CCCNZMark GraceAmbassador's BlogChurchCOVID-19GodJesusLeadershipCCCNZ YouthChildren and Family MinistriesPrayerYouth leadershipYouth ministryYouthWhat Comes Next?BibleChristmasFaithAucklandCoachingMurray BrownChildrenChildren's MinistryChristianCommunityMissionMulticultural ministryCOVID-19 Protection FrameworkDiscipleshipFamilyJackie MillarJulie McKinnonLeadersRongopaiCampingChristChristian CampingCommunity MinistryEaster CampFIRST TrainingLui PonifasioNZOnslow Community ChurchRallyStudent ministrySupportWorshipWorship leadingYoung peopleAdministrationAdventAne PonifasioAustralian BushfiresBible in a yearBible readingBirkenhead Community ChurchCCCNZ PastorLinkChristchurch Mosque AttacksChurch PlantingCity Bible ChurchConnectionDanielle DiproseEldersEldershipGC3GospelHukanui Bible ChurchIntergenerational ministryJeremy SuistedJesus ChristKerry RickardLifeChurch ManurewaLoveMassey Community ChurchMāoriMinistryOutreachPacific CommunityPastorLinkPastorsPathways School of Worship LeadingRefugee MinistryRestRetreatRosedale Bible ChapelStudentsTasman ChurchTeapot Valley Christian CampTheologyTogether Works BetterTrainingTSCFVolunteerYouth Summit1 Corinthians 15:141 Corinthians 15:3-51 Corinthians 15:3-81 Corinthians 15:8-111 Peter 11 Timothy 6:11-212 Corinthians 1:8-92 Peter 12 Timothy 2:1-13201924-7 YouthWork60 years75 JubileeAbortion Legislation BillActs 27:23–26Acts 8Amatakiloa Bible ChurchAnnual Report 2020-21Aotearoa, NZAPAAppealAuthenticityBaptismBitternessBoardBoysBushfiresCalledCambell ForlongCamp ministryCampusCanterburyCareCarolsCCCAustCCCNZ AucklandCCCNZ Children and Family MinistriesCCCNZ PrayerCCNZChapel Hill Community ChurchChrist-centredChristchurchChristian Camping NZChristian CoachingChristian radioChristianityChristmas CarolChristmas messageChurch LeadersChurch response to coronavirusChurch response to COVID-19Church Street ChapelCitizens Advice BureauClark Road ChapelColombiaComfort ZoneCommitmentCommunity CentreCompassionConflictConnectionsCoronavirusCross-culturalCultural diversityDevotionsDr Merv CoatesEasterEducationEmily TylerEncouragementEngagingEphesians 1Ephesians 2EventsExtraordinary GodEzra 3Ezra-NehemiahFaithfulFaithfulnessFinanceFireFreshFriendshipGalatians 2:10Gap YearGeoff StarkGiftsGirlsGlobalisationGlow in the ParkGod StoriesGod's faithfulnessGrowthHadfieldHaggaiHarvestHeadspaceHealingHealthy youth ministryHeavy ladenHillcrest ChapelHope Community ChurchHospitalityIan ElliottIdeasImmigrationInconvenienceIndianInternationalInternational StudentsIsolationJames 1:26-27Jeewan DhaaraJosephKiwiLakeland Park Christian CampLast SupperLawson ScottLearningLeaving HomeLeslie ScottLightsLiving GodLyricsManawaru Bible ChapelMaryMaungarei Christian Community TrustMillenialsMt Wellington Community ChurchMusicNancy Jean Forbes Training CentreNational CCCNZ Youth TeamNelsonNew Year's HonoursNorthcross ChurchNZ RallyO Holy NightO Holy Night LyricsO WeekOrdinary ChristianOrewa Community ChurchOrosiusPandemicParentsPartnershipPasifikaPathwaysPaulPākehāPeacePhilippiansPlanningPrayer GatheringPrayingPreparationPsalm 146Psalm 23Psalm 24:1-2Psalm 31QSMQueen's Service MedalRebekah ReeveRegionalRegional ConnectionsRegional EnablersRespiteResponseResurrectionRevelation 2-4Richard DavisRichard FountainRob MortonRobert MitchellRutland Street ChurchSaviourScriptureSophia McCrindleSouthlandSOWLSpiritSpiritual formationStudent LifeStudent ministry at OtagoSuccessionSummer SchoolSummitTauwhare Gospel ChapelTāmaki Community ChurchTe Ao NgākauTeenagersTeensThe cross-shaped lifeThe gospelThe Greatest SaviourThe Riverside ClubThessaloniansTimaruTongan TsunamiTop of the SouthTraumaTreatyTreaty of WaitangiUkraineUnityUniversity of OtagoWaikatoWaitangi Day 2019Waitangi Day 2022WearyWellingtonWestChurchWhat's Next?Whitiora Bible ChurchWoodend Christian CampWord of LifeWorking TogetherWorship EnablerWoven TogetherYoung AdultsYoung leadersYouth Reachout RoadtripYvonne Heng
TAGS

What comes next is dependent on what comes first

Mark Grace on What Comes Next: Leadership

It’s 539 BC. The great Babylonian Empire rules the known world; power unmatched, authority unchecked. Until Cyrus and the Persians crush, confuse, and kill the Babylonians.   

The result: A year later in 538 BC Cyrus decrees the people of God can return to their land. Few do, at first (Ezra 8:1).

In the weeks ahead we’ll begin leaving our own lockdown ‘exile’... What will we find?  

In 538 BC, those who do return find the familiar has become strange, and the new has become old. That which was large, small. The hopeful, hard. 

The rebuilding of a simpler and smaller temple leads to grief and joy, hope and loss, confusion and expectation (Ezra 3:12-13). 

It’s into this exact moment the prophet Zechariah speaks: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’ ”…For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. (Zech. 4.6-7,10)  

It’s plausible (at least in the short term) that our own ways of doing and being church may also be smaller and simpler. Pared back, more exposed, fragile even. Make no mistake this will lead to our own griefs and joys, clarity and confusion.  

It’s into this moment God speaks to us through Zechariah: “don’t despise this day of small things” 

Why? Because in this moment's weakness, in this temple's smallness, in the simplicity, the Lord of Hosts is powerfully at work through his Word, by his Spirit. 

We see the Lord of Hosts most spectacularly at work, by his Word, through his Spirit, in the weakness and wonder of the cross and empty tomb. 

What comes next is dependent on what comes first

Can we rest our hearts in the reality that God works in the weakness and wonder of our crucified king, the Lord Jesus? 

Can we rest our hearts in the reality that the way God works is in the weakness of “the word of the cross”? 

Can we rest our hearts in the reality God works in the weakness and foolishness of prayer and the leading of the Spirit? 

Can we rest our hearts in the reality God still work in the smaller, simpler, the fragile gatherings of his people? 

May our hearts and bodies rest in these triune realities. May what comes next in our lives and ministries flow from what comes first.  

Stay vulnerable, weak and trusting Jesus. 

Mark Grace
CCCNZ Ambassador
markgrace@cccnz.nz
027 290 3600



 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT