Cross the Jordan River and Leave a Leadership Legacy

Jordan-River.jpgThere are times I wonder why God called me to serve in ministry with women. What made Him think I could do that effectively? I was just serving in my church as a lay leader, attending young women’s Bible study, and leading our children’s missions organizations. As He began to move me out of my comfort zone, I had to really trust Him to do what I knew I couldn’t.

The first time I ever had to speak in public at my church almost did me in. That was my first major Jordan River. Now, I never took a speech class even though my best friend in high school and college was a speech and debate major! I tried everything I could to get out of the responsibility, but my supervisor gently and strongly prodded me and said, “Chris, I could do it, but you need to do this.” When I realized I couldn’t get out of it, I began to pray and ask God to do it since I couldn’t.  You know what, He did! I was so shocked when I sat down and realized I’d gotten on the platform, said what I needed to and sat down, all without passing out or stumbling!  Only God could do that with one of my greatest fears.  Now, I actually speak to groups as a part of the full time ministry God has called me to!

Has God ever asked you to cross a Jordan River? God asked Joshua and the Israelites to do that very thing.  It appeared impossible from a human standpoint, but just as the priests put their feet into the Jordan, the waters parted. God worked a miracle and provided what was necessary. As a result of this miracle, the Israelites were told in Joshua 4:2-7 , to take stones from the center of the Jordan and build a monument. This would be a memorial reminder of God’s provision and protection. Future generations would ask about the monument. Stories of God’s faithfulness would be rehearsed over and over again, passing down the legacy of faith, generation to generation.

God will do the same thing through you as you walk faithfully with Him. What Jordan River is God asking you to cross?  A new responsibility outside your comfort zone? A difficult relationship that you must deal with? A health issue? Your past?  Taking the position of new women’s ministry leader? Do the waters look pretty intimidating?

Think back…how has He parted waters in the past to provide a way for you? If you are on the shore of your “new” Jordan River, not knowing how you could possibly get across, remember His past faithfulness. Cross that Jordan and then, leave a memorial stone as a legacy of His provision for others to see.

I crossed a another Jordan River when God called me to LifeWay. I could not see anyway in my own abilities that I should be serving a national denominational role. I just did not have the qualifications. Shouldn’t you have a master’s degree and, of course, seminary education? I didn’t have either. Shouldn’t I have had some denominational experience with a state convention, or some denominational committee responsibilities? Didn’t have those either. But God called, and when He did he reminded me of Ephesians 2:10, my life verse, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Recalling when I discovered this verse on my first international mission trip, I knew that if God was leading me to serve in this role and that He had gone before me to prepare the way, He would not leave me alone once I obeyed. He truly has been faithful!

Another Jordan River was a broken relationship with a daughter for many years. The Lord said to cross over, continue serving, walk in faith and peace, even though I’d not seen her for many years. Impossible, I thought. This was our child, she had walked away from our family,  and we’d experienced pain that we’d never known in our lives. But another woman in leadership had put her memorial stone down for me to witness for years in a similar situation. I watched this woman of faith continue to walk faithfully and serve the Lord. The Jordan opened, and I began to walk across in faith. As I watched my friend deal with her strength, faith, prayer life and love for her daughter, she taught me long before I needed it how a godly woman was supposed to handle this kind of journey. The relationship with our daughter was later miraculously restored and now I lay down that memorial stone as well for others to see. God brings into my life many women who have struggling children because I understand and can be an encouragement for them now. Leaders need to see how other leaders face crisis and pain, and yet walk in faith displaying their memorial stones along the journey.

As you minister to and with women, tell them what He has done for you. Women need women willing to transparently share their faith stories and experiences. They need to see women of faith walking through both the joys and struggles of life and ministry with peace and joy.

Ask God to show you this year, how to leave a leadership legacy for the next generation to follow. One day, we will have to pass the baton. Are you leaving footprints of faith for this next generation to follow?

Perhaps one of these studies will help you stay focused and growing in your relationship with Christ so that you will walk boldly in faith wherever He leads:

Hunger for the Holy, Calvin Miller
Believing God, Beth Moore
Living Beyond Yourself, Beth Moore
Walking by Faith, Jennifer Rothschild
Esther, Beth Moore
One in a Million

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.”  2 Tim 2:15-16. As we study the God’s Word, memorize and begin to live out the Word,  then what we leave behind will be truth based on His Word.  Why not get a rock and put it on your desk to remind you of His work in your life and the stories you have to share with others you lead?

What Jordan Rivers have you crossed to serve and leave a leadership legacy? Please share them with us.

  • Great post!

  • Chris Adams

    Thanks, Amy, it’s real life for sure!