In just a few days, our church will host the Loving and Leading Conference. The goal of this event is to provide training for persons who have a heart for investing in the lives of children. Really, it's leadership training. We are privileged to be used of God to help prepare people (leaders) to grow children in Christ. Ultimately, the conference objective is to invest in the leaders of local bodies so they can help children to become like Christ.
What does it mean to be Christ-like? The Bible is full of passages that express the attributes of our Savior. We find one of my favorites, and perhaps the best depiction of Christ, in the second chapter of Philippians.
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
If you are like me, you are convicted when you read this passage. I wonder what might be accomplished for God if these were the priorities for training children in every church? What would the next generation of believers look like if every local body thought it wise to focus on unity? What would the next wave of believers be able to accomplish if they truly understood the need to be responsible for other believers? How much more could be done to reproduce Christ if our young people were trained to have convictions about humility and selflessness? Clearly, these considerations are far afield from the world in which we now exist. Our country is divided. People care less and less about responsibility. Selfishness rules the day.
As we examine one final verse, we see that Paul is encouraging the believers in Philippi to work out their salvation.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
This verse has absolutely nothing to do with works being a part of obtaining salvation and everything to do with having a right perspective (fear and trembling) about the one true God who has saved us. You will note that this perspective is gained through obedience.
Obedience requires focus. Obedience requires one to take responsibility. Obedience requires conviction. I invite you to join me in prayer as we head into a wonderful time of preparation at the Loving and Leading Conference. Would you pray about targeting right priorities? Would you pray about gaining and maintaining proper focus? Would you pray that our convictions are a result of a desire to be more like Christ?
Written by David Williamson