Thoughts from 1 Chronicles… (yeah, you heard me right)
So… it’s that time of the year again (actually, I’m not sure I’ve made it this far before…). Yes, I’m referring to that mysterious time of the year when you wake up one day and find that you are reading in 1 Chronicles. No one warned you, you din’t ASK to be reading there… whoever put together the Bible in a Year decided that you would (with a little assistance from the Holy Spirit?)
But as I read the genealogies and the endless so & so begat so & so’s… something DID stand out to me.
1 Chronicles 7:2 names some [unpronounceable] descendants of Tola, and then it adds, “the descendants of Tola listed as fighting men in their genealogy numbered 22,600.” (italics mine) Several times in that chapter it describes certain clans or groups of men as “ready for battle,” or “fighting men.”
Powerful. Why? Because as a leader, sometimes what matters most is not a total number, but rather a number of people ready to go into battle! Interesting that Jesus spoke a lot more about making disciples (those willing to go into battle) than drawing crowds. Don’t get me wrong– I WANT crowds! Nothing would make me happier than having 500 people at Castle Rock campus each weekend (or 1000…2000… you get the idea). And it’s true that disciples often come from crowds (people have to hear the word before responding to it and being transformed by it). But it’s important as a leader to know there is a difference between the two. One of my greatest joys is seeing people step up in connecting, growing, and serving (yes, I’ve adopted that as a working definition of discipleship). The sense of purpose and calling I see on people’s faces as they see themselves as God sees them– as part of God’s kingdom army, with a unique role to play– is “most excellent!” I have to remember that as desperately as I want to see numerical growth in the ministry I oversee, God is also keeping track of the number of people stepping from “crowd” to “disciple” — or in the words of 1 Chronicles — “people ready for battle.” With these, God can change the world!
Reading on, verse 40 fleshes out the description: “All these were the descendants of Asher — heads of families, choice men, brave warriors, and outstanding leaders…men ready for battle.”
- heads of families
- choice men
- brave warriors
- outstanding leaders
- ready for battle
“God, make me a man like that.” These are the kinds of people that change their generation. That win victories. That take cities. That inherit promises. ”God, make us a church like that!” Are you in?