Last Tuesday night, the active elders of St. Paul’s Church, Nobleton invited all the elders who had previously served on the congregation’s leadership team to a pot luck dinner for some conversation around change and the future of the church. It was a really productive and encouraging evening; I wish it could have been longer, but by the time everybody pitched in with clean-up, it was getting late, and we didn’t want to keep people.
Consulting with people who’ve “been there” is always time well spent. I’d say if you added up all the years of service to the Lord that were gathered in that room, it would total many hundreds of years – that’s a long time. That’s a lot of wisdom to draw from.
I wish I had always seen the value of such gatherings, but when I was younger in ministry, I actually feared these sorts of conversations, probably because I didn’t handle criticism very well…even when it wasn’t offered as criticism. If I’d held gatherings like this when I was in my 20s and 30s, I might have made fewer mistakes.
Likewise, having mentors and friends who can encourage us in the work we do and in our walk with the Lord will benefit us greatly, whether we see immediate results or not. The key is to be open to the conversation, to listen, and to act on what we learn.
Who could you meet with that would improve your work? Improve your discipleship? Improve your church? There’s something to pray about!
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (Proverbs 27.17, NLT).