Sunday, April 29, 2007

Deciding in Community

The more I study the New Testament, the more I see a pattern of community involvement in many aspects of the life of the church. We see such patterns in passages like Acts 13:1-3 and Acts 15:6-29. Because of this conviction, I read the following letter to our church this morning:

Dear Messiah Family,

All we do as a body, personally and corporately, should be guided by the Holy Spirit which is according to the will of God. For this reason, I keep on reminding us that throughout the NT, we see that the church is guided by the Holy Spirit resulting in the believers being all in one accord. I strongly believe that God has put us in community for good reasons, and one of those reasons is that when we all seek his wisdom, I strongly believe that He will not only reveal it to us, but that He will make it known to the body in unity.

It is for this reason that I come to you this morning with a prayer request on my and Cindy’s behalf. I thought about sharing this on Sunday night, but I wanted to make sure that my words would not be misunderstood or misquoted. BTW - for this reason I will be posting this letter on my blog, so that people can go and read it if they have any doubts about what I said.

Cindy and I have no intention of moving from this community unless God directs us to do so. I hope this is evidenced by the fact that we bought a house in the community, and we felt so comfortable about the fact that we were going to be here for a while, that we bought the house with a little help from a government program which will penalize us if we sell the house within the first 5 years of ownership.1

In mid February, I was contacted by LC, a Baptist college in Pineville, LA, asking me if I was interested in applying for a full time math faculty position starting this fall 2007. I answered that I was not interested, but they were persistent and have asked me to consider applying and interviewing for the position now, but waiting to start in fall 2008. Because the job description is very much so what God has gifted me & given me a desire to do and because the administration has been persistent in thinking it could be God’s will for me to fill the full time position and because this opportunity came to me completely unsolicited, I have decided to fill out the application and see where God takes it.

I believe that, like in Acts 13 when the Holy Spirit told the congregation at Antioch to set aside Paul and Barnabas, that if this is God’s will, He will affirm it not just to me, but to this entire body. This thinking is not a foreign thought to our Baptist heritage: there once was a time when a pastor would not leave a congregation until both he and they agreed that his departure was the leading of God.2

Messiah is our family and we could not think of seriously considering this opportunity in secret, as some pastor might sometime feel compelled to do. Cindy and I, like you, seek to serve God with all our heart, our strength, and our soul. We do not want to move from this community at this time, but will obey our Father in heaven in whatever way he directs us. Please be in prayer with us that we all will discern His will in this issue, as well as all areas of life: private and corporate.

1 I am not mentioning this because of the financial implications, but just to point out that we had no intentions of leaving the area when we bought the house.

2 H. Leon McBeth, The Baptist Heritage (Nashville: Broadman, 1987), 77.


Steve Sensenig said...


I will be praying for you and the community there, that the Lord will lead and affirm through that community.

I am blessed to read this, and to see the heart that is behind it. I believe that God will answer your prayers in this regard because of your desire to be faithful to Him and what He has revealed.

Maël said...

Thanks Steve.

Some people misunderstood this as an announcement yesterday, BUT this is really just a prayer request, so thanks for praying for us.

Lew A said...


Very nice, well thought-out letter. I wish that we all had the same courage to make our lives transparent before the Church. I will be praying for you and Cindy, that God might reveal His will for your two.

God's Glory,

Eric said...


I have been praying and will continue to pray for you about this issue. You know as well as I do that God does not want you to be confused about what He wants you to do. Let's all just continue to pray for discernment, and I'm sure God will honor that by making it clear to the body what you should do. I'm excited for you either way.

Your brother, Eric

Maël said...


thanks for the encouragement. I am trying to live out my ecclesiology the best I know how.


Thanks for the prayers. You are right: God is not divided, that is why the believers in the book of acts were so often in one accord.

Aussie John said...


I honour you and your wife for your great decision to be open with your brethren.

Aussie John

Maël said...

Aussie John, thanks for the encouragement.

ashleeglen said...

We will pray for you and your discernment of the Lord's leadership :)

Thanks for sharing!

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