In Ephesians, we hear the familiar words: “But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” Unity. Hope. Love.
“Speaking the Truth In Love” is how love is understood and is the focus (and title!) of a book by Kenneth Haugk, the founder of Stephen Ministry. In it he explores the role of a Stephen Minister, as one who cares, listens, and prays with a person in the midst of difficulties or brokenness. Often in broken times, the world becomes hazy, out of focus, or skewed. Part of the role of a Stephen Minister is to have the courage to speak the truth in love. This could be challenges or insights – opportunities to explore where our lives in faith meet the world of tomorrow.
In Paul’s imagery of the body, Christ is at the head. More so, we are no longer thrown to and fro by our own desires, but knit together into a new reality – a body of believers, with Christ’s will at the center of our thought. This is, of course, core to Stephen Ministry too, seeing Christ as the center of our lives, even in the midst of life’s challenges. Being knit into Christ’s will can be great comfort and leading. It is also how the logo came to be, with a broken person moving to wholeness through the cross of Christ.
The transformative power of the cross was one that turned the whole establishment on its head. No longer would we follow Rome, or the Jewish authority. Nor would we follow ourselves – and our impulses toward self-centeredness, greed, base desires, etc. Instead, we have renewed our vows, and accept God in charge.
This impacts more than just our pocketbooks or own prayer lives – it involves every fiber of our being. We are no longer the same person, but knit together into a unified existence of radical change.
Where God will lead us, we do not know. Where we are ultimately going is sure. In the mean time, we choose the path of love.
P.S. If you would like to know more about Stephen Ministry, or if having a Stephen Minister walk with you through some of life’s trouble, feel free to email me back, or call me sometime. Dr. Edie King and I serve as our Referrals Coordinators. She could also help you get matched up with someone in this special kind of confidential, caring relationship. I can help too! To learn more about our Stephen Ministry program and meet some of the leaders, visit: http://www.fpcokc.org/stephen-ministry