Readying Our Hearts
By: Christy Lee
Key Passage: 1 Corinthians 3:5-11
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
As I was reflecting on the exciting, momentous event that took place at CPC [virtually] this Sunday, my heart was filled with gladness. Finally, after all these months, CPC will have a senior pastor very soon! On Monday, I took a short walk around our campus, praying for the church and giving thanks to God. As I walked around, I stopped by the church and saw a monument that is next to our education building. It is a simple stone that reads: “Jesus Christ, our Cornerstone”. I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 3:5-11.
It is always difficult for churches during times of transitions, especially if the previous leaders were here for as long as ours were. It can be tempting to constantly look back to the “glory days” of the past, or compare the next leader to past ones. This is especially tempting because new leaders will inevitably be different. Whether it is the preaching, programs, vision, or whatnot, things will change… and change is difficult for some people. Many often get so comfortable with what is familiar that they become upset, frustrated, or even angry when their norms are disrupted.
However, this passage reminds us that it isn’t about us. CPC is not our church. It is God’s field, God’s building! Scripture tells us that we are God’s fellow workers, placed here to bring shalom upon our city. If changes make us upset, we need to look deep into our hearts and ask why: is it because these changes impinge upon my lifestyle and my preferences? If so, we need to repent. If the church just becomes our building and our field, we are not living up to the great mission that God has given us.
Church, Jesus Christ died for you. You were bought with the cost of the precious blood of Jesus. And because Jesus died for you, he is the unchanging cornerstone of our church, no matter who is our leadership or how much our city changes, the unchanging truth is that Jesus died, resurrected, and is coming again. This is our only hope! If this is true, we do not fear the change that will come because we are grounded in our unchanging savior.
During this “in between” time when we as a church are getting ready to receive new leadership, this gift that God has given us, it is important that we ready our hearts.
Pray in thanksgiving, that God has faithfully answered our prayer for a new pastor.
Pray in repentance, if our hearts have become more attached to our own kingdom than his own.
Pray for new excitement and joy as we come alongside our new pastor and his vision for the city.
Pray for the pastor and his family as they make the transition to Centerville.
Pray that God will use YOU to build his kingdom. The church is not just led by one person or even one staff! Scripture tells us that we are all priests of this land who are to bring the shalom of Jesus to the city. Ask God how he can use you during this time to live up to that calling.