Iron sharpens iron

5/18/2015

FOCUS ON THE VISION
DENISE WALTON

Take a moment to consider the cast of characters you are privileged to call friends. How do those friendships add or detract from your Christian journey of faith? Recently, a dear friend of more than 30 years shared the devotional book “Experiencing God Day-by-Day” by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby. The authors speak often about the need for Christian friendship as support and accountability.

“The Christian life is a pilgrimage. At times the road is difficult, and we get lonely. Sometimes we may become discouraged and consider abandoning the journey. It is at such times that God will place a friend alongside us. One of God’s most precious gifts to us is friends who encourage us and lovingly challenge us to ‘keep going.’ The mark of biblical friends is that their friendship draws you closer to Christ. They ‘sharpen’ you and motivate you to do what is right. Strive to find godly friends who will challenge you to become the person God desires. When you have found them, be receptive to the way God uses them to help you become spiritually mature. Strive also to be the kind of friend that helps others become more like Christ.” *(Blackaby, published 2006, pg. 137)

As we prepare for our upcoming Annual Conference session, one new component will involve clergy and laity training sessions around the conference theme, “We’re Better Together.” As the elections take place for General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates, clergy and laity will engage in separate training events. During the laity elections on Thursday afternoon, all clergy will gather to explore coaching, mentoring, supportive fellowships, and teambuilding best practices. During clergy elections on Friday afternoon, laity will attend their choice of three workshops based on the annual conference theme.

What a great opportunity we have before us to embrace the annual conference theme of fellowship.

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

*Experiencing God Day-by-Day, Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby, Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2006, pg.137.

Rev. Denise Walton serves as the Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries. Contact her at denise@sgaumc.org.