I was so pleased this morning as we started the second battalion of our men's discipleship group for emerging leaders.
We have a group of 6 young guys that are all like colts; full of energy, full of motivation and full of desire to get involved and explore all that God has got for them!
We had the same group of men in a 13 week discipleship course at the end of last year and they all showed great promise and abilities as they met week on week and grew and bonded together as a team.
I'm really hopeful for the future as we look at each other and explore the gifting and natural abilities that God has graced to each one and find a way to utilise them more effectively within our church community. Whether they see it within themselves or not I am of the firm conviction that these guys are the next generation for our leadership in Medway. If people can't look to these guys and follow in their direction then we are going to find in a few years that we have hit a ceiling - We must develop more leaders and invest time and resources in encouraging and pushing them to follow Christ and establish themselves within their own spheres of influence and also inter-link them within the wider body.
As I look in the Gospel's and to the ministry of Jesus I see a man that was devoted to raising up a future generation of leaders (in the disciples) - He modelled a Godly lifestyle, He taught them from the scriptures and gave them practical on-the-job ministry opportunities with regular feedback and encouragement.
We too as leaders are called to model this lifestyle to those around us, like the apostle Paul we should each be able to say "follow me as I follow Christ" - That would be my challenge to you today...
Are you confident in being able to say "follow me as I follow Christ"?
What area's of your life need to be more open to the leading of the Spirit?
What thought patterns need to be made to fall in line with scripture?
Who is watching you? Are they following you? Where are you leading them?
We are all leaders in some way or another, whether it's a husband leading a family, a wife leading her children, an older person leading a younger person, or perhaps you are leading on a peer level, or are you leading those around you in the workplace step-by-step closer towards the glory of Christ? - We are all called to be leaders, to go and make disciples and to do so under the power of the Holy Spirit!
I pray for the 6 guys that we are investing in - That they will be encouraged and built up over the coming 6 months as we study the scriptures together, praise and worship God together, dedicate ourselves to praying for one another and the church and move out in new ways to spread good news to those God has placed around us - I trust they each will discover new depths in Christ and find greater identity in Him as we work with each other collectively under the Spirit's leading.
And I pray for you as you read this that you will joyfully examine yourself closely and ask God to highlight areas of your life that need refining, area's where more breakthrough is required, area's where you perhaps need to lay some things down and get to deeply know the fact that you are a child of God before you try to carry too much and slip into performance mode - God loves you and desires you, not what you do, just you and your heart, and from that place of knowing you are forgiven and accepted and fully qualified and loved as His child He will set you on a new course that will transform your life as you begin to have more influence upon the world around you - And it's all to reveal His glory!