A Call to Prayer – 2

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David Bahn-Reflections Podcast

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. – Colossians 4:2-6 [ESV]

Bishop Gulle with his Wife at PLI-International Training | Geita, Tanzania | November 2021

Diane and I begin today to teach Leading Change for the Sake of God’s Mission for the pastors and spouses of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania, East of Lake Victoria Diocese. I will be teaching the lead off presentation, specifically, Leading Change for the Sake of God’s Mission. I’ll be asking, “Why would we lead change in our churches?” (It’s not because we want our way, or have our personal preferences!). We make changes so that we may reach more people and bring them into God’s kingdom.

The goal of this teaching is that those being trained will become willing and able to lead changes when needed for the sake of Christ and His mission. If a church is not making disciples, change will be needed. If a church is making disciples, change will still be needed! The change, however, is always for the purpose of making more disciples in order to fulfill God’s mission.

This leads to the second question we’ll consider: What can we change for the sake of the mission, and what can we not change? What does God’s Word allow us to change, and what does it forbid us to change?

The goal of this question is to help those being trained clearly to establish from God’s Word, not only the “why” of change, but also to establish, from God’s Word, “What” things can be changed, and those things that should not ever be changed.

Some people become very defensive and fearful when the subject of change in the church comes up. Some worry that by changing we’ll lose the truth of the Gospel and God’s Word. We will make the point that there is always a sense of loss with any change. Diane will teach about that later this week. But God is good, and there are always blessings and grace from God as we follow Jesus in his mission.

Please pray for us that we may be sensitive to people’s feelings, fears, and impatience (also a problem with those who are more ready than others to change!) as we encourage these Jesus followers to lead change for the sake of the mission. 

I’m wondering whether you are being led to consider changes you need to make for the sake of Christ’s mission. You can pray about that as well. Then listen carefully for God’s answer. 

PS: Today is Diane’s birthday. We’ll be celebrating in Tanzania. I’ll invite the people there to sing Happy Birthday to her!

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