31.12.06

A new start - Jesus Army Life, Day 517

Photo by Phil H of flickr.comWell, we just baptised our first man from Worcester. It was a good baptism although he has a long way to go. I think he'll do well.

Tomorrow he stays at home while the other men trek off to a leader's meeting. Sounds cruel? He'll be getting some leadership training of his own. In our church we hold to the basic teaching that men carry authority in a church household. Now, in reality, authority is won by the respect given to and the conviction of the person who holds it, whether they be male or female, but there is great significance in men learning to lead from the front. So tomorrow, as we leave for the meeting, this young disciple will be charged with leading the prayer time before the day's main meal. A small responsibility perhaps, but when you've never done anything like that before, and when there are several other mature sisters there, with far greater clout (in Christ) than you, it is an awesome and humbling thing to do. And it is a great initiation into the reality that as a man you will always be relied upon to look after and speak out for others - this is why it is so important for shy men to learn to lead from the front in humility.

I am told it is also "a means of grace" from the sisters to the brother - they hand over their right to be self autonomous to the brother and so he learns that he has to be responsible for others. The sisters don't have to do that, but in doing so they are bringing great strength and encouragement to him.

The elders meeting itself should be good tomorrow, it being the start of a new year. There will be opportunity to review our journey with God over the past twelve months and hear His Spirit for the time ahead, an important time of consecration I imagine.

Photo by Phil H of flickr.com