Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Let others help!

9:30 p.m. Today's project was to follow up on the Lord's direction to me in leading my Bible study group this morning. In the process, I was blessed to see some real leaders emerge!

Since our group is large, and we come awfully close to not answering all three assigned questions, I prayed about a way to make sure each member is heard, while keeping our sharing on topic and on time. The Lord showed me to print up the questions, make three copies, and break the group into three little groups. I handed a half sheet of questions to three ladies who had arrived on time, were good and succinct in their answers each week, and who quickly grasped the process I described.

I placed my chair in the middle of the three so I could move to sit in on each group at every "shift change." I fully took part in answering the questions, but as a participant, not the small group leader! I allowed them to lead and keep their peers on topic.

Since the discussion time lasts 45 minutes before we break for a video teaching, each question would be allotted 15 minutes--easy enough. Then I would say, "time for question 2, etc." Finished or not, each small group would have to move to the next question.  The three gals I selected, Barbara, Cindy and Heather, each kept the discussion flowing, and did not allow their momentum to be lost when 2 ladies arrived quite late. My leaders quickly greeted the late ones, and kept on with the discussion, bringing them up to speed efficiently and nicely. Disruption is completely minimized when latecomers are just greeted by two others, not the whole group at once.

The Holy Spirit reminded me of Moses' father-in- law Jethro's advice when visiting the traveling children of Israel. Jethro, priest of Midian, was concerned when he saw Moses judging a never ending stream of people and their issues. He said to Moses, in  Exodus 18:21-22:

You shall select from all of the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves will judge.So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.

Wise advice for anyone in leadership! Select able helpers, because no one is to singlehandedly run a ministry or even a portion of a ministry. No one is indispensable; nor does any one person have all of the spiritual gifts; and leaders are to mentor and raise up others to assist or eventually follow them in the position we have today.

The Lord may not lead me to conduct the group this way every week, but I definitely heard some excellent sharing. And no wandering off on tangents was being allowed, because the group leaders were so conscious of staying within their time frame. The sharing definitely reflected the lesson we had been assigned to learn!

A helper of a different kind drove over behind me from church to our house after Bible study. My friend Cindy came over to have a quick salad lunch and help Steve and me in our garden. She was so inspired by my Heart to Home gardening class at church last winter that she grew outstanding crops for her first year. Being raised on a farm, she is no stranger to physical work, either. So while she turned my compost over into the soil with my shovel, I grabbed my favorite tool, the hoe, and weeded the entire garden. Steve helped ut by hand-weeding and putting our pickings in the green waste dumpster.

It felt so good to be outside working physically! And having a gardening "accountability partner" made me get out there and get seriously to work, not just dabble here and there as I have been doing. (That's why my garden has been behind schedule this year). But no more! The plot is ready for a final raking and planting seeds any time we want to get back out there. Steve really enjoyed himself as well, following directions with a good attitude, and even telling a little joke here and there. And Jada loved some attention and cahsing a ball thrown by a new person.

Cindy even volunteered to watch Steve for me while I quickly showered and dressed up for an appointment  in the afternoon. They just watched "Heartland" for 5 minutes, made sure to drink some water, and Steve ate the snack I had given him.

God bless those who love to come alongside others in our meaningful endeavors!! Where would we be without them?

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