The Gift of Words

The Gift of Words

“I can’t participate more in my church because I just don’t have the time to do a good job.”

“I’m not educated enough to be a leader for my congregation.” 

“I don’t have the gifts that a pastor does.” 

Have you ever heard these comments or even thought them yourself? Sometimes, as a layman, it is easy to have these thoughts since there are often already delegated leaders for your congregation and a Pastor to organize and lead.

But… what if your congregation didn’t have a permanent pastor, or leadership?

I have been continually inspired and blessed by the men in our Chile congregations who, despite having full-time jobs and/or doubts, continually step up to lead our congregations with humble and giving hearts.

Here, I would love to share about one specific man in our congregation. Let’s call him Jorge because if he knew I was writing about him I truly think his humble heart would explode!

Jorge is an incredibly kind man who faithfully brings his family (and extended family) to church every Sunday. His powerful voice often leads hymns and keeps you engaged during bible readings. He seriously does have a permanent twinkle in his eye, and when he talks you want to listen.

More recently Jorge has been encouraged to step us as the president of our Linares congregation. While our congregations in Santiago have vicars leading them under the guidance of Pastor Erickson, the Linares congregation does not. This means that the president of our Linares congregation has quite a few responsibilities including those that a pastor/vicar normally does. It’s a big and extremely important job for our church, and a job that many people, including myself, believed Jorge to be perfect for.

Jorge’s reaction included many of the questions that I listed at the beginning of this blog. He was mostly concerned about being the best fit for the job, wanting more time and biblical education. He knew how important this job was and was scared that he could not fully fill the needs of our congregation.

Jorge’s reaction reminded me so much of Jeremiah and Moses of the Old Testament, who just didn’t know if they were right for the jobs God had given to them.

 

Jeremiah 1:4-9

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. 

“Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” 

But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.

Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.” 

Just like Jeremiah, Jorge was concerned about the role God was giving to him, BUT just like Jeremiah, God promises Jorge and each of us that:

  • He knows us intimately.
  • He has appointed us for service in His kingdom.
  • He is with us; we should not be afraid.
  • He gives us the words to speak.

 

The beautiful ending to this story and little glimpse into our church is that at the last council meeting Jorge was voted to be president of our church, and he accepted!

That very Saturday we stopped by church to find Jorge and his kids cleaning and doing yard work– getting the church ready for Sunday. On Sunday, Jorge lead the congregation in worship and read the sermon sent to us by Pastor and the vicars in Santiago.

Jorge wasn’t sure if he was right for the job. However, he trusted in God and accepted the position and is now an even bigger blessing for our congregation than before.

 

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National Synod Convention. The men featured include Pastor Erickson, the vicars, and delegates from our churches. The lady featured is Chelsea who attended the meeting to present on the English program.

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President of the Chilean churches: Presidente Vicario Mario Gálvez

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Vicario Guillermo Ruz

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Vicario Victor Henríquez

 

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