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Two of the simplest and most fundamental commands of Jesus are to ‘come’ to him and to ‘go’ into the world.  If you have time to scan through the Gospels you’ll see these crop up time and again.

In the complex 21st C. world we live in, it’s sometimes a challenge to simplify life to the extent that we can be obedient to those two fundamental words - ‘come’ and ‘go’.

To see a real resurgence of Christian churches across Wales we will need visionary leaders who know what it means respond to Jesus when he says ‘come’ – by developing regular patterns of personal devotion and seeking out the intimacy of a deep relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and who know what it means to ‘go’ into a broken world as ambassadors of Christ, and as heralds of the good news.

Typically though, most of us leaders more naturally lean towards being ‘comers’ or ‘goers’.  Our most comfortable habitat is either the warmth and intimacy of worship and devotion, or the vibrancy and challenge of mission and outreach, when really we need a blend of both.  To be too wrapped up in receiving a blessing from the Lord means we become self-indulgent and stagnant, but to be preoccupied with being a blessing often means our pool can run dry and we drain our own strength rather than relying on God’s power and presence.

Recently as I’ve been preaching around the nation, I’ve been talking about shepherds and sheep - challenging believers to look like a sheep from the front and a shepherd from the back.  In other words, to follow Jesus as an obedient and trusting sheep follows the Good Shepherd, but also to display the characteristics of a shepherd so that lost sheep are willing to follow us.

Whichever metaphor you prefer - the coming and the going, the sheep and the shepherd, if as leaders we can model both intimacy with God, and engagement with the world, then we’ll reproduce disciples who are like-minded.

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