By Lisa Sero
Precept Bible Study Leader, Simcoe, Ontario.
My husband likes trains. If we’re out, and spot a train, he’s sure to comment on it – with great enthusiasm! Sometimes the train is sitting on a siding, the cars are all linked together, and ready to travel in one direction as a unit. But nothing is happening. The train just sits there. Sometimes the trains shuffle back and forth in the yard, from one track to another, but there is no forward motion. We enjoy watching them move, but again, nothing really happens. What catches our imagination is when we see one flying down the tracks. When the train rides the rails properly, it fulfills its purpose. Its goal is accomplished, the destination reached, and the goods are delivered.
Many of us are shuffling back and forth like a train on a siding. We’re not making any forward progress. Our heart’s desire is to see our students flourish in their walk with the Lord, and we do our best week-by-week to encourage growth through inductive study. We have a destination, but we’re not always sure how to get there, or even what help there might be along the way. We can feel isolated in our task, and remain unsure about what our purpose really is.
Precept’s mission—To Establish people in God’s Word—is clear. But it was not always easy for me to see how I fit in to that mission. Attending the Precept Mission and Vision Days opened my eyes to the great work that God can do in Canada through every Precept group.
Since my husband has taken up his train hobby, I’ve learned a new vocabulary: rolling stock, couplers, roundhouses, GP9s, or motive power. Defining terms means that we understand one another—not only in the world of trains but in ministry too. I have been given the ‘vocabulary’ that defines my task, and sense a unity that links me together with other leaders. We share one goal and one task. The Vision and Mission of Precept is our mission; it belongs not only to the “staff” of the ministry, but it belongs to everyone involved with Precept—staff, students, and leaders. God can work right across Canada to do far beyond what I can imagine in my corner of the country. With renewed focus and with ongoing encouragement from the ministry team, we are now free to ‘ride the rails.’
I have sharpened my focus and am leading with the Vision & Mission statement of the ministry in mind. I know that ‘down the track, at the end of the ride,’ there should be exemplary followers of Christ that are actively serving God in whatever area He has gifted them. When I sit down to study, or to lead our group, my focus is now to work with the Holy Spirit, to encourage those in our class to study inductively, view the world biblically, disciple others intentionally and serve the church faithfully.
When we met for the Mission and Vision Days, we were encouraged to wrestle with the Mission and Vision, and to imagine how it could look in our own area of service. As we shared ideas, and began to think ‘outside the box,’ it became exciting to envision where God can take us.
My new focus as a Bible study leader is to encourage every member to seek God’s will to determine how she can become involved in equipping others. I have reminded them that every one of us has a gift, and God can take that gift to build His kingdom in ways that are far beyond what we can imagine. Understanding that God can do super abundantly above all that we can ask or think, means that we can respond to His working in us by using our gift in the specific area that is our passion.
I am praying and asking God to lead us beyond tradition, “outside the box.” God’s inherent power, based on His character, and the promise of His “sure and certain word” (1 Cor. 1:20) absolutely guarantees that He will do exceedingly, super-abundantly beyond all that I can even begin to imagine. In Ephesians 3:16, Paul prays, “that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”
As a Bible study leader I am asking God to move individuals in our group in Simcoe, Ontario to become disciple makers. . . each in her own sphere. Our group comes from different geographic locations, covering approximately 430 sq. km., and encompassing several communities. I am anticipating several to begin to disciple others, each in her own community. What once would have, at best, seemed a remote possibility, I now picture as a future reality. Our God is over all and through all and in all. And He directs each one according to His gifting (Eph. 4:6-7).
We serve an awesome God, and we can be confident that, since our Vision is in keeping with His will, He will empower His people to move forward. As we do so, God has promised to do far more than we can imagine. I am convinced that God can use Precept Ministries to reach and equip many more disciples right across Canada.
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