One People

During our stay in Senegal, I wrote some posts while riding on the bus. When we had Internet connections in the hotels, I would spend the free time adding the group’s posts and pictures to our Charlotte To Senegal blog, but did not have much time to complete my personal posts. I am publishing them now, but am keeping the same present-tense perspective as if I was still in Senegal.
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Worship in Ndjemane I once participated in a Bible study where someone (wrongly) used the Bible to reinforce their own racist views toward black people. The guy’s comments angered me greatly, but, at the time, I did not know enough about the Scriptures to rebuke him.

This is an extreme example of an improper view toward people who are different and toward the Bible itself. Unfortunately, though, even when we as a community believe everyone is equal, separation and division still occurs.

While separation is not necessarily bad, I do see a large division among races when it comes to Christians and churches in the United States. That is why it was a special opportunity for me to participate in worship service in Ndjemane yesterday. Regardless of race; gender; age; and nationality, we came together as one people, united under Christ, to come and worship. We sang in Serere, Wolof, French, and English. We all learned from the same Word. We all shared stories of hope during our testimonies, and stories of pain/needs in our prayer request. Afterward, we spent hours in fellowship as one people.

Church in Ndjemane For the past three years, in this small village of Ndjemane, I have gotten a glimpse of what every group of people could have. I have seen two groups of people of almost complete polar opposites (i.e., racially, culturally, language, monetarily) come together in joy as friends, brothers, and sisters.

As Christians, we are instructed to be that unified people. If only we would heed those instructions. For one day, in a tiny church in tiny village in Africa we did just that and it was an incredible experience.

For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. (Ephesians 2:14, 15 NLT, emphasis mine)

Church in Ndjemane

Church in Ndjemane

One People

One People

One People

One People

One People

One People

One People

One People

One People

One People

One People

The Art of Discipleship

As part of a church leaders class I took a couple of months ago, I read Conformed To His Image by Kenneth Boa. One of the chapters discussed a philosophy of discipleship.

A few quotes in the chapter either hit me with an “aha” moment or served as an excellent reminder. For those of you also digging into the art of discipleship may these assist you as well.

Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8; “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.” – Dag Hammarskjold

Some people come to Jesus as a solution to their… problems. When he doesn’t rectify their difficulties in the way they had hoped, their unrealized expectations can paralyze further growth. We cannot follow Jesus when we are asking him to follow us. We limit our spiritual development when we fail to make the transition from seeing Jesus as a problem solver to seeing him as our life.

But the point of the Great Commission is to make disciples, not merely converts.”

While Jesus ministered to the masses, he focused his time and training on a small number of disciples. He was closer to the Twelve than to the seventy, and closer to the three (Peter, James, and John) than to the rest of the Twelve. Instead of dissipating the bulk of his energy on the curious multitudes, our Lord concentrated on a handful of people who were teachable and committed. By building his life into these men, he was equipping them to reach an ever-widening circle of people through multiplication rather than addition.”

The Lord may call you to nurture some people for a brief moment or for a long season, but they were and never will be yours. They are always his. A willingness to expose people to other gifts and resources is a mark of the humility of authentic security in Christ.

We can participate in the work of God, but we cannot measure or control what he is doing in us and through us. Thus it is always unwise to determine effectiveness by comparing one person with another or one ministry with another.”