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home : religion : religion January 19, 2019

11/25/2018 12:11:00 AM
A Leader For Christ
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith Walker
Emanuel Reformed Church

Pastors pray for leaders to emerge in our churches because we cannot do it alone. We need our members to partner with us as they grow in their walk with Christ. The spiritual shape of our church and how we carry the gospel message is determined by the pastor and by those who are willing to serve God in a busy world where it seems we are all being pulled in a hundred directions at once.

Let me tell you about Dawn. She is a pastor’s dream come true. Dawn has the gift of administration and a passion for outreach. She had grown up in our church but had not been active for years. Church development doesn’t always come from new members. Sometimes we can jump start new ministry projects when long time members get a new calling in Christ.

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Dawn decided it was time to give God more time, and made a commitment to serve in our Women’s Fellowship. Because of her husband’s work schedule Dawn is not able to come on Sunday, but God made six other days of the week where church members can make a contribution. She attends weekly Bible Study on Thursday and joins the worship service via our Facebook Live Stream on Sunday. God is raising up new leaders in different ways today.

Dawn came back and immediately created a project for a church cookbook to preserve all the great recipes of our members and raise money to do God’s will. I was amazed at her organization and ability to help us meet goals on time. Within 10 weeks we had a beautiful cookbook called “Emanuel’s Table” and almost sold out last Christmas. Working together strengthened our relationships as a church family and prepared us to do even more.

Dawn had another outreach idea called the Christmas Extravaganza and Secret Santa Shop. Children have a hard time surprising their parents and others with presents so we would have a secret shop where church volunteers would help them buy wrapped gifts for $1 each while their parents wait or shop for a variety of affordable items in an adjacent area. With her leadership the outreach event was a huge success! Children were delighted to pick out presents for their loved ones and put them under the tree until Christmas. It was crazy fun in Christ and we vowed to do it even better this year.

Since then Dawn has been fighting for her life after being diagnosed with breast cancer, but she has continued to lead us while dealing with surgery and chemotherapy. Her suffering has brought her closer to Christ and her testimony of endurance has been an inspiration to us all. She has held her head high without hair and showed us she can do all things through Christ who strengthens her.

Because of her amazing leadership we are having the second annual Christmas Extravaganza and Secret Santa Shop next Saturday December 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Emanuel even though Dawn will be in Atlanta for cancer treatment. At first it was unthinkable to do it without her but great leaders know how to delegate and empower others. She is a real leader for Christ, and I pray that new leaders like Dawn will step up in your church too.

Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church

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