This week is a week of beginnings: we are beginning our Lenten Small Groups program, new student and kids programs and…this blog. Both of us have been encouraged to take up “blogging,” but it was unclear who we wanted to write to and why. More recently, we decided that we wanted to write to the ministry leaders here in our church and anyone else who is interested in serving and leading in local Church communities, as we do here in our local community of Timonium, Maryland. All we know is what works (and doesn’t work) in Timonium, Maryland. But if you are reading from elsewhere and find a transferable piece of information, use it.
This week we’re also kicking off a new message series we’re calling “tug-of -war.” A good sign that’s developed as we’ve prepared for this series is that it is pushing us out of our comfort zone. In May, we planned our message series for this year. A series on spiritual battle was my idea, but I partly raised it thinking no one would go for it. To my surprise, the whole staff climbed on board. I realized afterwards that I almost hoped they would reject the idea because it is so different from anything we had done before.
In leadership, if you are not pushing past your comfort zone or feeling something fighting against you, then maybe you’re not leading, you’re coasting.
Not only have we pushed past our comfort zone, we have experienced some attacks and distractions. Most of these attacks and distractions have been directed towards the pastor, but I know I have experienced some subtle attacks as well. These can be scary but they are confirming as well. If you are not getting attacked then you may not be doing anything important.
I hope and believe this series is really going to break down some walls that have been built up in people’s hearts and free people from sin. (I describe preaching and teaching as sending rockets into the walls, people have placed around their hearts to keep God out. I guess I do have a battle mentality)
please keep us safe from the attacks of the enemy
and give us your strength to go on the offensive
so that people connect deeply with other Christ followers and with your Son who is Lord, forever and ever.