Not being one to glorify and lift up the soul crushing challenges that overshadow our culture like a plague, I've been hesitant to address this topic in a public venue. But, here we go! Last evening, I was discussing the process of developing young church leadership with a man who works with churches internationally. We were "spiritstorming" -- my own word for opening up our minds through discussion while staying open to Father's Spirit -- about what we might change in our sphere of influence. And, by that change, could we draw more young believers into the lifestyle of sacrifice and challenge which comprises spiritual leadership? We have both had numerous experiences in common, which is the inevitable result of long and deep relationship.
As we remembered various individuals, I became aware of a deep grief in my spirit. According to the apostle Paul, "he who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him." That being the case, I realized it was Father's grief I was experiencing because the discussion at that moment was centering around those who want the position and recognition of church leadership without the submission, commitment, and responsibility. I became aware that this is an issue Father wants to empower us to address. We ended the evening knowing that answers already exist in Father's realm and He ias willing to talk with us about those answers.
Today, my early morning interaction with Father brings a beginning -- only a beginning! That seems to be His nature! As I sit and listen, I become aware of an inner -- yes, spiritual -- picture developing. Clearer than ever, I "saw" foundations crumbling. Some seemed to be weakened and deteriorating. Others had large gaps where something had obviously existed but were now gone. I remembered Psalm 11:3: "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
I realized most of these foundations had to do with our being productive human beings. Are they spiritual? Yes, but inherently natural as well. To address these crumbling foundations, we must go deeper than we have been willing to go previously. This will demand more time and effort in close relationship with young prospects for church leadership. As mature leaders, we must begin to count the cost and determine if WE will pay the price to develop young leaders.
More to come.