God as leader

This post was written by Brandon in 2012:

Most Christians desire to follow Christ.  This is, after all, the nature of the word Christian (that we would be little Christs).  Within the Bible there are a few models for leadership and governance.  They all share the same starting point – God as leader and governor (see Isaiah 33:22, Psalm 95, 47, 23, the whole story of the Israelites and the life of Jesus as presented in the Gospels).  We hope for this at Bethany, that we will follow God as leader.  Here are some of the ways we try to let God lead:

  • Each person has a seat at the table – who of us knows which person God will use and in which ways?
  • Jesus accomplished this best – letting God lead. So we must look to him (he is alive, after all), trust him and be obedient to his teachings.
  • Because God may use any person, and because we are each valuable in God’s sight, we must meet together to talk, discuss and discern.  This meeting together will also teach us to obey the second most important command we’ve been given – to love our neighbor as ourselves.
  • Because we can’t meet all the time about everything, we have commissioned individuals to serve on committees with specific jobs (a little like the apostles did in Acts 6).  These groups report to the whole group at our regular gatherings. You can see a list of the church’s commissions here

Unexpected Thankfulness

In a recent service, we were talking about things for which we’re thankful that were unexpected.  This is how I opened the service.

It was a sunny Spring Day. The wind was in my hair as I drove up 100a toward the camp.  I remember feeling almost carefree and loving.  I remember thinking that this place in life I was, couldn’t get grander.

Seven years later, I reflect back on that day, and all that has happened between now and then. I consider the hardship and the sacrifice. I consider events that are not what we praise at Thanksgiving dinner with family.  These are not events we often share with friends when asked how we’re doing, or, what’s new?

Yet, as I look back over these years, this season of life, I find myself being thankful and grateful for all God has done in my life. For the way I have been led and encouraged, challenged and changed.  I’m thankful for the voice that calls to me when I am alone.  I am thankful for the solitude a sometimes lonely hill has offered and for the challenges and joy of marriage and living together.  I am thankful for an old dog that I didn’t ask for or seek. I am thankful for minor injuries from time to time that remind me of my fragility. I am thankful for work that I can’t do alone or with my own abilities and for the relationships that causes in my life.

I am thankful for the joy that has resulted from relationships, gifts and work that I discovered along the twisting path I’m traveling.  I’m thankful for the gift of walking any path at all.  Thank you, Great God, for this gift of life.

Brandon Bergey