Love, Listen Learn, Lead

This is “Tracks of a Little Bird” #2 (January 15, 2017) — an occasional note from Pastor Larry Meyer to God’s people called Faith Community Church

Link to Tracks of a Little Bird #1 

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“Our Approach to Life & Ministry… in 4 Words”

LOVE, LISTEN, LEARN, LEAD

As we seek to move forward together, these four words express how our hearts are with you and for you as we seek to strengthen the ministry of Faith Community as part of our Lord’s church and Kingdom.

LOVE: Loving God above all & Loving our neighbors as ourselves – beginning with this congregation, our “close neighbors”. A biblical, Christ-like love is “doing whatever I can to promote the long term well-being of the one who is loved.” Love is something we do rather than something we feel. Love starts as an attitude – willing the best for the other person – then following that attitude with action, doing what is best for the other person.

Implications: We are here for a time in response to the Lord’s call through you to “come over and help us”. (cf. Acts 16:9) We said, “Yes” because we genuinely care about this congregation and will do all we can to be helpful to you and the mission God has given you. Having some of our children and grandchildren living in the area is a huge “plus”.

LISTEN: Listening deeply to God’s Word and to the Holy Spirit as we seek to understand what God is saying to us in our current situation. Listening sincerely also to the congregation – to what is said and what isn’t said; listening “between the lines” to hearts and not just words.

Implications: We listen to you not primarily so we can please you by doing what you wish. We do so because the Lord speaks through His people as well as to His appointed leaders. When we’re “hearing differently”, our task is prayerfully to discern, with the Council, which way the Lord would have us to go. When we don’t do as you suggest or request, it isn’t because we aren’t listening. It just means we’ve prayerfully come to a different understanding of what the Lord is calling us to do.

LEARN: Learning your dreams, disappointments, hurts, fears, hopes and ideas for moving forward. Taking seriously the congregation’s suggestions – neither writing off their ideas nor acting on them to win favor. Learning what motivates and encourages as well as what discourages or causes people to keep silent. In light of Scripture, flexing when needful and standing-firm when we must.

Implications: We’re all on a learning curve. The only unchangeable is the Lord and His Word. What worked a decade ago may no longer be helpful. We all are learning to speak, teach and live-out the unchangeable Gospel in ways the Holy Spirit may use in today’s ever-changing culture.

LEAD: The word “lead” comes from a centuries-old word that means “walking with or in front of someone to help them move ahead.” Leadership is both “with” and “in front of” to help others make progress. At its best, leading is an act of love – doing what is best for the one who is loved, having listened deeply and learned from the Lord and from His people.

Implications: Over the years, I’ve discovered that wise leadership is tough – it definitely isn’t for wimps. Sometimes it means being uncomfortably “out front” – in a place where the congregation may not be eager to come. It is far easier to follow the winds of popular opinion or even the comfort level of the congregation. True Godly leadership is the result of consistently LOVING the Lord above all, and the congregation as self. It is the result of LISTENING first to God’s Word. It is prayerfully LEARNING to answer – here and now – “Who are you?” and “Why are you here?” Only then, in the power of the Holy Spirit, can we LEAD in ways that honor the Lord and strengthen His people.

Do we – Donna and I – perfectly embody these four words? No, absolutely not. We too are broken, sinful and sometimes unwise. But this we can promise: we serve the Lord and this congregation with all the strength and insight we’ve gained in forty years of ministry. And when our time here comes to an end, we would be pleased – more importantly the Lord would be honored – if these four words became part of our legacy in grateful service to Him and His Beloved Bride.

It is good to be back home… and with you. Please continue to pray the Lord’s protection and rich blessing upon our ministry together.

— Larry & Donna

No Prayer Group this Tuesday

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No Prayer Group this Tuesday….we will meet on January 10th at 6:30 PM.  Come and join us!

What do you do when faced with difficult situations or trying circumstances? Do you suffer in silence or plead with God to remove the situation?  If so, you’re not alone.  There are many people today who are too proud to ask others to pray for them.  But what if your troubles were to dissolve, desires to come true or wisdom to be granted simply through others praying for you? How could we not activate such power to experience supernatural change in our lives?

One of the wisest things we can do when in need of guidance, peace or when trouble looms is to engage the assistance of others who know how to talk to God.  So often many people attempt to go it alone, but the benefits of corporate prayer are being in oneness, just as Jesus and the Father are one…and through this example the world would believe that God sent Jesus.  Just before Jesus was to be crucified, He prayed:

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one —  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17: 22-23 NIV)

Praying together manifests the glory of Jesus in ways that we can’t experience in our one-on-one time with God.  When this glory manifests in power, it brings divine intervention and breakthrough in the lives of everyone participating.  Corporate prayer is important because it creates unity and is a key aspect of believers’ encouraging one another.