Many of us taught officially and unofficially a leader must lead. In other words, stick your neck out, speak out, set a path for others to follow, plan, plot and set your objectives. The structure of authority most of us were born into involved obeying parents, obeying teachers, and obeying bosses. This bred a desire in many of us to reach that goal of climbing the ladder – being able to be rulers. Part of that fits Jesus economy, but part of it does not.
Jesus took another position when he taught His disciples in Matthew 20:25-26, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you.” At this point Jesus emphasizes the greater importance of taking the role of a servant.
I was reading in a book by fellow Canadian Len Hjalmarson (Broken Furtures) that leadership should be less about progress and more about process. The process to which he alludes includes listening to the community. Listening and teaching people to listen will ultimately mean more engagement and involvement. This posture may be helpful in being a better servant-leader, but there is an even deeper element we must wrestle with to be better disciples.
That deeper element is to let the Spirit of God investigate our heart for the pride that may be rooted there. If we are in any position of leadership there is the tug to prove oneself worthy of the role, the tug to make something of one’s opportunity, the tug to be seen as prosperous in the job, the tug to be esteemed by others, or even the tug to show oneself one’s own worthiness through obvious accomplishments.
Somehow in life we get lost and we can forget the phrase in Philippians that Jesus ‘made Himself nothing’. (Okay, those of you with your Greek lexicons out, just put them away for a minute … I know this emphasis can go too far.) Jesus faced all the same tugs/temptations, He wrestled with the opportunity to show Himself for who He was before His time. For the true Christian servant, all of us need to take a step back from the ‘tugs’ of life and realize the temptation is often for something to happen ‘now’ … and for the ‘how it looks to others’ perspective. Faithfulness reveals itself over time.
God calls us to know Him, to faithful service, to be obedient and to have a heart of service, no matter what things look like to others. I think we will be surprised who in fact hears the ‘well done, good and faithful servant’. It may be the single parent down the street, or the quiet elderly couple who need walkers to get around, or the believer who is also a Walmart greeter. Our sense of what it means to be successful needs to get separated from that subtle pull of pride deep within us.
Let’s take steps to be better servants by accurately assessing and dealing with the pride that is deep within us.
Your co-worker, Dennis
Happenings & News
From the desk of Dennis Stone: August 2019
Here are some quick updates for our CBWC ministers of the region. Most of us feel as though we start our year in September, so this piece is meant to keep you up to date. The comments below are my own.
“THE GATHERING” AT HIGH RIVER BAPTIST IN MAY
This event was very well-received by delegates attending. Pastors Scott Fisk and Michael Lorusso and the whole crew at HRBC were highly hospitable and helpful in every aspect. The sessions were well-attended and all business was handled respectfully.
- OEC recommended Pam Reichenbach, Mikel Laurie and Anna Braun for ordination.
- OEC granted Sam Kim from Bonavista Baptist ‘Recognition of Prior Ordination’
- New churches welcomed at HRBC meetings included Filipino Community Christian Church – Calgary and Greenhills Christian Fellowship – Calgary
- FBC Peace River celebrated 100 years in early August
PROPOSED UPCOMING MINISTERIAL CLUSTER MEETINGS:
Sept 10 – Edmonton Cluster at Braemar
Sept 15-17 – Peace Cluster in Jasper
Sept 19 – Central Cluster – TBA
Oct 1 – Edmonton Cluster at Braemar
Oct 10 – Southern Alberta Cluster
Oct 17 – Calgary Cluster at FBC
UPCOMING CBWC STAFF AND BOARD:
Sept 5-7 – Staff retreat
Sept 25-26 – Staff/MCC meeting
Sept 27-28 – CBWC Board meeting
- New Mountain Standard Regional Advisory Group for 2019-2021: Randy Loewen – Yellowknife (Moderator), Sandra Goetz – Charlie Lake, Mark Archibald – Lethbridge, Bill Christieson – Calgary, Brad Penner – Red Deer, Kathy Brown – Edmonton
- New CBWC Board members for 2019-2021 from the Mountain Standard Region: Sam Breakey (President) – Edmonton, Herb Ziegler (VP of Finance) – Sherwood Park, Randy Loewen, Brad Penner, and Sandra Goetz
- Our OEC examiners from the Mountain Standard Region this year were Brad Penner, Randy Loewen, Juli Wells, and Harriet Mitchell.
- Our church in Pincher Creek is working on a merger with another church, to be effective for 2020.
- Our Brownfield Church is using its own unique brand of “Rural Light Ministries” to assist Nanton Baptist with services through the use of technology. Other rural churches are interested. (Click on “Donate” at www.cbwc.ca to contribute to this ministry).
- A former CBWC Executive Minister and pastor among us, Doug Moffat, passed away on May 2nd. His son Andy is one of our pastors at FBC Olds. Doug will be missed and remembered.
- Our new Mountain Standard Region’s ministers since the 2017 CBWC Gathering where listed and shared at the HRBC assembly. They are as follows: Natalie Wong, Crescent Heights Baptist, Calgary; Leah Seguin, Braemar Baptist Church, Edmonton; Heather Hiebert, Community Baptist, Cold Lake; Ken Bender, McLaurin Memorial Baptist, Edmonton; Hovig Bajanian, Evangelical Baptist, Edmonton; Sarah Wipf, Westview Baptist, Calgary; Aaron Cranton, Strathcona Baptist, Edmonton; Nathan Harris, Brownfield Baptist; Dawn Stiles, First Baptist, Edmonton; Brandon Parsons, First Baptist, Red Deer; Tash Ingram, Westview Baptist, Calgary; Clinton Pigeau, Trinity Baptist, Sherwood Park; Kaleb Penner, McLaurin Baptist, Grande Prairie; Joseph Steeves, Faith Community Baptist, Claresholm; Joshua Goetz, Charlie Lake Community, Charlie Lake; Sebastian Dykstra, Altadore Baptist, Calgary; Kent Dixon, Braemar Baptist, Edmonton; Ron Ford, Battle Lake Community Baptist; Wilbert Adolphe, Bonnie Doon Baptist, Edmonton.
This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email the Mountain Standard office: firstname.lastname@example.org