I am one of four persons who govern our small church (39 active members). The church is democratically organized, electing men to the office of "deacon" - who, along with our pastor, assume a leadership role in the church. These deacons become the ministry chairmen for the various ministries in the church. I myself am the chair of the "Christian Education Ministry" and a couple of other ministries as well.
I am already familiar with the biblical role of a deacon - and the discrepancies that exist between the biblical role and the duties assigned to that title in my church - just in case someone were to read this and feel inclined to give a lecture on the obvious...
In 1971, in Ebenezer church in Saskatoon - the Great Canadian Revival broke out. Pastor Bill Mcleod was the pastor at the time, and the revival broke out just as Ralph and Lou Sutera came to the church for a series of meetings on revival. Thousands came to the Lord in a very short time. Pastor Bill's description of this revival is available in video format here:
The Canadian Revival (video)
This same Pastor, Bill Mcleod, (now almost 90 years old) agreed to become our pastor and so for about 18 months we received godly instruction and much encouragement towards revival. Pastor Bill retired a year or so ago, but our new pastor also has a heart for revival - praise the Lord for that. So it is that our church has been seeking and praying for revival for a number of years now.
A few months ago, pastor Bill received a call from Ralph Sutera who suddenly had an opening in his schedule, and felt led of the Lord to call Pastor Bill with the intent to hold revival meetings up in Canada, after much prayer, it was determined that our church would host the crusade (which begins in September) and preparations for this crusade began.
So much for the necessary history.
Last night we had, what I consider to be, one of the most carnal business meetings I can remember. There is, it seems, contention between some of our leadership and one family in the congregation. This contention is a poison that continues to rear it's head every time we conduct church business, and last night was no exception. Without going into details, it is enough to say that cleansing must begin with the leadership of our church. I was so disgusted last night I wanted to resign my membership - and it took me much time to get to the place where I could praise the Lord for the meeting and forgive.
I don't know if this is the proper forum to ask - and I won't be upset if the moderators move the thread to the right spot (I looked and couldn't find a specific 'prayer request' forum), but can I ask for prayer for my church?
I suspect that God is preparing us for a good work, yet how weary it makes me! My own walk with the Lord has suffered since I accepted this "leadership" position in the church. It seems I have no time for ministry as the business administration of the church consumes my time.
I attend a shepherd's college, am being personally mentored for ministry by Pastor Bill, have a full time job as a computer programmer, and am father to three wonderful children and husband to a wife far more pleasant than I deserve. I thank the Lord that though I seem to be in the midst of a storm I am normally calm, but last night I was so frustrated - I seriously considered resigning my position and even resigning my membership! I longed for the days when I could minister unhindered by endless meetings and daunting responsibilities.
I need prayer brothers. I am not 'revived' - and I hunger for the spirit's baptism. I am dry and weary. The things in this world are daily growing worthless as I begin to desire with all my heart, above everything else, my God and King. Pray that I would be permanently broken before my God - and don't spare for my tears. Pray that the leadership in this assembly of your brethren would be equally broken - and that God will rule.
Words don't paint the picture, but if I could tear my heart to pieces and send you each a piece to carry with you as a reminder to pray for me and my church - I would do so in a second.
In need, and in faith,
Daniel van de Laar