturer, consultant and head pastor of a church that houses itself in an LA night club. People who are willing to step outside of the narrow confines of ‘normal behavior’ especially in pursuit of a higher cause always have my respect and admiration
5) He speaks in a meandering manner but you always come out with a nugget of truth: To be honest, usually midway through listening to Erwin speak, I usually don’t know what the sermon was meant to be about. Usually I don’t care. Erwin’s style is one where he moves from one nugget of truth to another, touching on everything from relationships to your meaning in life. I don’t know any other speaker who I can look at and say, ” I don’t know what the message of the talk was, but I don’t care, it changed my life anyway.”
6) His take on the Parable on the Talents: The revolutionary and unique way he managed to interpret a story I had heard all my life is pretty much what made me a Mcmanus-a-holic. Let me take you back to 2005, when a young turk found one of his heroes:
Initially I thought this would be one long article but now I think I will split this up into a series of seven because this allows me to go into greater depth on each speaker. Anyway I hope the media attached gives you greater insight into this phenomenal human being.
Be blessed and bless others,