If you’re having a feeling of deja vu, you’re right. I accidentally released this post yesterday morning (nobody’s perfect, right?). If you read it, you’re getting a double-dip! For those of you who are used to reading this kind of post in which I take an excerpt from a favorite book on Christian education, leadership, or some other topic relevant to your ministry, simply know that today’s post is from the book Spiritual Leadership, by Richard and Henry Blackaby.
The authors ask us to consider whether or not a relationship with God really unnecessary. Their answer may surprise you:
God’s assignment for a church may not include meeting every need expressed in its neighborhood…the congregation must discover its vision not by asking people’s opinions but by seeking God’s direction…Often need-based church visions cause Christians to neglect their relationship with the Head of the church as they focus their energies on tabulating surveys and responding to expressed needs…A relationship with Jesus is always a higher priority than meeting temporal needs. Jesus didn’t base his ministry on what people wanted but where he saw his Father at work…If the Father was working with the multitude, that is where the Son invested himself. If the Father was bringing conviction to a lone sinner, that is where Jesus directed his efforts. If setting vision occurs by merely tabulating a door-to-door survey, then a relationship with the Heavenly Father is unnecessary (Spiritual Leadership, 94-95).
It’s a convicting thought from the father-son team of Richard and Henry Blackaby. We must be careful the vision we have for our Bible study group is not determined apart from spending much time with our Heavenly Father. The vision we have for our groups should align with the vision the leaders of our churches have as well.
The Blackaby’s point? If you spend time with the Father, you’ll begin to see where He’s working in the world; wherever you see Him working, that’s your invitation to join Him. And that’s where your vision for ministry comes from – time with the Father, not surveys.
The question now becomes, “How will I motivate my group members to be involved in the accomplishing of God’s vision for our group and our church?” Perhaps an even bigger question is “How will I be involved in accomplishing God’s vision?” Maybe the biggest question is really, “Am I spending enough time daily with God that I would notice His work in the world so that I could join in?”
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