Pacing In Their Cages

Our leaders meeting is nearing the mid-point of its ten lesson basic discipleship course. We’ve been teaching them a lot – granted, a drop in the ol’ bucket of knowledge belonging to a twenty-year American church-attender, but leaps and bound ahead of the average student that finds their way into our Saturday Bible study. And I think the leaders are starting to get restless… 

Mainly because “leader” thus far has primarily been just a moniker. There really isn’t much leading associated with it. It pretty much means you get an extra church service every week. And, while some of them are content to chug another mug of Bible knowledge, there are some that are starting to itch to do something. This is the really cool part. A good number of them will find a place to plug in and genuinely, faithfully serve and lead. Or they’ll feel out-of-place and take a hike. When they realize that, though they’ve been coming for a month or so, they’re not really leading anything. Oh, did I say “cool”? I meant “terrifying”! A couple have already wavered in faithfulness, and a couple others often try to express a desire to me without really knowing what to about it. 

It’s kind of a nerve-racking thing. While you don’t really want to give someone an assignment they can’t handle, you don’t really want to set a precedent of intellectualism and bench-warming either. To tell you the truth, I err toward the bench-warming side – primarily out of fear of asking someone to do something and being turned down, or discouraging someone, or asking too much. Admittedly, these are stupid fears. But they often paralyze me, nonetheless. Didn’t bother Jesus, though – sent out his disciples to preach and teach all over the place. And while they had some basic preparation, check out sometime the dumb things they said/did after that tour! There was a lot they didn’t have figured out. But Jesus found something they could do, and He empowered them to do it. 

There’s tons of work to be done, no doubt. But getting these troops the essential preparation before pushing them out onto a battlefield also demands attention. I wish I knew more about how to balance this equation. For example, this Saturday at our Bible study, we’re going to give a quasi-invitation for the first time. Pretty simple – we’ll just have a couple of the leaders in a remote corner of the room, and before we pray to close the service, we’ll tell everyone that if they’re interested in making a commitment to Christ, they can go back there and talk to a leader. And, though we’ve studied different aspects of salvation several times, we’re actually going to talk about showing someone in the Bible how to be saved… on Sunday. So hopefully they’ll have a panic attack of Saturday and have lots of questions on Sunday. It won’t be that bad, I’m sure – we’re gonna go over it some this week and start on a small scale on Saturday.  

Also, we’ve got another guy that’s going to pick up half of St.’s speaking responsibilities at the Bible study – introduction, welcome and such. T. is a great guy, really desires to serve – he does whatever he knows how to do and is interested in doing more. He’s been asking me lately about what it means to be called into the ministry and how he could prepare. So, I asked him to do this stuff on Saturday, and he seems nervously excited about it.  

Please pray with us that we help every one of these new believers find work that they can do for their Savior! Man did service, did work for his God even before sin came into the world. Work isn’t our cross to bear, it is our privilege to rejoice in! I can’t wait to see some young Christians reveling in the unique joy that is service to the God of Heaven!

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