Monday, December 1, 2008

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Every Supporting Ligament

In building a small group, please remember that you're not the only laborer in the field. You have friends and allies all around you ... if you take the time to look.

When I first arrived in California in 2001, I had a plan. There was a Navigators missionary at the base where I was going to be stationed. I'd had great experiences with the Navs, and I was excited to meet Willie and to get started. When I arrived, however, Willie seemed distant and ambivalent about getting together. Confused by this, I concluded God wanted me to move in another direction.

When the opportunity came along, I took over leadership of the local Officers Christian Fellowship ministry instead. God immediately provided a couple of great co-laborers, and things began to grow quickly. We also discovered Russ, a terrific chaplain we could really work with, and the ministry blossomed.

Then suddenly, Willie reappeared! I soon learned from him that he and his wife had been going through some very difficult medical issues, but now they were on the mend, and he was eager to reconnect and get back to work. Funny thing was, I had this new commitment to OCF. How was this going to work?

The answer is, of course, that God had all that figured out. The timing was perfect for a fusion ministry. I really needed someone to disciple some of the guys who were coming to our small groups, and Willie needed a place to get plugged back in. Together with Russ, we forged a truly exceptional team. I have wonderful memories of how God knit that body together and what He accomplished through us!

God didn't send us to compete with other Christian ministries. Rather, from him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Ephesians 4:16). Are you making the most of your supporting ligaments?

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