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The Divine is in the Details?

07.18.17 | by Richard McElroy

    I came across an interesting article about church leadership the other day. I'd encourage you to read it: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/detail-oriented-church/

    And it got me thinking....When I think of Church, I think relationships between all the family members: brothers and sisters sharing in our adoption as sons and daughters of the Living God. People who are making connections with Jesus and one another, in community. I think of the Church as an organic expression of God’s Spirit, bringing redeemed life to all who walk together as His disciples. So when I read the article “A Detail-Oriented Church” by Kevin Struyk, I found myself asking the question, “The Church is in the Details?” I know I’ve heard a phrase something like that, but it wasn’t the divine.

    The article begins with the notion, “In order for a church to reach a community with the gospel of Jesus Christ and serve their particular needs for generations to come, the leadership team must understand the importance of being detail oriented.” This is far from my view of abiding in Jesus and faithfully loving others God brings into our spheres. I trust in the redemptive power of Jesus to transform lives. But as I read about Kevin Struyk’s view that a detail-focus centers on the three areas of preaching the word, of caring through ministry and of extending ourselves by serving out into the community, I see how that will bring life to the church. The article states that this intentionality will lead to disciple-making, as Jesus brings redemption and meets needs through us, His Church. It made me consider details and the divine.

    I consider Wayne’s incredible love and gifting when handling the word. I see the details in his passion and preaching, discovering and sharing Jesus. I so very much appreciate the craft he brings to preaching and the daily heartfelt encouragement he offers as we are pastored day by day. This article makes me think the Divine is there. What about all the hours invested each week by our church family in preparing the specifics for each Sunday’s gathering. Sally and her team being so intentional in preparing to teach our children comes to mind. The office team slogging through the details of the essential message and how best to support Wayne’s Jesus-focus. The incredible women’s community learning together in so many ways: Bible studies, small groups, and informal fellowship under the guidance of Paulette, Susan and DiAne. Our wonderful teachers listening for God’s direction as they instruct us to experience Jesus together as we share “Life with Kids” led by Ian and Jessica, or seek higher ground through Don’s “Onward” way. The detailed study brought to us each week, like Dick’s “Come and See” through Hebrews. Yes, there is health in the details of bringing the word and the solid teaching here in our church.

    I marvel at the rich team of leaders guiding us in our ministries. Where I first think of the faithfulness of people who willingly say “Yes!” to God’s prompting them to provide ministry leadership, I am stirred in my heart. But it’s the details they all attend to that leads to more being accomplished by Jesus through their efforts. Is that brains with feeling? When I consider our AA groups, the food pantry, small groups, Compassion Clinic, Hospitality, Manna ministries, Stephen’s Ministries and all the others, I am made to newly appreciate the intentionality each leader brings to the caring for those involved in each ministry. Where the article would praise the detailed focus, I think what incredible intentionality to love and serve.

    I finally consider our wanting to grow and mature in how we love our community. It will be the same intentionality, that attention to detail, that will make this a great focus for our body. The same kind of love and planning that brought sandwiches to the temporary women’s shelter, our youth last summer to serve the city’s Parks and Recreation activities, and the faithful embracing of city causes through Advent Conspiracy tells me that, yes, community outreach is done in the details. I am so thankful for the leadership of the Ricks, the Blakes and Carises and all the others who see the broader picture with an eye to the fine focus of what needs to be done: details.

    The conclusion of the article further confirms just how blessed we are in Jesus' specific, detail-driven care for each and every one of us: salvation, forgiveness, purpose, direction, family and the capacity to carry Divine light into our families, workplaces, communities and the world! Jesus’ care is reflected in the detail-oriented leadership we experience each week in our community. The article ends, “Our chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, cares for the specific needs of His flock. He knows the details of your life, including the struggles and joys of those in your family and in your community. By the Holy Spirit, He comforts, cares, and gives us peace. As we minister in His name, may we imitate Christ as we care about the details of other people’s lives, rightly handling the Word of truth and serving those from every tribe, tongue, and nation.”

    I ask myself, “Doesn’t that sound like us? Isn’t that how Jesus is expressing himself here at Greater Portland? Isn’t that how I’m experiencing Him”. Here’s a “Thank YOU GOD” for being the Divine in the Details!