Monday, September 08, 2008

Special Moments

I didn't preach a normal sermon yesterday, but it was still one of the most exciting and encouraging Sunday mornings I've ever been part of. We spent the entire sermon time installing twelve additional shepherds and reaffirming the existing seven. All nineteen brothers accepted the charge to serve and to be examples of the Great Shepherd to each member of the Florissant family. The above picture is when the existing shepherds, minus Ken Fester attending his daughters wedding in California, where called to the front as we thanked God for sending us spiritual leaders past and present. These are all men that I love a respect and feel blessed to be able to work with.
This is the whole group. I shared some scriptures about shepherding and submitting to our shepherds, I read the Shepherds Covenant, and then read the Charge to the Shepherds - asking them to say "I do" if they accepted it. I then had the congregation stand and I read a charge to the Family and asked them to say "I do" if they accepted the charge. After that, we presented each shepherd with a basin and towel as a reminder that they are servants just as Jesus was. The basin and towels were delivered to them by someone they've served - like a spouse, child, or grandchild.

This is part of the group that delivered the basin and towel.

This was a total surprise to the shepherds and there were a lot of tears, smiles, and hugs.

I asked the congregation to come down and lay their hands on the men who will be laying hands on them in the future. I don't understand all the reasons why they did it in Bible times, but I believe there is something special about touching and praying as you call on God's help and guidance.
I am truly excited about what this can mean for us as a congregation. We now have the number of spiritual leaders to truly touch, mentor, and care for every individual in the family. Nineteen elders is not about increasing our number of decision makers but increasing our shepherding. We want everyone connected to the family - growing in love - and deepening their relationship with Jesus. Anything is just playing church. These are all wonderful brothers who represent a wonderful cross-section of our church family. Most of all, they really want to be servants. How can you keep good things from happening when you have those kind of leaders?
God is good!


Deborah said...

Isn't it a great blessing to love and respect your leaders? And, their humility in accepting this challenge is such a testimony to the great shepherds they already are.

elizabeth said...

What a great morning! I love how the people who have been served by the men presented the basins and towels. I imagine that was very touching for everyone involved.