Proverbs 27.17 "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another."
I believe that the trials of friendship are birthed through adversity. It is through those times where your friendship is put to the test, because it requires self-sacrifice and genuine godly love to be produced. I have known Josiah Ravish and Micah Slankard for several years. From afar I have watched God use them in planting the CrossPointe Downtown congregation. However, it was not until this past spring where God really allowed me to see the significance of his work both in these men and through them.
In the midst of difficult circumstances God used them to bring leadership to our church in a very hard time. They stepped up to lead in despite their inadequacies and shortcomings, they trusted in the power of the Holy Spirit. It was a galvanizing time for the partnership of CrossPointe Downtown. The church stepped up and followed their leadership and God has worked in wonderful ways. As I listen to the stories of life-change in the people at CrossPointe it is amazing to hear the impact these two men and their families have had upon our congregation.
Proverbs 17.17 says “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
It was through adversity that a true brotherhood has been formed in these guys. Over the last several months they have and continue to create an environment of authentic love in order that God’s truth can be shared. As we have been dreaming about reaching the heart of Orlando for Jesus Christ we have developed a close friendship where we challenge one another to love Jesus more deeply in every aspect of life. The overflow of this is strengthening our church and God is at work in powerful ways.
We know that good times are ahead, but we also know that planting a church is not easy and the work of the enemy seeks to destroy the advancement of the gospel. Knowing this, we together understand the power of praying for one another in leading Christ’s church trusting that Jesus is the one who builds it through the power of his Holy Spirit.
Congregational Elder Candidates
Currently these men serve as elder candidates, and in the not to distant future it is our hope that they will be installed as elders. These men are leading by shepherding the church, guarding doctrine, and mission. Their primary responsibility is to lead in such a way that Jesus is always the Senior Pastor of his church. In doing this I trust them to speak truth in my life; not only in the decisions of the church, but also in my life, marriage, family, and relationship with God.
While these men are young men the apostle Paul gives these instructions.
1 Timothy 4.12-16 “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”