As a church secretary I get to prepare a lot of agendas for a lot of meetings. It is always a challenge to keep a meeting agenda to what needs to be discussed. There is also a danger than agendas may become bogged down with business matters to the detriment of the spiritual aspects of church leadership. Problems are exacerbated when an agenda is contaminated by other items, or worse still, personal agendas.
I guess my experience of prayer and other meetings in church over the years has left me wondering and a little perturbed about personal agendas. You might expect that sort of thing in the work place, but it shouldn’t be there in God’s sanctuary. Three words were flashing repeatedly through my mind during a recent meeting:
SURRENDER NOT AGENDA
Then the song ‘I Surrender’ started playing in my head. And I realised that when we are not fully surrendered to God we are just playing with Him. Conspiring to achieve our own agendas in our fellowships means choosing to ignore God, pushing Him back into second or third place or worse. Whatever happened to listening to God? Why is His voice so often drowned out by a cacophony of human noise. Whatever happened to burning bushes, shoes removed and down on our knees? Whatever happened to silence in the presence of God? Are any of these items on the agenda?
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:7-14 NLT)