Christ Cartwright, Direction July 2016

Chris Cartwright: Take time to listen to God and to one another

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Elim General Superintendent Chris Cartwright

Elim General Superintendent Chris Cartwright

When legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs gave David Kelley, from a young start-up design group, his big break, few would have predicted the out-come.

Apple was renowned for its cutting-edge design but Kelley showed up with something that looked like it had been put together by a bunch of kids in the backyard.

Kelley had assembled a ball from a roll-on deodorant, a car gear stick, and parts from a washing machine all held together by that ‘sticky-back plastic’.

Jobs was notorious for his intolerance of anything less than excellent. The Apple team held their breath as they waited for the designer to be savaged. Jobs loved it! What others saw as little more than junk, Jobs recognised as a ground-breaking new kind of computer mouse that would change the industry.

Something about the simple unrestrained creativity and ‘out of the box’ thinking impressed Jobs enough to give Kelley the contract and let the work of turning the concept into reality begin.

We know that creative and fresh thinking about familiar things is a rare thing. As we grow older, much of this instinct and capacity seems to get edited out. The ability to imagine struggles to make it into the complex world of adulthood. Yet in the world of a child it roams free. Could that be part of the reason Jesus brings a child forward before a watching crowd?

The disciples have been irritated by the behaviour Jesus uses it as an object lesson – “Unless you become like a little child, you cannot even see the kingdom of heaven.”

As we move into the autumn, Elim will be starting a period of seeking God for the future of our Movement. At the Leadership Summit in June I invited people to come on a journey over the next year of imagining (or re-imagining) the future of Elim.

Rather than rushing to write the vision and values statements and just continue with current plans and priorities, I want to encourage us to take time to listen to God and to one another,to reflect on what he has called us to together.

As we do so, there will be opportunities to look at areas of Elim’s life, ministry and mission and to see how we can fulfil our calling and outreach more effectively.

This month, we are beginning with prayer.

With the humility and wonder of children may we come and explore the passion and purpose for us and his church of the God ‘who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask orimagine,’ (Ephesians 3:20).

Chris Cartwright – General Superintendent Elim Pentecostal Churches

This is Chris’s editorial from the September 2016 issue of Direction Magazine, official publication of the Elim Church in the UK

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