As I stood before a crowd of sixty Nyishi leaders today, I was deeply moved by the hunger they have to get better at ministry while dealing with the difficult challenges they constantly face. At first, these people faced intense opposition from the outside — both government and other religions persecuted the Nyishis severely. They now face opposition from inside the Christian community as radical and unbiblical figures create chaos within churches, leading some astray. They come claiming their ministry of miracles, waxing eloquent with self-made prophecies, teaching unbiblical statements about receiving Holy Spirit power. The church of Christ is confused and sometimes unpopular. Leaders of the Baptist Churches sometimes feel pressured to be more spectacular or tantalizing than they have been in the past.
For those creating the opposition, I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 when he said, “You will say, did we not do great miracles in your name?” And Jesus will respond, “I never knew you. Depart from you who practice lawlessness.”
In our leadership training today, we pointed people back to the word, taught practical biblical principles of leadership, and found the Nyishis extremely grateful and significantly challenged. What a privilege it was to share truths that have great potential to impact and help grow the Kingdom of God in Arunachal Prudesh.
Jesus was our model today. I want to continue to have Him be my model for all of my leadership efforts. Even at Edinbrook, as we go through necessary change in the weeks and months ahead, it will never be for change sake. Instead, Jesus told us to “make disciples.” We are never doing that good enough. We must always be seeking God’s will and plan for better and more effective ways to accomplish this great and urgent task. Some of the changes I will propose will not be greeted with wild cheering nor happy countenance. BUT–change must happen. God’s commission is too great to be satisfied with methods that are not accomplishing what we have been told to do.
I promise to follow Jesus. Join me in the risk-taking, life-giving, challenging, difficult, and fulfilling journey of following Jesus…wherever it is that He may lead.