Good Monday to you all, Church Family!
If you missed church yesterday, then you missed an update we had on what is going on at Normandy. I started the sermon by having some "family time". I wanted to get the picture of what it would be like if you came over to our house and got to take part in a family meeting with Kasey, Jude and me.
During these times we discuss important matters, talk about feelings (of course) and think through what God is doing in our family. Yesterday I shared that the Elders (Joshua Sorrows, Preston Todd & myself) will be fasting this week. We will be fasting and seeking God over a few specific issues that will affect you all as being a part of our family.
One of the things we are bringing before you all is adding another man to our Elder team. John Kaserman has been on our hearts as a possible candidate for eldership going back to last year when he and Michelle were in Mongolia. Joshua, Preston and I have been discussing, thinking and praying about what it would look like. We have started to go through Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch in order to help shape our thinking and nailing down a process that will be reproducible and clear. For an overview of eldership, you can also read this blog post that we put together last year.
This is an exciting time for John and Michelle and Normandy! We remember that Paul went around establishing elders in the churches he planted. We also call to mind 1 Timothy 3:1: "The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task."
There are not too many explicit roles in the Bible that God exhorts us to desire - but becoming an elder, or overseer is one of them! We should honor this desire in John! If the Lord would see fit, We hope to install him as an elder by this fall.
The second bit of news I put before you was that on Justus Murimi. We are prayerfully considering bringing Justus on to our staff. The primary role would be an outreach role to those in Junior High and High School. For right now it would be a part time role. Justus has already begun working at the Starbucks closest to Scofield and is spending his time with many of the young people he's met in YoungLife.
A man called to ministry must have a call from within and a call from without.
My grandfather, Dr. Lester Collins Jr. often told me that a man called to ministry must have a call from within and a call from without. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones echoes that sentiment in Preaching for Preachers.
Called from within means is that before entering into ministry as a vocation, there must be an inner call a man or woman feels from the Holy Spirit. It is an inner pressure that is compelling them to venture out into the ministry. Major Ian Thomas describes it as being PUT into the ministry - that God literally places a person in vocational service.
The call from without means that the people of God see and validate that call. When a person announces this call, the people of God are not confused or surprised, but rather they affirm that calling. After our time of fasting we will present a plan to our Board of Advisors in July and hope to have plan for Justus and Stephanie after that time.
At Normandy, you have a part to play in this. Being an Elder run church means a few things. First it means that I am not solely responsible for leading our people. But rather I share leadership with Joshua and Preston (and hopefully John Kaserman).
Furthermore, we hope to lead as Christ leads the church and as a biblical husband would lead his family. It is not us dictating "thus saith the Lord" and then waiting for you all to dutifully respond. Rather, as we get a sense from the Lord's leading, we want your feedback, your prayers, your questions, your thoughts and your concerns. Basically we want to move forward as a family would on bigger decisions.
This week please be in prayer about these opportunities. It will impact our family. It will impact our finances and impact how we move forward as a church in the city of Dallas. We want you to engage in the next steps we sense God's leading with Justus and John.
Please send us whatever questions, thoughts or words from the Lord you might get. Remember we believe that God speaks! Remember, you are the sheep of His pasture and He calls you by name!
I am excited to see what all God will do in us this week and down the road.
Grace and Peace!