"He said also to the man who had invited him, 'When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just'" (Luke 14:12-14, ESV).
homeless shelter for him to stay. This young man graduated high school at 16 and was now all on his own. One of our church members helped him get a seasonal job, but he only had a scooter to get from place to place and the job was a good distance from the homeless shelter.
My family has always invited people who did not have a place to go for Thanksgiving lunch at our house. Several of dad's work friends who lived out of the country often joined us, but this year we also invited Curtis, the young man from church.
One night my dad drove Curtis back to the homeless shelter he had been staying at. The residents of the shelter were all divorced men who were over 40 years old with no place to stay. It really bothered my dad that such a young man had to stay there because his family did not want him. So my dad talked it over with us. We had already invited him to Thanksgiving but we knew we needed to do more. So in the middle of the Thanksgiving cleaning we also cleaned out a room by moving both of my brothers into one room. We moved in a bed and asked Curtis if he would stay with us.
The night before Thanksgiving he moved in and even helped us to clean the house. My brothers and I learned a lot about being thankful that year after seeing all that had transpired with Curtis. We had a family that loved and took care of us. We had a home that kept us safe. We had food that was not just Hot Pockets. We were very blessed and had a lot to be thankful for, no matter what our circumstances were.
In this verse in Luke 14, I am reminded of our tradition and how it brought us a new family member. When we open our table to the poor and needy we do not need an earthly reward. When we live for Christ, our goal should always be on heavenly blessings rather than earthly ones. If we can open our table and bring more people to Christ, then that is exactly what we need to do.
As Christians, we are called to be a light in this dark world -- to bring hope and peace. We see in 1 Corinthians 10:31 to do all things for the glory of God even while eating or drinking. So why should that not include our table? It is not always convenient or easy to open our homes and our table and let others in, but when we allow Christ in on all our plans, He can do something amazing with it -- even bring in a new family member.
So my hope and prayer is that we can all see and think of ways to be a light in someone's dark world today and that we would listen to what God may be asking of us even in this busy holiday season. In this scary and uncertain time, people need hope and joy now more than ever! Let us be that hope and joy for someone this Thanksgiving season. So, how will you use your table to bless the poor and hurt this holiday season?
Before getting started with this post, I want to let you know this post was formatted for viewing on a desktop, not on a phone or mobile device. If you are viewing this on a device, that is absolutely fine, just a warning that it will look a little weird on your screen.
At my church we are walking through the book of Exodus chapter by chapter. We are in the section of the plagues of Egypt. I remember talking to a foreign exchange student I was friends with about how the ten plagues of Egypt opposed a specific god (or in some cases, more than one god). I had sent a picture where I connected the plague with the god the plague opposed and told them I would do some research on how exactly the plague opposed that god.
Here is that research.
year thereafter, the Nile flooded, overflowing after catching Isis' tears while she mourned the death of her husband. When the Nile flooded, Hapi would bring silt to the river's banks, causing fertile soil. Although we do not know exactly when the plague happened, the river turning to blood would not make Hapi or Sobek look good.
"The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water" (Exodus 7:21, NIV). This would show that neither Hapi nor Sobek had power over the river, nor could they protect the life around the river.
Because Geb was the god of the earth, it would not look good for him when the dust of the earth turns into gnats (or lice) and attacks the people of Egypt and their livestock. This would prove to the Egyptians that Geb did not have any real power over the earth.
the plague of hail would challenge his might and power as much as it challenged Nut's, the locusts being sent via a wind (close enough to a storm) from the desert, that would definitely have called his power into question.
The text does not specify whether the Israelites were protected from either the hail or the locusts, but if they were subject to these plagues alongside the Egyptians, it would seem odd for the god of foreigners to attack foreigners living in Egypt.
Then, after Pharaoh asks Moses to send the locusts away, God changes the direction of the wind, causing the locusts to leave. A god of disorder would most likely not do that, showing the Egyptians Set obviously had no hand in this plague, therefore showing them that this Hebrew God had more power than Set.
company or to assist him in his mission. Some of the more common assistants were Sia (Saa), the god of perception, Hu, the god of command, Heka, the goddess of magic, Mehen, the god of snakes and Set. Sia and Hu would be in a particularly tough spot, given their domains of rule.
the home. Bes was originally a protector of Pharaoh, but eventually moved on to watch over women and children. However, he must have been taking the night off when the angel of death visited the houses that did not mark their doorways with lamb's blood. Bes even failed his first job to protect Pharaoh and his family since even Pharaoh was not safe from the angel of death.
These plagues demonstrated to the Egyptians that Pharaoh was no god, and the "gods" of Egypt had no power and could not stand against the God of the Hebrews, Yahweh. The One who really created the world and actually rules and has power and authority over everything.
As I have had the opportunity to travel the world, to places where the Gospel has scarcely been -- or been at all in some places -- I have noticed a distinct difference in the people that begin to follow Jesus. The Gospel they hear is the same. It is not presented any more eloquently in one place than the other, with the exception of a person here and there of clear discernable speech or with charismatic ability to communicate, even still there are and have been those in each place.
That being said, people come to Christ and are saved by Christ with the same Word of God, the same Gospel in Africa, Asia and Europe as they are in Australia and North or South America. Not by the ability of man, but by the power of God. For it is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), so no one can boast, other than in the power of God.
All that to say: What do you do after someone gives their life to Christ? Easy answer: You disciple them. But how?
In certain places, such as South Asia, the process is easy and people buy in immediately. You team them biblical, simple reproducing tools to be a disciple that makes disciples and they do it. In areas where there are few believers and the only example they see is exactly that, bought in and sold out. Those believers are disciples that make disciples by training people in the Commands of Christ seen in the New Testament, no matter the push back that may come with the surroundings they live in.
But, if the only thing they see in Christians being disciples that are training up others to be disciples, then they know that making disciples is also their role as a follower in Christ. On the other hand, in places where I have grown up and spent the majority of my life, Oklahoma, where discipleship seems to be -- or is assumed to be -- more complicated, we do not see a consistent theme of people being disciples that make disciples. The problem that comes with that is people seem to not know what to do. They read the Bible and know they are supposed to make disciples, but the examples that they look up to are not doing it.
We see "good" Christians that go to church every time the doors are open and believe that is what it means to be a disciple, and that is the end of it. They go to church, pray a prayer, say the right words, get involved at church during their services and that is it. What is missing with that? The relationship, challenge, authority and obedience pieces to the Christian walk as you follow Christ.
There are seven commands that we use as launch pads to start the discipleship process that mobilizes us to our neighbors and the nations. The commands are repent and believe, be baptized, go and make disciples, love, pray, Lord's supper and give.
If we grasp and practice these commands, we will see people that are disciples that make disciples. Then we will see more people living out that discipleship focused lifestyle that urges us to obedience. People will see this great example and want to live it out as well.
Instead of the mixed messaging of silence and staying in the box of cultural Christianity, let us be not only bold Gospel sharers, but also bold Jesus disciples. Let us multiply His image more than we multiply anything else.
I know the title comes from a song in the children's movie Frozen 2, but I feel like it perfectly describes my life and my semester. All summer long, I could not wait to get away from home, get out of quarantine and finally get to be in a different place. I just knew that I was going to be making tons of friends, hanging out all the time and living the best possible life I could.
I was so ready to take that giant leap of faith. Boy, let me tell you, this leap has grown my faith a lot. I got to Tahlequah the Wednesday before classes started. It was nothing like I thought it was going to be. I would love to write about how it was just sunshine and rainbows from the moment I stepped onto campus, but that would be a huge lie.
After I got here, I had a huge realization: I hardly knew anyone.
I did not have friends here. I did not have the safety net I was always use to having. Growing up in a small town, I had the same three best friends for as long as I could remember. I went to my first year of college in my hometown and was still surrounded by people I knew. I made friends at NEO super easily because I was involved in the BCM before the school year even started.
But here I am now, in this unfamiliar town with people I do not know. I realized for the first time that I have never had to organically make my own friends before. People had always just been there for me. But now, I was all alone. Let me tell you -- I felt it. Thinking back on those first several weeks is so hard because I was so sad and lonely. No part of me felt like I belonged and I was so confused and angry at God. I had been dreaming of this all summer and God finally put me where I wanted to be but I was miserable.
I did not stay this way for too long, though. After a couple of weeks I made a friend. She was really sweet and we would go get coffee and hang out. I really needed that. After a couple more weeks, I decided that I was finally ready to get out of my comfort zone and actively try to get involved in the BCM instead of pouting because my life was so sad. To my astonishment, it actually worked.
It was almost instantaneous that I admitted to God I was finally ready to really trust in His plan for me here in Tahlequah and just like that, I was asked to help one night at Impact. I finally felt like I could have a place to belong.
Obviously that one night did not take away all of my sadness, and there are still days where I miss the security I had at my previous school, but every day is getting better. I am growing relationships and realizing things about myself that I did not know before. I am allowing God to work in me even when I am not sure what the outcome will be.
Being a transfer student is hard. Especially when a previous BCM painted a specific picture in my head and the new one is completely different. I came in thinking I would get to rule the roost, but God was wanting me to learn that serving does not always have to be right in the spotlight. I have learned that in times of confusion, unfamiliarity and loneliness that He still has a plan for me. I had to put in some effort, but once I did, He provided more than I could have ever hoped for.
So, from a transfer student to anyone that is feeling the way I did, I have some advice:
First of all, know that it is okay to feel lonely sometimes. But do not let yourself stay in that mindset. I found that getting involved was what I needed to do. It was scary to offer to do something that I was not sure what would happen, but it was such a wonderful decision. Be vulnerable with how you are feeling and talk to people if you need to. The person you talk to may not be able to solve your problem but getting it off your chest is a huge step. Let God work in your life with His timing and be open to the blessings He will provide.
Stay strong, friends! We serve an awesome God!
Sometimes you just have to laugh at the devil. He is so painfully obvious. Like how the dryer goes out on a Monday morning when you are already a week behind on laundry. Then, when you get in the car to take the load of wet clothes (which just happen to be all of the work clothes you own) to use the dryers at the laundromat, you get a dashboard light warning of two low tires, low fuel and you have an hour and a half to be at work. That is the kind of thing he can use to get you riled up and self-focused if you let him.
But as it turns out, I like the laundromat. The laundromat is a wonderful place to ponder. What else is there to do? I have always been amazed at the efficiency of the machines that can wash a load in 20 minutes. As I sit there, I share a dream with Tracy Turnblad's mom* of owning a coin-operated laundromat someday.
Scripture is full of references of us sheep and of our Father, the Good Shepherd. We are in His service and are therefore called to tend His sheep. In John 21:15-17, we see Jesus' conversation with Peter. Christ is reminding Peter what it is to truly love Him. Essentially, tend His sheep and follow Him.
When I think about tending sheep, I must first think of my own relationship with the Good Shepherd. I must have a humble, loving and teachable spirit toward Him and those He has purposed in my life to tend me. I think of my quiet time, time spent in His Word, time in prayer, time of confession and repentance, time just thinking about Him and wondering over Him. Time as we search my heart together and I call on Him to mold me and make me into who He has called me to be and to serve well those whom He has called me to serve.
Have I been tending to that? These times are both intentional and stolen. Stolen back from the devil even as I find myself sitting at the laundromat again on a Sunday night, at peace with an inconvenience that actually bought me more time with Jesus and more time to think about His sheep He has entrusted to me. This time I share with Him is so important -- I cannot forget that. After all, I am a sheep too -- His sheep (John 10, 1 Peter 5:5, Psalms 51:17).
Tending my sheep also pertains to fulfilling the call of my life to share the Gospel, with a special focus on the people I am called to serve with. Coming beside them and walking them home, being real and vulnerable with each other, sharing with them who Christ is and how they can know Him (Matthew 28:18-20, James 5:16).
Tending my sheep, my herd, my little lambs -- my family. They are my responsibility, a gift, and I love them (Proverbs 31, Ephesians 6:2-3).
Tending my sheep is serving my local church and my community.
Tending my sheep is taking care of my profession, business and my home so that I can serve efficiently in other areas. It is becoming a master of my craft and the call of my vocation to the glory of the Father who gave me these specific gifts and opportunities (Proverbs 27:23-27).
Tending my sheep is also, "Other duties as assigned". I think of Colossians 3:23-24:
"Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve" (AMP).
In this moment, I will switch my six loads of laundry, share the Scripture I just came across with my friend and see where that takes us, and I will tend my sheep.
"What is your motive for serving Me?"
That is the question the Lord has been asking me a lot over the last couple of months. To preface what I am about to talk about, I have been experiencing a period of refining in my spiritual life. What I mean by that is that the Lord has been removing the parts of me that are not like Him and replacing them with more of Himself. When you give the Lord your yes to refine you, you do not know what that is going to look like. You do not know what He is going to reveal in your life that you have hidden deep in the recesses of yourself.
One thing I have been learning is that I have a lot of pride. Specifically, the calling God Himself placed on my life. I had bowed my heart to the position instead of the Giver of the position. I had taken more pride in the calling than developing the connection with the Giver of the calling. I had forsaken my source.
I heard a quote a few months ago that brought me to my knees before Jesus and is still bringing me back to that place even now. It goes like this: "Consider this: How much of our time with Jesus and serving Him is influenced by our desire to get what we want? We may have spent time in God's Word, prayed, fasted, served vigorously in the church and other ministries with the underlying thought, 'How can I do things for God to get ME into MY purpose?'"
If you felt that hit you like a train, then you are experiencing how it hit me. Serving God should never be about ourselves. Ephesians 2:1-6 reminds us of who it is all about:
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience -- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ -- by grace you have been saved -- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (ESV).
It is always and forever about Jesus. We were dead. We were powerless in changing our situation. We were by nature children of wrath...but God!
The only reason we can experience true life, incalculable love, mercy, joy and peace from our position in the heavenly places is because of the One True King: King Jesus. No amount of prayer, service, reading of the Word, fasting or any other work that we do is sufficient. Our heart should be after one thing and one thing only: Jesus Himself.
We should desire to dwell in His presence continually, walking in a real relationship with Him because of what He did. Everything else -- the calling, the ministry, the time spent in the Word, prayer and fasting -- will all flow from the relationship we have with Him. It should forever be about Him!
This week we have been looking at the APEST groups on our Facebook and Instagram pages. APEST is an interesting topic, and I compare it to the Briggs-Myers and the Enneagram tests. There are different groups that do not necessarily define who you are, but give common characteristics you may share with people in your APEST group.
"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ," (Ephesians 4:11-12, ESV).
The APEST groups contribute to the idea of the body of Christ. "Now if the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body" (1 Corinthians 12:15-20, NIV).
We are all parts of the Body, and different body parts have different functions. The hand has its function. The foot has a different function. Every part functions differently and almost no two parts work the same.
APEST separates us into our groups so that we can recognize and understand what our function is. Normally, you are either more on the APE side, or more on the ST side. This is not to say that you cannot be a Shepherd and a Prophet, but it is normally one or the other.
I lean more towards the ST side. I love studying God's Word and relaying the information I learn to others, meaning I am a Teacher. I am also very protective of my friends and prefer to keep a small, consistent circle, meaning I am a Shepherd. By recognizing I am a Shepherd and a Teacher, I can better utilize myself for the Kingdom.
I realize that I am not an Evangelist, which means I am not good at going out and bringing people in. Because I realize I am a Shepherd, I know that I am better at taking the people the Evangelists are able to bring in and raise them up through discipleship.
The APEST groups are not meant to put anyone above anyone else. No one group is better or worse than the others. Prophets are not closer to God than anyone else. Shepherds are not more pious than the other groups. Evangelists are not better Christians than the other groups. Apostles are not necessarily better equipped to be leaders. Teachers are not necessarily smarter than the other groups. We are all parts of the Body. Just because we function differently does not make anyone more or less useful.
The APEST groups are meant to help us realize our roll and get a better understanding of how to play our part in extending the Kingdom of God. An Evangelist's talents might be better utilized out of small group, while a Shepherd's talents are better utilized in small group. The APEST groups help us to understand where our place is so we do not try to fill in someone else's place.
Do you want to find out some idea of where your APEST group is? Click the button below, and you will be redirected to the Fivefold Spiritual Gifts Test found on designdiscovery.com and let us know what your results are! It may not be 100% correct, but it can certainly point you in the right direction.
To give you an example, I took the test and here are my results: Apostle - 53%, Prophet - 73%, Evangelist - 53%, Shepherd (the results will say "Pastor" but it means the same thing) - 62%, Teacher - 67%.
I said I was a Shepherd and a Teacher, but my results say I am a Prophet, Apostle and Evangelist as well. You will have a little of everything, but you will lean more in one direction. For me, I lean more toward Shepherd and Teacher, but I still have some of the qualities and flaws the Prophets, Apostles and Evangelists have. I am just better suited at being a Shepherd and Teacher (and Prophet) than an Apostle and Evangelist. Not that that is not my place, but I would not necessarily excel in that area.
To read more on the APEST groups, here is a PDF by Remedy Church.
Does anyone ever feel ready to transition in life? I think transitions are always happening but sometimes we never notice them until we look back and see the changes that have happened along the way.
It is the big life changes that we can see that I have never ever enjoyed. Transitions are never easy for me. I do not enjoy change and I struggle to embrace it. It is ironic, though, that I felt the Lord calling me to move over 800 miles away from the only place I have ever lived.
I absolutely loved college and that season of my life. It was the place where I finally figured out my identity in Christ, found the most genuine community and was challenged to live my life devoted in obedience to Christ. Why would I want to leave the place that seemed so good for me? I dreaded the thought of what my life would look like after I graduated.
Once August of my senior year rolled around, God began to stir in my heart and called me out from this place of familiarity and comfort. He was calling me to something I would have never chosen on my own. I had finally understood that if I wanted to be "all in" in following Jesus, I could not just ignore and disobey the prompting of the Lord to leave everything I knew.
Just like when the Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you" (Genesis 12:1, ESV). I felt that same call. God was asking me to leave all I knew. My family that I love so much, the deep relationships in the community of believers I had surrounded myself with and the security in my plan rather than His plan.
He was calling me away from this life of comfort that I had created, to a life of walking in complete obedience. This sounded completely scary at first. How was I supposed to say yes to something that I had zero answers to? I would often ask God, "Where am I going? For how long? What will I do there?" and each question was met with a response similar to Jesus' words of "Follow me."
It really is that simple. If we are willing to follow Jesus, we are going to be transformed. When I pursue an intimate, personal relationship with God, I am not looking to myself, but rather seeking first the Kingdom. My focus shifts from "How does this affect my life?" to "How does this affect the Kingdom?"
This change in perspective is huge and completely changed the way I make decisions. I no longer wanted to live a life full of self-centeredness where I was in control, but I desired to see God move in ways I have never seen. I desired for God to use me to accomplish it. It all begins with the simple obedience of following Him.
As we face transitions and changes in life, we must remember who is in control. I am definitely not. And praise God for that!
We can try to plan it all out and watch our efforts fail when it does not happen or we can surrender now. Do not wait for the next change to come before you start walking in daily obedience to a relationship with Christ. Spend time in His Word and watch your heart and mind be transformed. He is working and He wants to use you.
All you have to do is say yes and follow Him.
At the beginning of this school year, everything was confusing. There was fear and uncertainty everywhere. Nobody knew whether schools were going to be in person or online. If they were all online would they let students still be on campus? Nobody knew for a while.
Then, school started. They allowed students on campus and it seems -- from the outside looking in -- that it is just normal life to go to classes and wear your masks and such. Amidst all that was, and still is going on, we as Christians have to ask ourselves: What are we doing for the Kingdom?
This question is pretty heavy. I think during quarantine and uncertainty, we took our eyes off of our job that was commanded by Christ in Matthew 28:18-20, which says:
"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All Authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, until the very end of the age'" (NIV).
This is one of our most important commands that Christ has given us, because if we are not going out and making disciples, then the world will grow further and further away from God. Some of you may be thinking that the world is so much farther from God than it has been since Noah's time, and you may be right. However, thinking about it that way shows us one thing: We have failed as disciples of Christ.
Instead of going out and being disciples that make disciples, we do our own thing. We do what we want to do. We are a busy group of people. We fill our schedules so full that we do not have time to dive into God's Word and pray, let alone go tell people the Gospel of Christ.
That kind of makes things a little sad, but there is hope. As I'm reading through the book of Acts, I see Peter step up in the first couple of chapters and sharing the Gospel, after being given boldness from the Spirit. When he shares the Gospel, literally thousands of people come to know Christ. Not only are they coming to know Christ, but Peter and the apostles disciple them and teach them to go out and do the same exact thing that they are doing -- sharing the Gospel. Reading about the things that God did through Peter gets me fired up, but also shows me that I am not doing enough.
We all have to sit back and ask ourselves: What are we doing for the Kingdom? Not only do we need to ask that question, but we need to answer it honestly. Our sole purpose in life should be the advancement of the Gospel to make disciples. Basically, be disciples that make disciples.
Any person who has a relationship with Christ can go share the Gospel, because the Gospel is all you need. Just for reference, the Gospel is this: Because Adam and Eve sinned in the beginning, every single person is born into sin. We know from Romans 6:23 that "the wages of sin are death" (NIV). Because we are born into sin, we have to die. Because we are born into son, we should have to spend eternity separated from God.
However, because of God's unfathomable love, He gave us a way to Himself -- He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life and die on the cross. He took the punishment of death that each and every one of us deserve. Because of this, when we repent from our ways and put our trust in Him, He (Jesus) connects the once broken relationship between us and the Father.
That is the Gospel. That is the good news. That is what and why we should be sharing it with others, because without the Gospel, there is no way to have a relationship with God; this means people without the Gospel have to suffer the full punishment of their consequences and be eternally separated from God in hell. That should encourage all of us to go out and share the Gospel with every person we see.
So, I will ask again: What are you doing for the Kingdom?
Are you interested in getting to know people from other cultures? Do you want to grow in your walk with Jesus by studying the Bible and sharing Him with others? Then you should consider joining the NSU BCM's International Student Ministry.
I got involved with this ministry two semesters ago after the former coordinator, Maddi Rogers, invited me to a Bible study for international students that met in her apartment every Thursday. It was such a neat experience to study the Bible with people from literally all over the world. I got to meet people from South America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Some were Christians, some were not. Getting to be a part of sharing Jesus with them was awesome.
Jesus has called us to reach the nations in His name, and here at NSU, He is sending the nations to us. Serving with ISM presents a cool opportunity to build relationships with the international students on campus. We get to love them, learn from them and share Jesus with them.
Starting September 24, we are having a Bible study for international students at the BCM at 8 p.m. on Thursdays. If you know any international students, please invite them. In addition to the Bible study, we can serve internationals by inviting them to church, giving them rides to the store and just being a friend to them.
If you are interested in this awesome opportunity to make Jesus known to people from all over the world, text me at (405) 435-5685 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Introverts, extroverts, guys, girls, internationals and Americans are welcome to join the team. All you need in order to join is a relationship with Jesus and a desire to make Him known.
Members of leadership include