Equipping leaders for 2022 and beyond
We have just released our Vision for 2022, which focusses on us being in our 30th year this year, and how significant that is as a milestone in the Bible.
It is the year in a person’s life when that person is deemed to have come of age and is expected to move into adult responsibility and when he or she moves into the ministry that they have been prepared for. That step is not completely out of the blue, but rather makes sense of all that has happened before.
Bearing this in mind, what do we really need to transition into whatever God has for us as we pass that 30-year mark? One particular word seems to be very significant. The word is: RESILIENCE. We need to be encouraging people in our groups and ministries and churches to grow in resilience.
Of course we cannot lead to a place where we have not been – we need to grow in resilience first of all. Consequently this is very much a ‘right now’ word. Jesus spoke about resilience when He told His disciples:
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
What is resilience? It is the capacity to recover from life’s difficulties. Resilience gives you the ability to find meaning in the challenges life brings your way and to recover.
Resilience is NOT:
- Just carrying on regardless (‘It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.’ Psalm 127:2)
- Refusing to change to a new mode of ministry (‘Forget the former things…’ Isaiah 43:18-20)
- Sacrificing an intimacy with the Lord (‘You have lost your first love’ Revelation 2:4)
- Having a sense of purpose that will sustain you when tiredness or opposition or discouragement shout to you to give up.
- ‘He who has a why can bear almost any how’. For Paul, every step he took had purpose…was leading towards his overall purpose in life. Each step was hard, but each step was worth it because each step took him closer to the fulfilment of that purpose. Each step was seen in the context of that purpose.
“So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”
If the purpose is really worthwhile then the cost is worth it too. When we take our eyes off the purpose then all we can see are the hardships and the cost and there is no motivation to continue paying the price.
Our ability to get up and keep going – in other words, to be resilient – is not based on ‘bloody-mindedness’ or on human grit and determination. It’s based on having a purpose that sustains us and compels us to carry on.
“No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don’t stay down long; Soon they’re up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces.”
Resilience focusses on the strength we need for today, not for tomorrow
Having a purpose needs to walk hand-in-hand with not being overwhelmed by looking at all of the obstacles that stand between us and the goal. To fulfil our purpose takes lots and lots of individual steps. It means fighting and overcoming lots of individual battles with the desire to give up. We need to know what the purpose is, but we also need to know that we don’t need to fulfil the whole of that purpose today. Today, we just need to overcome today’s challenges.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed”
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand”
Questions to ponder:
- Do you feel more or less resilient than you did two years ago? In other words, how has the pandemic affected your approach to the challenges of life?
- ‘Become reacquainted with the purposes that God has called us to.’ What does that mean for you? How clear are those purposes for you right now?
- Romans 8:38 talks about ‘our fears for today and our worries about tomorrow.’ – of all the things that you are worried about, how many of those things are genuinely to do with today. In truth, are you feeling defeated because you do not have the resilience to cope with things that you don’t actually need to cope with right now? Are you previewing tomorrow’s worries today? God gives you nourishment (‘daily bread’) for today, not for tomorrow. Do you need to readjust your focus here?
Updates on the progress of our 2022 Harvest Appeal to build a Rural Community Hospital in Malawi can be fond on our Kingfisher Family Facebook page (Kingfisherfamily)