Sunday, June 29, 2014

Second Generation Leaders with Joseph Shulam

Tonight Ashley, Micah, and I attended the Lipscomb Summer Celebration Lectureships "Insights from Joshua" Session #1. Joseph Shulam immigrated to Israel at 2 years old in 1948 when the state was established. In 1969 he established a church of Christ in Tel Aviv and is the only Jewish (by bloodline) Christian (by faith) that I know.  His view of Christianity is challenging to our western culture and his insight is a blessing to me.  Here are a few notes from his message tonight giving an overview of Joshua and a push to me about "Second Generation Leaders."

  • "Be strong and courageous" is a common theme for Joshua and mentioned three times in the first chapter alone.  
  • Moses was a pioneer, first generation leader.  Joshua was a second generation "trained" leader.  How did he become a leader?
    • He was called by God. (Joshua 1:2) Shulam talks of our leaders today as only being "office holders instead of heroes" if they aren't called by God.  
    • He was called to fight and be a warrior by God. (Joshua 1:5) In the same way we are to fight.  Shulam states "The biggest victims of the 20th century were family & truth."  We need to be fighting in our country to hold together God's family and fight for the integrity of God's truth!
    • Joshua is called the "servant of Moses" many times. (Joshua 1:1) A second generation leader must first be a servant under someone, modelling their life after someone, following someone.  Who did Israel want to be like and serve?  Every other nation and their gods.  Who did Joshua want to be like and serve?  Moses.  
    • Joshua was obedient.  (Joshua 1:10) Shulam said strongly in his very Israeli accent, "Grace is only valuable for those who tried but failed.  It's not for those who never put forth the effort to try."  While Joseph's preemptively led with "Grace is what gets us to God," his words about the need for obedience can be abrasive to the current culture of "grace alone forsaking all commandments."  Joseph's words are worth us thinking about.  How many people do we know who don't care a lick about obedience, because they've claimed they've got God's grace? We need to be trying and fighting to be obedient everyday.  Grace is definitely valuable to all of us who keep trying and fail. 
    • Joshua learned how to deal with sin / conflict as with the history of the family of Akin.  Sadly, we rarely deal with sin today.  We've got to remove the sin from the camp, because it affects the whole camp.  Joshua 7.
    • Joshua finally had to proverbially draw a line in the sand and declare that whoever is for God, come join me on this side of the line.  (Joshua 24)  A leader has to be able to draw a line.  
In the end, Joseph Shulam let us know that we are called to be second generation leaders like Joshua to accept the calling of God to serve, be obedient, deal with sin, and stand on the Lord's side.  We need to be training the next generation to do the same.  

Do you want to know more about Joseph Shulam?  You can find out more here:

Do you want to know more about the free lectureships our family is attending?  You can find more here:

We plan on taking notes from our classes and sessions each day and sharing with our church family via this blog.  So come back and see what else we've got to share. (We may not post a lot of information publicly from the "Sex in marriage" class :)

Here's a smidge of our singing tonight from those of you who have never been a part of unified harmonious acapella singing.  This is what we do every time we gather for worship!

Ashley and I are taking notes and sharing them here for the primary purpose of benefiting our church family at Washington Church of Christ, yet we won't limit God to just using these insights there.  May they be a blessing to all who read them.  Feel free to ask us questions about anything in our Lipscomb Summer Celebration notes.

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