Hello, my name is Jim Orred. I am an American working around the world with Youth With A Mission. We have given of ourselves this season to leadership development, coaching, and consulting, and seeing a generation of young leaders like I have never seen in our entire lives.
Welcome to God Today. I would like to share with you, today, a thought about what leaders do and what God does. You probably know the verse in Isaiah 56 and Jesus quotes it later, saying, “My house will be a house of prayer.” The emphasis is for all peoples. It is not just for a few. It is the verse after that which got my attention recently. We read that, “thus says God who gathers the exiles of Israel, ‘I, God, will gather others to those already gathered.’” I began to think about that. It says three times about God – that He gathers. When you think through the scripture, you see God coming back to Adam after he has messed up. In a general way saying, “Adam, where are you?” I think God knew, but He was starting a conversation. He was wanting to restore and regather someone who was full of shame because of what had happened. You see, the prophets, you see the patriarchs gathering the people of God and creating a nation out of a group of slaves. You see Jesus, who never started an organization, or wrote a book. But, He left one thing. He left a people who knew they belonged to Him and to one another.
After all that, I began to think, this is what leaders do. In a way that fits therspn. So you and I, the rest of our lives, we can gather people, we can do a one-on-one. We can invite someone to sit down, have a cup of coffee, and listen to their story. I used to ponder when Jesus was walking and He saw Zacchaeus up in the tree. He said, “Zacchaeus, I am coming to your house.” Zacchaeus was blessed. Something about Jesus entering his house, and we don’t know the conversation, but we knew that Jesus took time to be with people. He invited them to be with Him. He invited HImself into their lives.
Then there were small groups, then there were the masses. As I began to meditate on the scripture, I thought, “That’s what Paul did.” He would go to a city with a small team. He would find people until there was an established, gathered group. He would take a few of the leaders and go do it again in a new place. Inviting, welcoming, gathering, and trusting God would show up.
I have been so challenged. “Jim, what are you going to do the rest of your life?” You can gather people in a way that fits your personality. My preference is not to speak to 1,000s. My preference would be to speak to one person at a time. Ask good questions, listen to their story, listen to the Holy Spirit, and believe God would encounter them. Give them a prayer, a word, who knows what. I have decided I want to be like God, I want to be like Jesus in that I would be a person to invite others in a way that fits me and hope that God shows up. It’s amazing that God loves to show up when we gather people for some purpose of God. It could be evangelism, it could be equipping, it could be to show mercy to people that are poor. Whatever it is, people love to be invited and if we will keep inviting in a creative way, that fits our culture, and our personalities, I am convinced that Holy Spirit will show up.
I would like to pray for all of you that there would be increased gathering across the nations of the world like never before. Father, I ask you to give a courage, and a warmth in a way that fits cultures and personalities, so people who are yearning to be invited will come. And people will invite them. They will be able to tell their story and connect with other people that know Jesus and connect with the living God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.