Not everyone can go on missions – and sometimes, that includes you
In his second letter to his disciple, Timothy, Paul wrote: “…what you have heard from me…entrust to faithful brethren who will be able to teach others also.” Like our Lord Who fully anticipated the continuation of what He had begun to do and teach through the medium of His trained disciple makers, Paul fully expected an apostolic succession in respect of what he had passed on to his protege.Indeed, if we do not pass on what we have learned to others who are able to train others also, our life work will end with us. Unfortunately many have not learned this basic Gospel lesson of training to train…and so it is no surprise to see the church in decline in spite of the frantic busyness of the clergy. What has been received must be passed on if we are to survive.
This past weekend, Louise and I had the privilege of passing on what we have received to those who are, in many ways, our future. 30 Youth Leaders from the Diocese of Cape Town met together to be trained in Strategy. There are so many other things they could have been doing on Friday evening and on Saturday and yet they came.
As always Louise and I pray before, during, and after such training sessions, basically to ask that the Lord, who knows all hearts and desires and secrets, give us the words to say what the unique group needs to hear. As such, even though the material remains the same, the manner in which we present it, the stories we include, and the timing of each segment differs each time. This time we found that family matters, the role of parents, praying for your spouse to be, peer pressure, among other things often came up in our discussions.
At one point, we spoke about the Early Church being accused of ‘turning the world upside down’ and it soon became apparent that our group’s desire was to have that same “accusation” levelled against them! May the Lord bless them and prevent that flame from being snuffed out!
A few came up to us at the end and asked when we would be available to help them train others in their parishes…how exciting! Pray for these young people, dearest brethren…pray that nothing stops them from growing into a mighty movement for Jesus!
Whoever has said that the Old Testament is no longer relevant to Christians today has not read Kings and Chronicles!
Looking just at the lives of Solomon, Rehoboam, and Jeroboam, one can see how leaders today still make the same disastrous mistakes even though they have the advantage of, not only the Scriptures, but also of history.
matters of government…his wet behind the ears peers! When world leaders (or church leaders for that matter) seek to curry favour with others for whatever reasons…whether to gain their applause or their votes or their money…they embark on a journey that will ultimately lead to division or destruction, even of that which they seek to build or maintain. And Jeroboam! One would have thought that if ever there was a man who would have learned valuable lessons from watching the folly of his leaders, it would be him! Oppressed and exiled by a jealous leader, rebuffed by an immature and arrogant and insecure leader, told by a prophet that he would lead in their stead because of their collective lack of godly wisdom…one would think that he would seek to govern in a way that would bring unity and would foster humility and righteousness and justice…but instead he stumbles even further away from that which would bring peace and stability and prosperity to the people!
knee and to seek what is good to the Holy Spirit? Is it pride? Is it stupidity? Is it sin? Are our leaders blind? Compromise leads only to more compromise.
Where is the backbone? Where is the wisdom? Where is the bravery and the boldness needed to stand when all others fall? But then, dear brothers and sisters in Christ…where are we? Are we praying for our leaders as we are instructed to in the Holy Scriptures? Really praying for them? Or are we just pointing fingers? Are we lifting them up daily - hourly - to the throne of the King of kings and the Lord of lords? Asking God to grant them true repentance and His Holy Spirit as Guide – or, indeed, asking God to remove them and replace them with those who will learn to listen? Does He not say that He holds the hearts of leaders in His hands? Perhaps we receive what we deserve…perhaps our hands are not as lily white as
we like to believe…
This morning I was reading about the dream
of King Solomon and the choice he made…he asked the Lord for wisdom.
want to learn something well, teach it. Louise and I have been teaching clergy
and lay folk in the Anglican Church in Southern Africa about how to make
disciples. That, in itself, is a challenge. But this past week, we examined the
character of the disciple-maker according to the character of the One we are
meant to emulate…the One in whose footsteps we are meant to follow…the Lord Jesus
their lives according to the life of Christ, I heard that still, small voice
softly whispering in my ear. “Johann, are you living according to these
priorities? Are you dependent on the leading and guiding of My Holy Spirit? Do
you seek Me out in prayer as often as you could? Are you always obedient to Me?
Is your life centred on My Word? Do you exalt Me in and through your life? Are
you as relational as I am?”
since, asking the Lord for wisdom as to how I am to respond to this conviction.
Unlike so many Lenten resolutions that vanish like mist before the sun, I want
this to be long lasting and deepening with time.
work” that I miss the Lord Himself! The Lord Jesus knew full well what the
disciples would have done had He not told them to wait in Jerusalem until they
had received the Promise from the Father. Surely those long days and nights filled
with prayer and supplication had an impact on their character…waiting,
trusting, watching…all the while not knowing quite what to expect.
little village of Villiersdorp, about 2 hours drive from Cape Town. The reason
for moving was, for the most part, financial as we simply could not afford the
rent of the flat we were living in…not while we had a house to live in
elsewhere! But now, I am beginning to see another angle to this
move…Villiersdorp is a quiet hamlet…a place where one can wait on the Lord
after we told our tenants that we would need our home and that they ought to
find alternative accommodation, they had a mishap and nearly burned down our
kitchen! Thankfully, we were insured and so renovations began almost
immediately after we moved in. It is nearing completion as I write. But so much
still needs to be done…some walls and parts of the ceiling are still black from
smoke and need to be cleaned and repainted.
We are also hoping to get more involved
with the local community, especially those less fortunate in the informal
settlement above the village. Just how we are going to do this remains to be
seen, but more than likely it will be with and through the local Anglican
Church, St Augustine’s. Training continues and we will be travelling yet again
in the beginning of March to teach Strategy.
US of A, hopefully to see you!
engagements, but trust that we will be hearing from you soon!
wait on our Lord. Like our home, we too need renovation!