Summer ‘23 Reflections Series
LifeLine Church is undergoing a transition. 2023 is a critical stage for those who have grown up in LifeLine or joined along the journey to bring their unique contribution to the table because those who have led us for the past 40 years won’t be leading for the next 40. As we continue the journey we need to know what we need to carry with us, what can be left behind, and what needs to be developed…
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Here at LifeLine Church we have often used the phrase ‘catching sight of God’, by which we mean a revelation or experience of God which is more than mere head knowledge. Such an experience inspires a total response. We delight in Him…
Over the years of our senior leader, John Singleton’s ministry, he has sought to share his experience of who God is through teaching and modelling. Under his leadership LifeLine has put a large emphasis on ‘being doers and not just hearers’ of the word. This has meant we have put a priority to find practical ways to live out what we have seen of God.
‘Reproducing after our own kind’ has always been a mantra within LifeLine. So has ‘investing in the next generation’. If we believe that what we are doing is really important, and is the work of God, it is bigger than any one of us and therefore needs to continue beyond us.
We mustn’t see people or leaders as tools to help us to achieve our project, but see them as our first sheep we are to love. Their personal struggles aren’t blockages to achieving our goals. Their struggles, just like mine, are an opportunity to catch sight of a loving, powerful, patient God. God wants you, not your utility.
When the senior leaders of LifeLine Church started exploring what His presence means they realised what they were really asking was “What do we get from being in His presence”. As if the presence of God was reduced to a function. There’s a danger we try to seek the formula to conjure up His presence and then use it as a tool. The church turned our focus to the joy of being in His presence. Want to be ‘in’ rather than get something ‘from’?
If God’s grand plan is to fill the earth with His glory, and glory means to put one’s attributes on display, God wants to make Himself visible on earth. He has made Himself visible through Jesus (John 1:18, Col 1:15, Col 2:9). And now He continues to make Himself visible through us, those who have been transformed through seeing Him. One of the primary attributes of God is love (1 John 4:8). So, when we love one another, we show who God is.
Why is leadership and authority such a controversial topic in our society today? As a society we have become sceptical of authority. We are quicker to dismiss politicians, community leaders or experts. The undermining of truth means there is just a lot of noise. This has exaggerated our tendency for tribalism and polarisation, where we subscribe to the views of those who seem most like us rather than objectively evaluated truth claims…
When we submit to someone’s authority it does not mean that we lose the right to ask questions or to disagree. We can ask questions with the motive of getting a clearer understanding so we can obey better, or we can ask because we are considering if we want to obey or not. The basis of questioning will be different though, and will need to come out of a desire to follow better rather than argue a point.