Networking with the SAINTS
Mates, we all have them.
Did you hear about the guy who had 12?
Some years back it was and he further instructed his support team never to go out to work alone, Mark 6. 7-13; Luke 10. 1-24.
Over the years since Christ’s birth and death there have been many followers. The extent of the sainthood we can only guess at. We do however have many good examples of saints well documented through history, so it is relatively easy to have a close look at what makes a saint and what was their “modus operandi”.
The lead comes from Christ. Through His short time on earth, Christ revealed to us that life is about people and relationships. Further more Christ set us an example, which the apostles and subsequent saints have followed and that is that He did not achieve His mission alone. Christ had a significant support network, which extended way beyond the 12 apostles. This ensured His mission on earth has been kept alive long after His death on the cross and resurrection to sit with GOD the Father.
The Acts of the Apostles and other accounts give us a window into the early life of the church. Peter and the first leaders along with the church itself grew, due to the fact that many put their resources and effort into backing the fledgling movement.
Saints Peter, John, Paul, Stephen and the other leaders in the early church we read about in the bible, achieved success in their missionary work because of the team work among themselves and the additional support that grew around them, both prayerful and physical. Pick up your bible and read through parts of the Acts, it makes for interesting reading and insight into the life and times of these early saints, our original leaders in faith.
Through out the history of Christianity there have been beacons of church leadership, people who have lived Christ in their daily life. Nano Nagle in Ireland (1718 – 1784), Suzanne Aubert in New Zealand (1835 – 1926), Mother Teresa in India (1910 – 1997), Bishop Romero in El Salvador (1917 – 1980), are but 4 of those who led and challenged in their own time.
Today is no different with regards saints and church leadership. Take Manfred Staab living in Manukau, New Zealand, an international development project manager currently working for the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation who featured in Welcome April 2009 (issue 260). Another is Vi & Richard Cottrell, founders of Trade Aid in 1969 on the back of responding to a simple newspaper add in the Christchurch Press. Now a national organisation, Trade Aid is made up of several parts reflecting the work it does as a development agency, importer, distributor and retailer involving 900 volunteers.
Do any of these “living saints” achieve their work alone – No! Saints today as did saints years and centuries ago all rely on team work and good support. Living saints require as much prayerful support, not to mention resourcing, as did St. Peter in the first century. Our missionaries, prison chaplains, youth workers, Trade Aid team all require support to ensure their Christ like work does not falter.
We all have an opportunity to become part of today’s living saints support team either giving directly or via organisations such as Caritas and St Vincent de Paul. Backed up with prayer, our prayer, today’s saints can more readily achieve Christ’s work here on earth.
And what about you? Yes you yourself. Have you developed a good support team around yourself so that the light of Christ in you shines brightly each and every day for others to see? Time to do an evaluation of your own team backing and strengthen it, as did Saints Peter and Paul before you.
Let us pray.