Jurong Outreach

"whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."

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Every Man in His Place

In Judges 6-8, we learn about Gideon.  God chooses Gideon to deliver his people from the Midianites. Gideon calls the Israelites to war against the Midianites.  Thirty two thousand men respond to his call.  Twenty two thousand go home because they are afraid to fight.  God tells Gideon that there are still too many men.

God does not want the Israelites to believe that they defeated the Midianites.  He wants them to know that they defeat the Midianites only because God is on their side.

Gideon is told to have the men go to the water and drink.  Those who drink from the water by lapping water from their hand will be the ones who fight.  Only 300 men drink  water  this  way.   Gideon  takes  these  300  men  and  divides  them  into  3 companies.  The three companiess then surround the Midianite camp in the middle of the night.  Each man has a trumpet, an empty pitcher and a torch light.

At the appointed time each blows his trumpet and breaks the pitcher.  And each shouts “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.”

The Midianites are surprised and end up fighting among themselves.  Many kill each other.  The rest run for their lives. It is a huge victory for the Israelites.  They won the battle without having to use swords.

It is interesting that in chapter 7, verse 21, we read, “And they stood every man in his place round about the camp…”  Each of the 300 men had their appointed place to stand.  Each had his job to do.  Their success depended on each staying in his place.

Those in the church have a place.  Each person is needed if the church is to be successful in the community.  God expects us to all work together to evangelize our community.  God is the one who wins the battle but each of us must do our part.

There is a need for team work in preaching the gospel.  Some individuals can read the Bible out loud.  Others are good at explaining what the text says.  Others are good encouragers.  There is a need for those who plan the work of teaching and preaching.

Just like in the days of Nehemiah and Ezra.  After the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt by Nehemiah and the Israelites, the people gathered to hear the law of God read.

Nehemiah 7:66-67, tells us that the population of Israel at this time was about 50,000.

On the first day of the seventh month, the people all gathered in Jerusalem They asked Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses and instruct them in what they were to do.

Ezra stood on a pulpit of wood which had been made especially for the occasion.

He opened the book and read from it in front of all the people.  In Nehemiah 8:7, we read, “Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.”  Nehemiah had led the people in completing the wall of Jerusalem and in encouraging the people to follow God.  Ezra was able to read the law well.  He also had encouraged the people to rebuild the Temple.  The men named in our verse above were talented in explaining the text. The chief of the fathers andthe Levites and priests led the people in a desire to know more about God’s word (Neh. 8:13).

Every member of the Lord’s church is important in playing a part to encourage one another to serve the Lord and remain faithful to Him.  May you find a place of service to the Lord in His church in 2015 and resolve to serve Him diligently throughout the year. (1 Cor 12:14-27) 

Verse 14 For the body is not one member, but many.

Verse 25 That there should be no schism in the body;but that the members should have the same care one for another.

Verse 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

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How to Train Men for Leadership

One of the pressing needs of our brotherhood is great and godly leaders in the church.  However, leaders do not just happen—they are made!  We must realize that the Church has the responsibility for training these leaders.  Without doubt, some men are born with greater leadership ability than others, but this alone does not make a leader.

First of all, I would suggest that we start training leaders from their youth.  When children, from their earliest years, are taught by godly parents, by a strong Bible class arrangement, and from a strong pulpit, that as they grow toward adulthood, they must be willing to accept their responsibilities and obligations as they become qualified, we will have young men and women stepping in and working whatever capacity they can.

On the other hand, when we come in contact with a person who has obeyed the Gospel later in life and the person is manifesting the qualities of “leadership,” we should encourage him to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”

We should not hesitate to encourage the man and woman in their twenties and thirties to begin, right then, to work toward the goal of becoming a godly elder and elder’s wife.  Many great and godly elders, preachers, and strong workers that we have in the church today never heard the simple Gospel of Christ until they were well past their teenage years.

Second, I would strongly urge that we show them “leadership.”  How many of our young people are going into the world without ever having seen true, Biblical “leadership”?  Rather, they have seen weak, insipid, vague “leadership” demonstrated by elders and preachers who test the winds of the wishes of the people before they make a decision, men who will stand for nothing and fall for everything!  By the example of such men, most of our young people are seeing the church as a democracy rather than a monarchy.

Last, but certainly not least, I would urge a strong diet of “the word of the truth of the gospel” (Colossians 1:5) “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel”.  The number of elders, parents, and Bible class teachers who are to be blamed because they have failed to see the great opportunities of a Bible class situation will not be known this side of eternity.  Sadly enough parents have turned their responsibility of teaching the Bible over to the Bible class because they do not know the Bible, and in many instances, the teacher knows precious little more than the parent.  Uncaring elders without knowledge, unprepared and unqualified teachers, games, paste, and crayons will not lay the groundwork for a child who knows little about the Bible.

The strength of the pulpit should never be underestimated.  The preaching of the simple Gospel of Christ will help in training men for leadership in the church.  Rather than upholding principles of truth, righteousness, and holiness, of sending forth a clear message of condemnation of sin and urging repentance and conviction based upon Bible authority, our pulpits are turning the church into a “mutual admiration society,” a “make me feel good about me in my sins” gathering, a “let’s do something even if it’s wrong” attitude, a “toys, games, and yo-yos” complex that mistakes coffee, doughnuts, and gymnasiums for the “fellowship” of (1 John 1:7 )“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

As long as our colleges and our schools of preaching recognize the part they can play in the training of leaders, that they are a means to an end, and not the end itself (this is not to be understood as blanket endorsement of all of “our” colleges or all of “our” preaching schools)., then they likewise should be considered.  But when such institutions become “policy makers” for the brotherhood, with pulpits filled or emptied at the behest, or when they become “doctrine makers,” then they have overstepped their usefulness and should pass into oblivion.

We have a great and mighty task before us.  Le us put on “the whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:13) “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand”, that we might be able to train men for leadership in the New Testament church.