(A Feedback To An Editorial in Harvest Times Magazine)
A Response to an editorial “Developers or Mere Users? written by Br. Sam N Jacob, The Chief Editor of "Harvest Times For Your Family", Printed and Published by the Gospel Literature Service (GLS) Mumbai.
|The Cover Page of the Magazine|
Recently I had a conversation with a prominent Bible School teacher (not from Brethren Bible School) from Kerala. He narrated an incident from his childhood days that really shocked me. His parents and grand parents were from the brethren background and even some of the family members were evangelists too.
He said, “From my young age I had the desire to do something for the Lord, and was very active in Sunday School etc. One day in the worship service he was about to get up to give some exhortation an elderly person (an elder of the assembly) raised his and said, “Eda Cherukka Avide irikke” (Hey, boy sit there!!), they did not allow him to participate in any of the assembly activities and that incident paved way for him to leave the assembly for ever. Since he was having the desire to do something for the Lord’s kingdom, Lord lead him to other pasture. Sometime later that young man got an offer to study in a Bible School (not of Brethren). He with full happiness joined at once and completed his three year biblical studies and he developed his preaching skill. Now he is a good preacher and a teacher in that same Bible College were he studied. The Lord is using him mightily for His service.
Your editorial points a finger towards such incidents in our assemblies. One cannot understand the behavior of some of the elderly elders in our assemblies. I don’t know why they are not showing or following at least an iota of our Lord’s mind. Many a times we lack to see this in the life of the believers in the assembly. Recently a young man while giving a short message to a small gathering he pointed out this vital truth to the congregation, He said, “Our Lord Jesus was so humble and simple why can’t we adopt a little of his nature in our daily life, it’s really so sad to note that we really lack in this area very miserably”. He urged the audience, “Let us have the mind of our Lord whom we preach and serve. We need to adopt His humility in our life, and then others will see Christ in us.” This young man brought out the vital need of the present assemblies or the believers. Each and every believer’s bounden duty is to show His Savior’s humility in all of our actions.
As Paul said we are his News the people around us are reading each of us through our actions. Let the people around us see Christ and his nature in us. Let us have the mind of Christ and give opportunities to our growing young generation. Let us give a helping hand to the weak. Let us develop and mold them to the service of Lord. In many of our assemblies especially in Kerala, opportunities are denied and thus many youngsters are hiding or ruining their God given abilities or talents. Most of the assemblies outside of Kerala is an exception to this. Though there are elderly elders they try to encourage and develop the youngsters in every possible way to do their part in the assembly for the glory of God. If our assembly elders and the responsible ones do not adopt such method no doubt we will loose many of our talented youngsters from our assemblies.
Your editorial is an eye opener to many of our assemblies especially many in our Kerala region. Thank you for bringing out such a thought provoking and serious issue through your editorial for the benefit of the readers of this magazine.
The time is up our elderly ones to think seriously on this matter. Develop and encourage your younger generation to the forefront for the glory of our Lord. This is the time for you to take rest and give back your places to the coming generation. When I said ‘rest’ it does not mean that a complete break from the service of the Lord instead be at the behind of the younger ones and guide them properly by pointing out their shortcomings with loving words not of a harsh attitude but of the mind of our Lord. Paul while writing to the Philippians, said, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interest, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil.2:4-5).
If we do not have this mind of Christ, our assemblies will definitely face a kind of dryness. No doubt our elderly ones did their job tremendously for the sake of Christ and the extension of His kingdom in a very commendable way. Now it is our younger generations turn, let them (youngsters) do their part, and let us allow them to do it. Such Christ like attitude will definitely pave way to the younger generation to do great things for their Lord. I praise God for the good number of our assemblies those who are following Christ’s method in assembly procedures. May the Lord help us.