It’s been said that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. Being in the position of one of the leaders of the SOV Roatan mission, I thank God for that. There are stories all throughout the Bible about how God uses people who are not the most eloquent, the most skilled, the most knowledgeable, or even the most moral. He often uses the unexpected, the weak, the insecure, the cast-aways. But one thing seems to be common among those God uses…They are changed people. Before He could use them, He captivated them. He changed them, not by giving them a bunch of skills, but by making them into the people he wanted them to be, so that He could work through them.
So it is with me. I am not a natural leader. I much prefer the edges of the crowd, and I’m much happier observing than participating. I can follow directions with the best of them, but to create the directions, and lead…let’s just say that’s out of my comfort zone. There are times when I feel overwhelmed by responsibility, or preoccupied with the task of co-leading this team, but as much as I hate to say it, that doesn’t really matter. My knowledge, my education, my willingness, my skills, my anxieties…they’re all secondary. God is at work here, and that is the only thing that matters. The moment that focus is shifted is the moment this mission will crumble.
I think God gets a kick out of surprising us! He has a way of helping us understand that we really don’t have control over much of anything. It’s one of the ways He encourages us to trust him. He has it under control. This is His mission…not the team’s mission, not the church’s mission, but His mission
So the question is where does that put us? What does God expect of me, as a leader? What does God expect us as a team? One of my favorite preachers, Francis Chan, talks about this in one of his messages entitled: The Holy Spirit’s Power and Our Effort . (You can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Deuca-kXtnI It’s worth your time!) He references 2 Peter 1:5-8 which says:
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Underline mine.)
My goodness! That’s kind of a tall order, isn’t it? I think it’s probably safe to say that we all want to keep from “being useless”, or “unfruitful”. We signed up to be part of this mission so we can make a difference. But let’s face it, we’re arriving late to the meeting. God has been at work in Roatan,( and the rest of the world), long before we showed up. We can plan activities, projects, outreach, and visits and whatever else comes to our hearts and minds, and all of those things are good and necessary for our purposes in Roatan. But none of those things matter if we are not the people we are supposed to be. If we focus so much on our tasks, and forget about our attitudes and openness to be transformed…captivated by God…then we are off the mark.
I find comfort from Peter’s words, that if I “make every effort” to be the person God wants me to be, the rest will come. All of our skills and ideas are great, but what He really wants is us. He wants the best us that we can be. If we bring Him our best, coupled with our time and talents,( which have been entrusted to us, by Him), He will make it possible to participate in what He is already doing. What a remarkable privilege!