WILLS POINT, TX – K.P. Yohannan, founder and director of GFA World (Gospel for Asia), whose heart to love and help the poor has inspired numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church, to serve the deprived and downcast worldwide — shares about the importance and need for unity and community in the Church, the body of Christ.
As part of the Body of Christ, we need each other. If we are not a team, we will burn out. If we try to make it all happen on our own, we will fail. We need one another.
Written nearly 600 years ago, Thomas à Kempis’s words are still relevant to us today:
God has so ordained it, that we should learn to bear one another’s burdens, for there is no one who has not some defect, no one without some burden, no man independent of others, no one wise enough of himself; but we ought to bear with one another, comfort one another, help, instruct, and advise one another.
We see the truth of this principle all throughout the New Testament. In Acts 2:14 we read, “Then Peter stood up with the eleven. . .” It was not Peter standing alone, but Peter standing together with the apostles as one unit. Everything God does is in unity. He is the Trinity. It is all three persons in the Trinity being one that make up the godhead. It is by working together with mankind that God brings about His purposes. If there were any being who could do something without anyone, it is God. Yet He still chose to work with us to build His kingdom.
Embrace the Need for Community
Genuine proof that someone is led by the Holy Spirit is that they don’t have the attitude, “I am the most important one,” but instead, “I am one among all.” For believers—and especially for leaders in the Church—it is crucial that we maintain this attitude. That person sitting across from us may be far more brilliant than us, and they very well may have something more important to say. Don’t be threatened by them, but instead see their brilliance as our whole team being strengthened. Listen to what others have to say. After all, it is when each part is working properly that the body grows and is built up! (Ephesians 4:16).
We give others security when we are secure without having to be the best. When we remove the attitude of competition, we allow for each of us to thrive in our own God-given roles.
Don’t view disagreements as personally threatening. In times of conflict, guard your heart from seeking to get your own way, and value the opinions of others. Be open to change and seek the best solution, not just your own thoughts. Criticism can be constructive, even if it was intended to hurt. Don’t just reject it outright when people criticize you, but try to find the truth in it, even if it is only five percent of what they said.
Remember that we are all “fellow citizens” in the household of God, joined together as one to become His dwelling place (see Ephesians 2:19-22 ). God didn’t bring people into the Body of Christ just to “get the job done” but rather so we could grow into His likeness.
Cultivate Tomorrow’s Leaders
Actively seek to cultivate our co-laborers’ skills and ambition to serve God. Follow Christ’s example of how He led and trained His disciples.
Wise leaders begin by simply explaining what you expect and giving the opportunity to ask questions. Then demonstrate how to do it by the things that practically come up. The next step is to give the opportunity to do it as you watch on. Give others credit for what they have done. Then give them opportunity to do it on their own. If there is a deficiency, come alongside them and help them see how to improve.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:14, we see Paul’s plan for developing the Body of Christ: And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”
Ask yourself questions like: How can I inspire others to rise to their full potential? How can I train those under my care to understand my thinking and do this without me in the future? Seek also to encourage believers in godliness, humility and their walk with God (see Ephesian 4:1-3).
His Vision for the Church
God has given us a tremendous assignment to build up the Church and develop the next generation of leaders. Ask God to help you understand His vision for the Body. Give younger believers opportunities to learn, grow and fail, and empower them to go forward. Anticipate and even look forward to the day that, with the proper training and input, you can hand your position over to them.
I am still learning to walk this out too. But if we truly want to make a difference for the generation to come, we must lead and empower others based on the future–5, 10, 20, 50 years from now. The ultimate proof of our leadership is not only what we have done, but also the way we enabled others to go far beyond us.
K.P. Yohannan (Metropolitan Athanasius Mor Yohan), founder and director of GFA World (Gospel for Asia) and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church (BEC), has written more than 250 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 4 million copies in print. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families.
Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In a typical year, this includes thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching to provide hope and encouragement in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit the Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.
Find out more about Gospel for Asia in the video “A Year in Review with K.P. Yohannan.”
Keep encouraged and get your regular dose of challenge through other articles on Patheos by KP Yohannan Metropolitan, or on his blog at kpyohannan.org.
You can learn more about K.P. Yohannan Metropolitan by clicking here.
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