It has been a trying week but God often has a way of providing an uplifting experience, exactly when you need it most. I was asked to speak to a group of youth at a retreat from churches throughout the area. There were hundreds of young people on a beautiful Saturday morning gathering for worship. The music was loud and exciting and full of praise for God. The kids were singing and shouting their love for Jesus. How could I not be thrilled?
Just before the service started, a young man told me that he was committing his life to ministry. For right now that meant working with youth but he was open to going wherever God led. God moved in his life and he was already taking a leadership role with other youth in his church. Soon, he will be attending seminary and starting an exciting journey of service.
I felt energized as a lead
er watching the passion and commitment of the youth and their leaders? Now, hundreds of young people will be returning to their churches with new ideas and a renewed passion for serving Jesus Christ.
My daily reading included this passage from Leviticus: “Moses took the fat of the bull…. On top of this he placed a thin cake of bread made without yeast… He put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons, and he lifted them up as a special offering to the LORD. This was the ordination offering. It was a pleasing aroma, a special gift presented to the LORD. Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood that was on the altar, and he sprinkled them on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. In this way, he made Aaron and his sons and their garments holy.” (Parts of Leviticus 8:26-30)
In the midst of leading wor
ship Moses carefully and deliberately put the objects of worship, in this case, the fat of the bull and fruit of the harvest and put them in the hands of new leadership, namely Aaron and his sons. This was called an ordination offering. Then Moses took anointing oil and the blood and sprinkled them on Aaron and his sons symbolizing the recognition and the holy anointing of new leadership.
I cannot think of anything we do as the church that could be more important than how we train and nourish new leaders in service of Jesus Christ.
The youth at the retreat were being nurtured and trained for service and leadership. Objects of worship, in this case, the opportunity to sing, to pray and share testimony was put in their hands and became an ordination offering. The services, small groups, shared meals and fellowship became a part of the holy anointing of new leadership.
John Maxwell writes: “The interaction between every leader and follower is a relationship, and all relationships will either add to or subtract from a person’s life. The bottom line in leadership isn’t how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others. The key question: “Are you making things better for the people who follow you?”
“Are you making things better for the people who follow you?”
I was privileged to witness a wonderful example where hundreds of youth were nurtured, trained, anointed and made holy in preparation for service and leadership.
Maxwell ended his devotion with the following poem:
My life shall touch a dozen lives before the day is done,
Leave countless marks for good or ill ere sets the evening sun,
This is the wish I always wish, the prayer I always pray;
Lord, may my life help other lives it touches by the way.