“So, how do I understand what God’s asking of me, Pastor?” “Our family is seeking to grow in our faith. How do I guide and lead?” “What should I do to discern what God’s calling me to do?”
These are three good questions I’ve been asked in the past weeks since Easter. As we try to follow Jesus; as we seek to be Christ’s disciples, we can often find ourselves unsure of ourselves and our response to the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Being a disciple is being a follower. Even those in leadership positions – especially those in leadership positions – need to make sure they are following Christ! To the person who asked me about “leading” their family, I said, “To answer that question, make sure you are asking these two questions prior to it: “How well am I serving my family?” And most important; “How well am I following Jesus?”
Some time ago, I found this set of questions for a disciple of Christ to ask themselves in their devotion/prayer time:
Is Christ the Lord of my life?
Am I operating on God’s strength or my own?
Do I consistently seek the wisdom of God’s Word?
Do I talk to God in prayer before I talk to people? (Good question especially for those in leadership positions)
Am I in fellowship with Christ’s people?
Is Christ first in my planning process?
Do my actions, plans, and methods honor Christ?
We’ve been talking much about discipleship in our lives together; within worship and in small groups. As a congregation together and as individuals these questions are good guides as we seek to be the congregation Christ is calling and inviting us to be. Congregations who seek the answers to these questions most often live out the dictates of living grace and justice in their community and the people around them whom God has put them amongst. Each of our missions and ministries; all of our small groups, do they invite this type of self-inventory with love, acceptance, and nurture? Without judgment, brow beating, and dismissal?
The church is to be a safe place for welcome, care, nurture, and support. It should be a prayerful place for self-examination. As we move through these weeks of Eastertide, celebrating resurrection, may we each and all be building our relationships with Jesus, the Christ. May we be looking to find opportunities to serve God and love our neighbors. Especially, may we be extending the love of Christ to one another in ways that build us up, each and all into a family of grace and loving connection!
Be God’s, Pastor Jim