I was reading Matt. 11:35-38 (NIV) this morning.
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
If I can allow myself to see my world the way that Jesus does, what will I see? The “harvest” Jesus talks about is still waiting all around us.
Jesus uses two images here to describe what He sees… the first is a massive gathering of sheep without a shepherd… the second is a harvest that is waiting to be gathered in. We can’t help a culture of people who are looking for a shepherd unless we own our responsibility to be leaders. Neither can we fulfill our life mission unless we search for it in the context of gathering in God’s harvest… connecting people with faith in Jesus Christ.
We were born for this!
The times we are living in, according to Bob Johansen of “Institute for the Future” (author of “Leaders Make the Future“), have produced a VUCA world… full of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. He goes on to predict that the next ten years are going to be an incredibly difficult and challenging time for leaders.
How should we as Jesus followers respond to the world culture where we exist every day? Will our churches serve as a hiding place where people can escape from a VUCA world, or can we be a place of empowering for people to turn and lead movements of change and promise as they are drawn to embrace Jesus and His teachings?
These are times of wide-sweeping and fast paced change. I am concerned that many in the church are resisting the idea that the changes have begun and our world will never be the same. While we enjoy the benefits of having peace with God through Jesus and the closeness of our church family and the security of our religious traditions, there is a world all around us full of people who are uncertain and some even terrified about the future.
What are we doing to position ourselves to communicate the hope we have for stability in our VUCA world?
The hope we have is in the kingdom of God. You and I will not capture the attention of our world around us if we don’t seek God for wisdom and a plan that will provide hope and leadership to a culture that Jesus sees as sheep, helplessly wandering around in search of a shepherd.
I hope you are investing time in God’s word with new eyes searching out the principles of Jesus kingdom and his ways of living life and serving people. I am completely convinced that we need new methods, ideas, new revolutionary approaches to expressing the presence of God in our homes, friendships, businesses and culture. It is our world’s only hope.
There is a movement of people right now who are seeking God’s help as they deconstruct what they have become so accustomed to as “church life“. By His grace they are rebuilding lives and church families that are ready to lead in a revolution of love and service in Jesus’ name, in whatever community in which they live every day.
Changes are here and they won’t be easy. But the Holy Spirit knows what He is doing and He will lead us if we will stay humble, courageous and gracious toward each other.
Just received this re-tweet from a friend this morning…
@cnieuwhof: Every organization faces one of two alternatives: slow death or deep change.
I totally resonate with the idea that our church is experiencing “deep change” and I definitely choose it over slow death. I know that I have been experiencing deep-level change for several years now and only recently been feeling like I am getting into a good rhythm again.
The church represents the “unshakable” kingdom of God on the earth.
Are we courageous enough to go through the changing process and allow Him to mold us and empower us to provide the answers for the questions the world is asking?
I’d love to know what you think…
Was Jesus likable? What drew people to Him? I think Jesus was likable except to those who cared too much about how other people viewed them.
The Bible teaches that “If anyone claims to live in him they must walk as Jesus did.” I John 2:6. If we are like Jesus we are going to love each other. When you love each other you protect, trust, persevere… all of those things found in I Cor. 13. But, I don’t think I can find anywhere in the love chapter that we will always “like” each other.
Part of living in truth and “walking in the light” is the freedom I can give you to not like me or what I do if you so choose. You need to do the same for me. Once I feel as if my like or dislike for you or something you might do is going to overly affect you or cause you to change a direction that you feel strongly about, our relationship gets complicated.
Prayer: Father God, help us to grow in our inner character to a place where we can dislike each other once in a while but still walk in grace, truth and love.