Posts Tagged ‘evangelical free church of lethbridge’
Thank you everyone for your patience and respect during this “quiet phase”, where we process applications, and pray, pray, pray. As a search committee, we continue to feel God’s leading and presence at our meetings and in our personal lives and we attribute much of this to your continued prayers, support and encouragement. Thank you congregation, staff, board and fellow disciples for journeying with us.
We have been overwhelmed by the strength of the applicants that were received before the deadline of June 30th. We are so very blessed as a church to be in a position to receiving applications from phenomenal and godly men pursuing Jesus in all that they do. What an incredible journey we have had as a search committee watching God work and move in the hearts of these applicants to see who God has chosen for our local church. We have full confidence that the Lord knows exactly who we need and we humbly wait for this confirmation from Him.
We have been tasked by the board to review all applicants to a “short list”, and then present this short and formal list to them. During this time we will begin to contact references that were provided by the applicants and follow our search committee manual that has been well laid out by the E-Free national conference. This guide continues to be an incredible asset and allows to walk in faith and also act professional as a local church body. The reviewing and finalizing of the short list and contacting all references is labour intensive and emotionally demanding. Please pray for energy as the volunteer hours will be comparable to a full time job in the weeks ahead, but we are finding ourselves thriving as a team and experiencing pure joy during this phase.
We meet with the board next week to present this final short list and then will move in partnership with the board towards the end goal of interviews. References obviously will play a significant factor in who is interviewed and if multiple will be, or just one applicant. This where the communication, partnership and leadership will be critical between board and search committee. Please be praying for us.
At this time we do not feel it will be appropriate to indicate the number of applications received by the deadline of June 30th, nor do we feel it would be to proper to disclose how many applicants have made the shortlist. We truly want to honour everyone in the process and ensure they are protected, confidential and respected at every stage. We do feel comfortable saying we are blessed as a congregation to receive the applications that we have to date and are humbled by their desires to serve God. It is a beautiful thing when an applicant desires employment to lead our church and openly states in their resume that they want the best for our church whether it is them chosen or not. Incredible! This type of applicant and resume is not what you see every day. 🙂 The leaders that God has created in our wonderful country is astounding and He is doing good things here in Canada and beyond.
Lastly, we do not wish to deliver hard and fast dates on when the new lead pastor (whoever that is) will start. This will be a conversation that will be had with the board and the applicant(s) in the days to come. We have faith that it will come together in God’s perfect timing and that brings us great peace as we also wonder about a start date.
Thank you everyone for journeying with us. We love you and your prayers.
“Teach me knowledge and good judgement, for I trust your commands.” Pslam 119:66.
How much time passed between the Testaments?
400 years. Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther are thought to be the last books written before the New Testament. During this period, no biblical prophet spoke or wrote. This period is called, ‘the period of silence’.
Is God silent in your life because of unconfessed sin, or because of testing? (Discussed at church @ 6.)
Ian mentioned that sin has been dealt with in Jesus Christ. Job 1: 21 says, the Lord gives and takes away. Therefore, God’s silence is not a result of your sin.
Of course, sin does hinder our growth. As Peter says (1 Peter 2:1 – 3), rid yourselves of all ‘sin” , crave pure spiritual milk so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.
Is there consequence for sin? Yes. Sin was the reason Jesus hung on a cross. Sin was the reason Israel was exiled. Does that mean God is absent or not involved? No
Does God use silence to test us? Yes. The book of Job is a great example of this. Joseph is another example. He was tested and tried through God’s silence. But God was not absent.
The main point is, we can’t always know why God is silent… But the human experience and the Bible show us that He is perceived to be silent often (almost every book wrestles with this reality). We must remember God is never absent. From scripture, His silence is used for testing, for character development, as a result of sin, and probably many more reasons that we don’t know.
How can we help friends who are going through dark times?
Sometimes, we like to explain their suffering. Sometimes, this isn’t helpful. We see from Job’s friends in the book of Job that they weren’t helpful telling Job why all these bad things were happening to him. They said it is because of sin or unrepentance. But God actually rebukes Job’s friends (Job 42: 7), “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken right”. So telling friends why they are suffering may not be wise at some points. Though, in other times, a word of Truth can be helpful but you must use discernment.
Practically, how can we help during dark times?
It does depend greatly on what the dark time is but often times, here are some tips:
Presence – being available to them (discerning how much presence is tough, some people like to be left alone, some like more time )
Listening – unlike Job’s friends, we ought to listen to our friends lament and wrestle with God.
Food – If a loved one dies, food is a practical need people have; a very practical gift to let people know you are thinking of them and eases the day to day demands on their schedule if they don’t have to cook for themselves.
What if the person is struggling with consequences of sin?
Reality is, some people like living in their own garbage. They can abuse and take advantage of your grace and kindness because they don’t want to deal with their issues.
For example, someone may be going through a dark time in their marriage… You then discover they are addicted to porn. This is a time for challenge not silence because their situation is directly related to their action and is in their control; unlike other situations that are outside of one’s control. Sin is dangerous and only leads to death and destruction. When people choose to follow the path of destruction, we often feel hopeless to help. As difficult as it is watch, one ought to continue to pray and be available (within reason) and remember, Romans 8 where Paul says, nothing can separate us from God’s love. Like the story of the Prodigal son (Luke 15) are posture becomes one of ‘open arms’ praying, waiting, hoping the son returns. However, it does appear one has to let them go. That is difficult to do.
Thanks for taking the time to join us at the new discipleship blog. We want this to be an opportunity for you to hear from staff, ministry leaders and pastor. We want it to be an encouragement to you as you seek to learn more about following Jesus, put that to action and become disciples that make disciples.
Please, use this blog. Share this blog. Interact with this blog and its writers.
And enjoy the first blog from our lead pastor, Ian Lawson.