The summer has been kind to me and my wife, Kirsty. As I’m sure many of you will know, Kirsty is about to start the second year of training to become a Clinical Psychologist. For the first half of this last year, we were unsure if the endless pressures of meetings and work deadlines were ever going to let up. However, over the course of the summer we have enjoyed having a bit more time together on evenings and at weekends and managed to grab a few days away here and there.
As we have commented time and time again in this Leadership Journal we seem to be living in turbulent times. It was with great sadness that we said goodbye to the Houghton family at the beginning of August and the Murrays and Heyward family at the end of August. The Lord is leading them into a new season of exciting possibilities and we will continue to pray for our brothers and sisters as they start out on new adventures with their trust in the Lord. For those of us here at Pip n Jay, we must grieve well. The Lord blesses us with all kinds of emotions and so whatever you are feeling (sadness, anger, frustration or perhaps resentment), we need to allow ourselves to ‘feel’ these things and ask the Lord, the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace to comfort us, be with us and guide us into the new season here. (Isaiah 9:6)
“So what’s next for us then?”, I hear you say. Well, there will be a little bit of taking stock, getting on our knees before the Creator who is sovereign, tuning our hearts to how the spirit is moving and finding Jesus in the quiet place to listen to Him and ask His guidance. Then we must pray with faith and act!
I believe the Lord is calling us now to ‘step up’. This evening I will be leading my first prayer meeting at Pip n Jay and I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about it. Having never had any formal training in thechurch context, I have a tendency to get scared of saying the wrong thing and offending people (or worse offending the Lord - so sorry if anyone, especially the Lord, was offended at the prayer meeting!) However, I have great peace in reading the gospels and seeing that Jesus didn’t choose people that had ‘special training’ to be his disciples - quite the opposite. He chose fishermen and tax collectors that made up quite the motley crew!
Therefore I ask you in the coming weeks to come before God in prayer, tune into the work of the spirit around you and ask the Lord what his plans are for you in this next season. For some it may be obvious and I am excited that some are already stepping up by offering to lead others in areas where they have already been serving, make pastoral visits and start, new Connect groups. For some of you He might be saying knuckle down and carry on and for others he might be calling you to start serving where you don’t already.
We are His church, ‘...in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us’ (Romans 12:5-6). We have new possibilities and opportunities set before us. You might say the door is wide open. But nothing will happen unless we take that leap of faith, get out of the boat and step through the door.
- Tim Browne