This article originally appeared on the SCBO website which you can view here.

REVIVE: Christ and His Church: An encouraging day for pastors and church leaders

“Jesus, make whatever adjustments You need to make this next year the most fruitful of my life.” — Richard Blackaby, Blackaby Ministries International

With that prayer on our hearts, Richard Blackaby and Rick Fisher led us to a fresh vision of Jesus, the Head of His church. Blackaby used Revelation 1 to encourage us to turn (1:12) to see Him, the risen Jesus, standing in the midst of His church. “To see a fresh vision of Jesus, we need to change where we are looking,” he shared, “we cannot be discouraged when Jesus walks in our midst.” The question is not “Did Jesus show up today?” but “Did we see Him at work today?” Sharing illustrations from life and ministry, Blackaby reminded us, “The church at Ephesus was doing seven things well, but it only took one thing they were not doing for Jesus to remove their lampstand. ‘You have left your first love.’” (Revelation 2:4)

Rick Fisher, Vice President, BMI, challenged us to develop a praying church. Using 1 Samuel 2:35, he reminded us the leadership mandate is to do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever.” Rick shared, “If you will park your heart before Jesus, He will tell you what you need to know.” When we take the postures of surrender and obedience and spend unhurried time before Jesus, “He lays His heart over our heart.” Fisher quoted Daniel Henderson: “Prayer is a key to preparing our hearts and aligning our wills to His in order to step through the doors of opportunity.”

Richard concluded the afternoon with a word from Numbers 20, “when you find yourself in the wilderness with no water… get into the presence of God and stay there until the glory of the Lord appears.” (20:6) God’s instructions to Moses were different than they had been 40 years earlier. “God often changes the plan, so we trust Him, not the method.” Blackaby shared, “the greatest seduction of leadership is success; we begin to trust and worship previous success or try to copy someone else’s success,” and fail to trust and worship Him alone. Here is Moses, 110 years old, and God wants to teach him a new way to do something. We are so often like Moses, reverting to the way we did it before, speaking of how “we” will lead His church, seeking His glory for ourselves. (20:10-12) We speak of “my church”“my staff”“my people”“my ministry;” and Jesus says, “I don’t recall giving my church to you.”

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