From the General Secretary: A Way of Life
By Tom De Vries
In a world where every profession has its own set of consultants and where there’s pressure to improve our productivity and success, the writer of Hebrews invites us to a different way of living: “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7, NIV).
Reflect on these words for a moment. Who in your life spoke the Word of God to you? Perhaps it was a parent, a grandparent, a neighbor, or a Sunday school teacher. Maybe it was a teacher, a family friend, or a leader in your community.
If you focus on how that person lived his or her life, what do you notice? What qualities did you admire? What did you appreciate most about his or her approach? What would imitating his or her faith look like?
Take some time to examine your own life now. Who has God entrusted you to lead? Who are the emerging leaders in your sphere of influence to whom you are intentionally speaking the Word of God? How are you ensuring that the outcome of your way of life and your faith are worthy of imitation? What might need to change?
I invite you to now fast forward to the end of your life. At the end of our lives, I hope that each of us has listened to the Word of God that our leaders have spoken to us. I hope that we are able to say that we have served God’s purpose in our generation. J. Oswald Sanders, in his book Spiritual Leadership, offers a guide for what it might look like:
If the world is to hear the church’s voice today, leaders are needed who are authoritative, spiritual, and sacrificial. Authoritative, because people desire leaders who know where they are going and are confident of getting there. Spiritual, because without a strong relationship to God, even the most attractive and competent person can not lead people to God. Sacrificial, because this follows the model of Jesus, who gave himself for the whole world and who calls us to follow in his steps.
What does it look like for you to serve God’s purpose?
Tom De Vries is general secretary of the Reformed Church in America.