Pastor's Corner - February 24th
Jesus’ plan to “rule the world” began with a rather unusual objective: be a Rabbi and make disciples. "Rabbi" is a Hebrew title reserved for a very special kind of teacher. Rabbis taught people how to live in stride with God's Word. In the first century, Rabbis called their most gifted students into discipleship. The goal of a discipleship was to to live, speak, pray, serve and love like their Rabbi. Disciples endeavored to become living reflections of the one who called them.
But Jesus was rather unconventional in his approach to discipleship. He actually calls fishermen to follow in his footsteps. Most rabbis would have completely overlooked these folks for discipleship. But Jesus bids these blue-collar fishermen with, “Leave your nets, for I will make you fishers of men and women.” Jesus sees more potential in them than they could ever even imagine. NT Wright likens this unexpected exchange to a famous sports coach calling fans from the stands into his starting lineup. Wright says, “This is the strange thing. When God came back at last, coming to establish his rule of heaven here on earth, that seems to be exactly how he went about it. Lots of people thought they were just spectators suddenly found themselves summoned onto the field of play.”
Surprisingly Jesus actually makes this same approach to you and me. He doesn’t want us to be “Christians by name only”. He casts a new vision upon our lives. We aren’t meant to rest on our laurels or watch safely from a distance. Jesus actually wants us on his team! He wants us to be disciples who follow him with every thought, word and deed. This is why I say: Jesus is my rabbi.
I Am Going to Take a Break...
I am going to take a one week break from my series on Five Lessons I Have Learned from Being a Rebel to address the potential “elephant in the room” with regard to Chris’ joining us this weekend.
A number of people have asked me how I am doing with all this, and I can say with both confidence and delight, I am doing great. Truly! I love watching God shape the future of Grace Fellowship.
Carol and I knew that our season of ministry would be brief in Pella and we still feel like that was/is God’s plan for us. That said, we have grown to love the mission and the people of the church, which is why we love seeing the Lord’s hand at work.
Candidly, it has been inspiring to be a part of the search process with PST. Vanderbloemen has served us really well. Given their credibility and network, we were able to attract over 100 potential candidates. The team at VBG did all the heavy-lifting on the front end and they presented us with four very qualified candidates. Chris rose to the top of the list, because of his relevant experience and training, relational capacity, philosophic compatibility, personal style and family connections in the area.
I cannot speak for the whole committee, but personally, I think he fits our profile extremely well. I am praying that this will be confirmed for him and us in numerous ways over the weekend. If that is not the way it goes, I am still confident that God has a way forward for us. He cares more deeply about our fruitful future than we do!
Dear friends, know that I will be quite mindful of you in the days ahead.
Lord lead on!