“As I Have Loved You”

“Equipping and Encouraging Leaders in Women’s Ministry.”  This is our mission here at LIFT, and it’s one we take very seriously.  Our themes for each year and each LIFT event are formed around this intent and with this prayer–that you will go out from every LIFT event encouraged, and with new ideas and tools to help you in your role as leaders of women.

The LIFT theme for 2016 is “Leading With Love.”  At first glance it seems simple and basic, and obvious.  After all, isn’t this the first thing we’re supposed to do as Christians–to love each other?

In our theme verse for the year, 1 Peter 4:8, Peter urged Christians to continue to show deep love for each other, calling it the most important thing of all.  Then in the first chapter of Peter’s second letter he listed this quality of love as the culmination of Christian growth.

Shortly before His death, when Jesus was giving His final instructions to His disciples in the book of John (see chapters 13-15) He repeated this instruction several times:  ”Love each other.”  But He didn’t leave it at that.  His words took it much deeper.

“Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. . . . So now I am giving you a new commandment:  Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  Matthew 13:33-35

Now that’s a tall order.  The greatest ministry leader who ever lived told us to do it like He did.  The One who set aside all His glory to become one of us.  The One who humbled Himself and laid down His life to prove His love.  ”Love each other like I have loved you,” He said.

As ministry leaders it’s easy to get caught up in programs and Bible studies and organizing events.  Things can get hectic when we have busy schedules and lots of responsibility.  We want to do the best job we possibly can of teaching, leading, and nurturing our members and attracting new people.  And so we should.  These are important pieces of ministry.

Still, we all need to stop from time to time and listen again to the words of Jesus.  ”Love like I do.  When you do, the world will take notice.  That’s when they’ll really know that you belong to Me–when you love like I love.”

I hope you make time to be with us at all four LIFT events this year as we examine this theme of Leading With Love.  And I challenge you to take some quiet moments, as each of us should, to look at the way we lead.  Is our ministry method first and foremost a reflection of the love Jesus showed us?

Love and blessings,

Deborah

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