Last week, I had the privilege of attending the annual CANA Council with Restoration’s other representatives–David Hanke, Richard Hines, and Ramsey Wilson. One of the highlights was Bishop Martyn Minns’s annual Pastoral Call to all the CANA churches. Restoration got a special shout-out, and Bishop Minns put forward a bold vision for what it means for us to “be Church in the world” — to be faithful witnesses to Christ who are engaged in the world around us without being consumed by its values.
Bishop Minns looked at Hebrews 12:28 – 13:14 as a description of that kind of church. You can read the full text of his talk here, but I wanted to share one passage that really grabbed my attention:
THEY LIVE BY FAITH – Leaders are people of faith living in such a way that if God fails to come through they are through! They are the people that I want to follow!
Notice also that the text assumes that there will always be a plurality of leaders. Biblical leadership is always shared leadership. The Bible knows nothing of the solitary clergy leader that is so prevalent in our churches today.
We should also remember that in addition to bishops, priests and deacons the New Testament makes clear that the church needs some to be “apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”22
I look forward to the day when CANA has many more of these kinds of leaders.
As someone who has the privilege to be one of the leaders of Restoration, I feel totally convicted, challenged, and humbled by that first sentence. To live in such a way that if God doesn’t come through, I am through… Wow. I would love to live that way (I think!) but acknowledge that so often I don’t. I am wrestling and praying through what that looks like. I would love your prayers as I do!
I also find this passage hugely encouraging. Because I look around Restoration and, in so many ways, see exactly the kind of church that Bishop Minns is talking about. Restoration is a place blessed with so many gifted leaders. Not just the staff, but the vestry, small group leaders, our outreach team, children’s small group leaders… So many of you are sharing the gifts that God has given you in so many creative ways. Our church is enormously blessed by it, and God is using you to build his kingdom! So be encouraged — I am!
And I am so grateful to be on this adventure with you…