13 Feb UESI Diamond Jubilee Pledges
continued from the previous issue sept-oct 2015
6. That we will ceaselessly pray and work towards carrying out the Vision 2020 Goals – Growth, Organizational Development, Quality Improvement, Support Base Enrichment, Networking and, Leadership and Mission Development, thereby staying relevant to the needs around us and also be open for newer strategic directions in which the Lord may be pleased to lead us.
The vision that God gives to His people is so big that it must outlast the visionary – a vision that is sought to be fulfilled in one’s own lifetime is nothing more than the building of one’s own personal kingdom, of which there are many unfortunate examples in our country. However, the vision must translate into achievable time-bound goals and this pledge lists them. Brief comments under each of these goals are given as the goals themselves are self-explanatory:
i. Growth: Growth is essential for any organization, particularly for those of us who are committed to obey the first commandment and the Great Commission. We need to however ensure that quantitative growth is not achieved at the expense of the quality of our work. One must note that when we emphasise quality in one’s work, quantity will eventually follow; however, if the emphasis shifts to quantity only, quality will suffer as an immediate consequence but eventually, quantity will also be lost.
ii. Organizational Development: When the first Church began to grow, they were faced with administrative problem which the apostles were quick to address, knowing that administrative problems can lead to relational and ethical problems later. Acts 6:1-7 is a good example. However, if we wrongly look at administration as a lower priority and the so-called ‘ministry’ as of a higher priority, we will land ourselves in course of time, in ethical and relational problems. Acts 6:2, literally translated puts ‘ministry of the Word’ alongside ‘ministry at tables’, the original Greek word ‘diakoneo’ (from which we have the English word ‘deacon’) being used for both!
iii. Quality Improvement: This point has already been explained above; what needs to be appreciated is the fact that Jesus had different tiers of disciples – the many who followed him, the 70 whom he sent out, the 12 disciples and the 3 – Peter, James and John – in whom He invested Himself most.
iv. Support Base Enrichment: The enrichment referred to applies both to the spiritual and material realms. The example of the early Church is probably the best; the gentile Churches owed the Jerusalem (largely Jewish) Church most of its theological input; at the same time, it was the gentile Church that came to the financial and material aid of the Jerusalem Church. This inter-dependence is the hallmark of any truly Christian organisation.
v. Networking: This goal is also to be seen not only as a bureaucratic necessity but as the practical outworking of our needing one another in the task that God has entrusted to us. WE cannot do it alone and therefore we should look to one another to learn and to borrow the best practices as we seek to further the Kingdom of God.
vi. Leadership and Mission development: The purpose of discipleship-making is the prepare leaders who will take the movement beyond the lifetime of one generation. Similarly, we need to understand the concept of mission in its widest form as comprising all departments of life in the world that God has created and has put under our charge.
7. That we will remain faithful to our core values -Centrality of the Word of God, Fellowship, Personal Care, Student Initiative, Life of Faith and Prayer, Moral Purity, Financial Integrity, Shared Leadership, Responsibility to Society – in all that we are called to be engaged in.
Pledges 1 to 5 above treat many of these core values in greater detail; this pledge is therefore to be seen as an emphatic reiteration of those values which are also inter-related:
i. Centrality of the Word: More need not be said than what has been stated above. Students and graduates have to be encouraged to commit themselves to be good students of the Bible in order that their lives and minds are progressively transformed.
ii. Fellowship: Without true sharing of a common life – that is what the Greek word for fellowship (koinonia) actually means, – there can be no growth and no leadership development that will carry the movement into the future.
iii. Personal Care: We need to care for one another and ‘carry one another’s burdens and in this way —fulfil the law of Christ’ (Gal.6:2).The practical expression of an open home and mutual accountability are all in line with carrying out this aspect of the pledge.
iv. Student Initiative: The distinctive of the UESI and the fellow-movements of the IFES is that the leadership of the local chapters should be fully under the charge of students. This hands-on experience for students is what will prepare them for future roles of leadership in Church and Society.
v. Life of Faith and Prayer: The cultivation of the inner life and its connection to the Triune God is the essence of the Christian faith which is not really a religion but a supreme relationship graciously opened for us through Jesus Christ. Like any relationship, it has to be tended carefully by communion with God.
vi. Moral Purity: We are saved by grace and not because of our own righteousness; but our salvation has to be exemplified by a life that reflects the character of our Lord. If our lives do not correspond to the claims that we make, we will cause untold harm to the name of Christ but also bring shame and disgrace on ourselves, our families and our ministry.
vii. Financial Integrity: This is an area that is under constant attack; in these days of shopping malls and glitzy advertisements, the Christian has to keep himself/herself in the joy of contentment (Phil.4:12,13). Paul devotes a whole chapter – I Tim 6 – to warn us of the deceitfulness of riches and how the love of money – not money in itself – is the roof of all evil.
viii. Shared Leadership: One of the many snares of leadership is the feeling of indispensability that creeps in at some point of time. We need to recognize that we need one another and that in the kingdom of God, no one is indispensable but everyone is important!
ix. Responsibility to Society: The direct application of the First Commandment (Gen.1:28) is our responsibility to our fellow-human beings and to God’s creation – the environment. The academic and professional training that we have the privilege of receiving from the institutions that train us should lead us to be truly the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt.5:13, 14).
We make these pledges and the accompanying commitments only in the strength that comes from God who is willing and able to answer the following amazing prayer from the lips of Paul, the Apostle:
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask, or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations fore ever and ever. Amen” (Eph.3:20, 21).
Mr. LT Jeyachandran served 28 years with the central government as a senior civil engineer.After taking early retirement he served with RZIM 19 years.He lives in pune with his wife Esther. They are blessed with two children and four grand children