The Hand of God

I have been a student of the hand of God for many years. Where optimum fruit and vibrant growth once characterized a congregation, I have seen barrenness and mere maintenance take over. I have watched His hand rest on one ministry, and I have watched Him remove His hand from another.

I also have searched for the common denominators in those churches that for decades enjoyed the hand of God on their ministries. One quality in particular showed up repeatedly: the ownership that the people of the church took in the ministry. They didn’t wait for a professional or for someone “more qualified” than they. Everyone knew they had a part to play, and they participated gladly. They didn’t want God’s hand to leave them.

I’m convinced that the influence a church has on its community will be determined in large part not by the personality of the pastor, the size of its building or how long the ministry has worked in the community. It will be determined instead by the percentage of involvement in the ministry of each member. This marks the transition from attendance to ownership, from being consumers to contributors. God already has told us that He is not willing that any should perish; therefore, He will not feel satisfied until everyone in our community knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And if we opt out of His plan, He will find others more willing to jump in.

In the book of Esther, we read how a newly appointed Jewish queen faced the possible annihilation of her people. Mordecai, a close relative, alerts her to a genocidal plot hatched by the wicked Haman. Esther hesitates to get involved; she prefers to take a neutral role. But Mordecai tells her, “If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4: 14).

Mordecai’s words stir Esther to action, thus sparing the nation. And due to her involvement— because she used her gift and position well— the Jewish people to this day celebrate the festival of Purim, in her honor. But listen to the phrase that has always challenged me: “If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place.” Because of His plan for the Messiah’s arrival, God remained intent on preserving the Jewish people. He gave Esther the first opportunity to play a vital role in His plan. Deliverance would take place.

The only question that remained was, What role would she would choose to play in His plan? Would it be a neutral role? Would it be a small part? Would it be a major one? God left the choice up to her, but His plan would come to pass with or without her involvement.

In a similar way, God has a plan for the community where you live and minister today. The only question is, What role will you play? People will be redeemed. Lives will be transformed. Hopeless marriages will be restored. Lives without direction will be corrected. Yet the question remains: What part will you play in His plan? If we choose to play a major role, God will welcome our involvement.

On the other hand, if we choose to remain silent, “help and deliverance will arise from another place.” The amount of influence we will have on our generation is up to us. And if we choose poorly, He will open the privilege of involvement to others who are more willing. We have only one life to live for Christ on this spining earth. This is not practice. It’s the real thing, and we must seize every opportunity He gives to us. Let us not forget!

Wayne Cordeiro - The Hand of God

 

The above is an excerpt from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s book, Doing Church as a Team. Throughout February, we’ll be exploring the Biblical mandate for teamwork – and how we as leaders can build thriving teams. 

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