Thursday, February 14, 2008

India Part 4

How I am Being Called to Apply Servant Leadership to My Anticipated Ministry Future

Dru and I have a dream of opening a half way house in the inner city area of St. Louis. Without the heart of a servant leader I know that neither one of us will be able to survive that kind of ministry. We know the harsh realities of ministering to the down and out. The level of brokenness requires a soft, gentle touch of healing that can only come from a servant’s heart. Keeping with the rule that union precedes kenosis, the only way we will be successful is if we prioritize our relationships to correctly reflect a servant’s heart. The following brief outline will show the three areas of our relational lives which need to be properly organized.

First, each one of us needs to be right with God on an individual basis. This will require daily retreat into the Father’s arms to be replenished and revived for our daily work. As I have stated before, without the close relational connection with God then all is in vain. If we do not have a heart for the creator of those we are ministering to, then how can we expect to have a heart for the created?

Second, Dru and I need to have a solid relationship built on the foundations of the Trinity. Cyclical love needs to be the order of our lives together. How can we expect to be selfless with others if we continue to be selfish in our own relationship? Our union and commitment to one another has been established and it is now time for kenosis to take hold.

Lastly, giving constant attention to the above two should allow us, or better put, give us the strength to minister to those we are called to minister. My prayer is that we are able to truly see the faces of the other and care for them the way Christ cares for us. All of this is in the hopes that they in turn will be able to see the love of God and come to a relationship with Him.

Richard Foster speaks of the disciplined life in his book Celebration of Discipline. He states, “We have only one thing to do, namely, to experience a life of relationship and intimacy with God.” It is through the time tested disciplines of the church that this can be accomplished. Again Foster writes, “The purpose of the Disciplines is liberation from the stifling slavery to self-interest and fear. When the inner spirit is liberated from all that weighs it down, it can hardly be described as dull drudgery. Singing, dancing, even shouting characterize the Disciplines of the spiritual life.”[1] A true servant leader should live a disciplined life. If I want to be set free to do God’s will then I need to better discipline my own life. Banishing my own selfish will is going take constant effort even to the point of working “out my own salvation”[2] on a daily basis.

I conclude this servant leadership reflection with a short prayer:

Lord of Lights, illuminate my life so that together we can root out the deep sins buried beneath the surface of my soul. Dig deep into the caverns of my heart so that I may be purified from all unrighteousness for your names sake. God grant me the grace to overcome the sin of self-doubt and give me the heart of a humble servant. One who does not wish that his own will be done but rather that your will be done. Give me the strength to discipline my life in such a manner that is pleasing to you. I thank you for your abundant grace and all that you have accomplished in my life thus far. I pray all of this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who lives and reigns with you forever and ever. Amen.

[1] Foster, pg. 2

[2] NKJV, Philippians 2:12

I have a confession...

after prodding you forever to put your papers up online...I haven't read any of these, just looked at the pictures. So this week I resolve to read them in full.

I feel better now.
i FINALLY updated my blog.
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