This message was preached at the RegionsBeyond India Leadership conference 2016.
This message was preached by Pankaj Bhagwanew who is an Elder at One Nation Mumbai.
For the audio please click here
Its very important to remember why we do what we do. If you don’t have a clear vision in short words, please make one. We need to be able to repeat them. They are important.
We are still at a point where we need to appoint elders. This doesn’t take away from that requirement. Male elders are an essential part of the leadership team.
The underlying reason for why we need teams is because none of us have everything. We need one another- which will include different gifts, to complement one another and different personalities.
Knowing our gifts and our personalities helps us. Our characters need to change, not our personalities. We need to help one another.
We started the conference with the words like, I called you, I fashioned you, we are going into new flavours, we’ve been commissioned individually, there are new paradigms, new frameworks, we’re being sharpened and God has given us the freedom to be who he made us.
We know that we were formed and known, formed and consecrated in our mother’s womb. God knows us very well because he made us. We are a unique once only creation. Imagine what it must be like for God when he sees our whole lifespan. This reminds me that God knew me from before day one!
This little helpless baby is one day going to become a Sushma or an Edgar. But at that stage no one knows. Because we believe in creation, all the ingredients required for that life are all there. The recipes is already complete.
Fast forward to the time when God intervened in our life. Everyone is empowered with gifts. Each one receives a spirit for the common good. The trajectory of our life changes.
Paul uses the human body to illustrate the diversity of gifting. He sees it as an expectation of what should exist in the church. In Corinthians, he says, placing value on the gifts. He says, even those who seem weaker are important. He wants no division in the church. If one suffers, we all suffer. If one is honoured, we all rejoice. He says it’s good to desire all the gifts.
Paul appeals to us to present these bodies that God made and redeemed back to God as a living Sacrifice. For many years, I thought I was responsible for who I am, which is a very arrogant way of thinking. God brought me to a place of dependence upon him. There are many members of the body, but not all the same. Gifts differ, according to the grace given. Eph 4 which talks about one body one spirit- to encourage the church to be united. He wants to see unity in his churches and extensive use of the gifts in order to equip the saints.
Although fallen, you were a 100% his creation. None of us are a mistake. We were all supposed to be here. But now God can use who you are as a child of his.
Most of us come into the kingdom flawed, but we also bring with us a massive potential for transformation. Even the bad the stuff we have done can be redeemed.
At a training conference, an IT expert from silicon valley was there to teach us on internet security. An internet hacker of banks, had an encounter with God. He spoke to some lawyers and did not go to jail, but ended up working for the internet security.
Our testimony can impact the places we work in etc. we should be able to quickly and easily tell our story, at any opportunity to share the gospel, we can do so.
We die to self, and our past sins are forgiven and not remembered, so they get buried. But the personality remains. For most of us, there will be character changes and with time we want to change. The closer we stay to God, the less we sin. We must remind ourselves that we are God’s raw material.
Grace is a gift and often we are not very good at forgiving ourselves. God knows what we are going to do and though he can destroy us, he doesn’t. We pray that our lives will continue to look like Jesus.
Think about what makes you happy, what energizes you and excites you. What dreams do you have?
If we enjoy doing something, it’s likely that we will be good at it. If you are doing something that you dread, we must get help. We must love what we do, in order to display Jesus in our life.
As we take responsibility and become part of teams, it’s good for us to know who we are. Team gives us a challenge because we are all different. We do things differently, to receive and process information, and bring a history. God knows that and he will challenge us. But we need to be open to be challenged by one another. If I don’t trust the other people on my team to speak into my life, team won’t work.