To all of us here who desire to be more like Christ, I would like to challenge us with this thought
I will be back in the office on Monday. I have deadlines on me until then (and I have had them all week), so I have been a little absent. But I get my life back on Monday. At that time I would like to see where we are in our current project, and where we can go from here. All of you should note, this project could develop into many part 1s, 2s, 3s, etc. I see this posting as part 1, an introduction to effective bible study. However, you have participated are about to be granted new freedoms and responsibilities in the leadership of our fellowship. We will be doing soooooo much more than what we have done here. This statement is not intended to reduce our wonderful efforts thus far. For I am enthused with great joy for what we have accomplished up unto this point. My goal is that we become a little acquainted with many areas of practice; thereby, permitting us to say like Paul, “ have become all things to all people so that I may be able to win some.”
So many things that are open for you to do
I wish to encourage you with the fact that we have a million things to do at the NACM. So we want you to know that the scope of ministry practitioners is much more encompassing. If you find that something up until this point is “not your cup of tea”, please understand that there are many other places needing leaders to bless with their gifts. I say this so that no one becomes discouraged, or that they think that our vision is limited to only the things we have considered thus far. Our efforts so far are intended to weed out the people who are not seriously dedicated to our plan. I have enjoyed the privilege of having spoken (by phone) with probably half of the people who are members in the leadership hall. All of them have told me of their gifts, talents, and call to our purpose. Yet, their participation will prove this.
Prove all things, hold fast to the good (1Th 5:21 MKJV).
Please understand that I am not speaking negatively of anyone. Rather, what I am saying is that the leadership hall offers us all a way to see if people are good fits for our organization. Every leader that I have ever interviewed told me that they were good fits, but some of them are not with us today. Why, because they really were not good fits. It is in the interest of the whole assembly that we do not appoint leaders who just fall by the wayside. The hall gives us an opportunity to see people’s “faithfulness in the small.”
I can tell you this. Our administration has a very systematic process of thinking, decision making, and leadership practices. The more that rising leaders think in similar terms, the better equipped they are to serve with us on the highest levels. Here is why. It is not uncommon that Dir. Sheri, or Elder Rose make decisions about matters in which I had no input. They may make these decisions because they are empowered to do so. Then, I will check my email later to find a letter from someone questioning the decision. Well, at that point I really do not have an answer for them. However, I can immediately rest in the fact that 9 times out of 10, Sheri or Rose made the decision using the same thinking processes that I would have used had I made the decision personally. What does this mean? It means that I can rest at night. It means that I do not have to worry about them. It means that we are like minded, and of the same Spirit. It means that we are “good fits.”
Lastly, it should be noted that the biggest reason that we have taken this project is to learn of ourselves. Please, above all, do not miss this point. See Jesus said, “Where two or three have come together in my name, I am there among them" (Mat 18:20 GW). Notice how Jesus places emphasis on the necessity of at least two believers to assemble in order to enjoy his presence. This does not mean that he is not omnipresent, but it does mean that he offers a special presence to those who fellowship in his name. Why? The answer is simple. God did not give His gifts to individuals, but to a group of believers. No gift of God is useful to an isolated person. Think about it, for this is deep.
I find that Jesus uses his Spirit to reveal things about ourselves when we are among the fellowship of his name. I see my strengths and weaknesses, my pride and my humility, and feel accountable to it all. Therefore, by working together on projects like these, we see insight we never knew, and places where we individually need to grow.
To all of us here who desire to be more like Christ, I would like to challenge us with this thought: If our fellowship within the Body of Christ results in the discovery and focus of other people’s lack of spiritual maturation, we need to return to our prayer closets. For while we may notice these things, we should only notice them to the extent that we are humbled by the potential ignorance of our own spiritual immaturity. Our response should be, “Lord, please do not leave me in the state that I am, for I know that there must be blind spots in my own walk. Without your insight Lord, I would never be able to see them and find strength in you to improve. For I have come to understand that it is by the failures of others, that you give me the ability to see my own…”
As David said in a time of uncertainty, “I have become an example to many people, but you are my strong refuge” (Psa 71:7 GW)