I was out to dinner with another pastor’s family a few weeks ago and they asked me “so what makes Covenant special?” I paused before I told him: “This church has the healthiest relationships and the strongest leaders I have ever seen.” I was reminded of this conversation last Sunday when we installed our new Trustees, Deacons and Elders by laying hands on them and praying for them. A sea of people stood up to lay hands on the new leaders and I viscerally felt the warmth and love of our whole congregation during the time of prayer.
I believe that God is going to bless our church powerfully this year. The relationships and leaders that God has nurtured at Covenant have made this a place where the Holy Spirit can overflow into the lives of our neighbors and colleagues. Because we love one another well, we stick together. Because our leaders are faithful, we are pointed in the right direction. Together these two things mean we can serve Huntsville not just individuals but as a Spirit-led team.
In the first chapter of Deuteronomy, after years of hard work God’s people are finally about to enter into the land of God’s blessing. God says to them “I’m going to make you as numerous as the stars! I’m going to bless you just like I promised!” Moses responds to God by saying, “Wait a second – that’s too big a blessing for just one person – there’s no way I can lead that many people by myself!” God answers Moses in verse 13 by telling him to “give” wise, experienced and knowledgeable leaders to each tribe. It is interesting to me that most modern translations use the word “choose” rather than “give” in this verse. Nevertheless in nearly every other instance in the bible this Hebrew word (“YAHAB”) means “to give.”
I like that. I like that we choose our leaders, God grants us the power to make a “choice” of who will lead us. But I also know that the wonderful leaders in this church are a “gift.” Our leaders are more than just elected officials. They are gifts that God has given us.
Thank you to each of you who lead in our church – officers, committee members, teachers, musicians, volunteers, staff, and more! – you are all gifts from God! It’s hard work. But we’re ready. Now let’s get set, because it’s time to grow!