Successful Christian churches, ministries, businesses, and organizations are dependent upon people who are willing to serve. They thrive when people humble themselves to carry out whatever tasks need to be done. The high-powered lawyer and the struggling small business owner unite when they step into the church and serve shoulder-to-shoulder to brew the coffee and mop the floors. Their actions prove them to be leaders in godly character.
We need this kind of leadership, this leading by doing. No church or other organization can last long without it. We are right to honor those who exemplify it.
We, as a Church, are just now learning to talk about disability, and like children with limited vocabularies, we sometimes stumble over our words. When children do it, it’s adorable. Like when my nephew started calling me Tutu instead of Auntie Lu, as I originally dubbed myself. But when we are clumsy with our words in discussions about disability, the stakes are much higher. What we say or write can either build up the Church by drawing in a person with a disability or weaken our unity by pushing someone (or their family) with a disability away. Even when we intend to be kind, our inexperience may lead us to say things that actually do more harm than good.
While preparing that sermon or drafting that article, here are four things to keep in mind when talking about disability.
When it comes to issues of integrity, the family of God must trump an org chart. On issues of character, being a brother must weigh more than being or not being the boss. When it comes to integrity, the commands in Scripture must trump the channels of communication in an organization.
Bosses who are in sin need brothers to confront them.
Yes, it is risky. To initiate the awkward conversation feels like you are putting friendship and even more on the line.
There is a kind of forgetfulness, however, that should be pursued and prayed for: self-forgetfulness. This is not to say that any self-reflection before, during, or after the sermon is to be completely avoided. In fact, sermon reviews done well can be extremely beneficial and humbling. It is to say though that the most God-honoring, people-serving preaching is preaching absorbed with God and Bible-expounded truth, not the preacher himself.
This was an interesting piece by Kathryn Freeman.
When the New Testament addresses spiritual maturity, it uses the common Greek word teleios, which means “perfect” or “complete.” When it is applied to Christian growth, it indicates spiritual maturity in contrast to childlike immaturity as, for example, in this command from Paul: “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature (teleioi).” (1 Cor. 14:20; see also Heb.5:13–6:1). Sometimes it indicates perfection, as in Jesus’ summary command in the Sermon on the Mount: “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect” (Matt.5:48). Spiritually, it always references solid, biblically informed understanding and conduct in Christ—spiritual adulthood.
A favorite from the archives:
We’d spent the last five years in that townhouse. Like London, it wasn’t perfect, but it was home (or at least as close to it as either of us have ever felt). It was where we landed after selling our home. Where we waited for God to send us to wherever we thought we were supposed to go. We brought Hudson home to this house. It was the only one he and Hannah ever really knew. Where Abigail lost her first tooth. Where we saw God work through us and in us in some pretty cool (and often painful) ways.
We laughed, we fought, we told silly stories, we cried…
Sure, we made fun of it a lot. Even so, it was home.
Then, in an instant, it wasn’t.