Your Number One Priority as a Leader

2017 RightNow Conference Chicago

In the chaos of life, we often forget to reflect on the character of God. But if we took a moment to consider what we believe about Him, what would we discover? In this 38-minute session, Chip Ingram takes us back to what we believe about God. Do we believe He is good, loving, and just? Or do we see Him as an angry drill sergeant? Our beliefs about God impacts our entire lives.

Chip Ingram is the Senior Pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California, and founder of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. He is also a best-selling author of fifteen books, including: Culture Shock, Spiritual Simplicity, Good to Great in God's Eyes, and Overcoming Emotions that Destroy. Chip holds an M.S. degree from West Virginia University and a Th.M. degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Our world needs the love of God. But before we can be agents of God’s love to others, we must first think rightly about God. Chip opened his talk by asking what we believe about God.

What do you believe about God? What’s your mental image of God when you approach Him?
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Chip said, “What you think about God is the most important thing about you.” Most of us have a distorted view of God that taints our relationships, thoughts, and actions. 

How has your view of God influenced your relationships? What about your actions and thoughts?
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Chip mentioned that our family of origin has incredible influence over our view of God. How has your family impacted how you see God? Would you say your family has helped or hindered your understanding of God? How so?
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For Chip, God felt more like a disapproving marine that a kind, loving father. Would you say you think of God as kind and loving? Why or why not?
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Chip taught that the way we tend to live—especially for those in ministry—erodes our souls. In what ways do you feel your soul is “eroded” by the way you live? What feels burdensome about your faith?
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Chip shared that 21% of evangelical pastors open the Bible for themselves apart from sermon prep. Many of us fall into the same trap—we confuse the things we do for God with a relationship with Him. As Chip said, the ministry for God kills the ministry of God in us.  

How does this stat from Chip sit with you? Does it convict you or challenge you in any way? How so?
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How would you describe your relationship with God? When and how do you spend time with him?
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Chip talked about how we distort our view of God. We unconsciously think God is like us. We also seek to reduce Him to manageable terms. Instead of worshipping Him alone, we bow to lesser gods like success and satisfaction. We mistake Jesus for a vending machine that dispenses happiness instead of the suffering Savior.  

What shortcomings do you see in your view of God? Why do you think you believe those things about Him?
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Which of Chip’s points did you relate to the most? How have you reduced God to manageable terms or thought of Him to be like you?
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Chip concluded by reading the following passage from Jeremiah and issuing the challenge to seek God like never before and be blessed. 

Jeremiah 29:11-14 (ESV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.14I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

What has God taught you through this conference talk? What do you hope to remember from Chip’s message?
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What is something specific you could do this week to grow in your relationship with God?
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If we think God is cruel and indifferent, our actions will reflect it. Chip encouraged us to think rightly about God. This week, draw near to God. Spend time reading Scripture and praying simply to enjoy God’s presence—not to check something off a to-do list. Write out your thoughts from this session and ask the Holy Spirit to correct your view of God so that you can be a blessing to others. 

For more information about the RightNow Conference, or to find out how to attend next year’s event, visit

To hear more from Chip Ingram, check out The Book of Titus or visit