Maturity is Leading by Following

Maturity is Leading by Following

Feb 25, 2015

Rev. Nicholas J. Kersten

Director of Education and History






“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” — the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:1

What is the purpose of our lives in Christ?

What is it that God desires of us after He has saved us by His grace?

If we believe the Apostle Paul, the goal of the Christian life after our salvation is our sanctification — that we would become mature in Christ. Paul’s life as a follower of Christ was spent proclaiming the Gospel so that others might believe first in the power of Christ to redeem from sin, and then to grow His followers in Christian maturity.

Our efforts as a Conference to stimulate and encourage this growth towards maturity and sanctification in Christ is now the work of the Christian Education Council. This new council has picked up the responsibility of this work from the SDB Board of Christian Education, who faithfully carried the torch for this work for many years. The Council is currently comprised of five SDBs for whom Christian Education and spiritual maturity are a passion: Peggy Chroniger (Chair; Alfred Station, NY), Rev. Paul Andries (Washington, DC), Charlotte Chroniger (Shiloh, NJ), Rev. Bill Shobe (Dodge Center, MN) and Omari Rhoden (Toronto, ONT). They are actively working to aid you and your local church as we all journey to completion in Christ.


Learn and Lead


This area has also been added to my responsibilities in my new role as the Director of Education and History. Much like the members of the Council, Christian Education and discipleship are areas of passion for me, and I look forward to serving you!

I am committed to encouraging all of us to aspire to become Christian leaders. As I understand it, God’s purpose for all of us as we follow after Jesus Christ is

to grow and thrive and serve. As we follow after Christ and mature in Him, we become a leader to those who are new to the faith. Each of us in Christ has a responsibility to those who will follow after us — all of us are called to be leaders, even if we do not always think of what we do as leadership.

The Apostle Paul gives lofty tests for those who would serve as leaders in Christ’s church — tests both of character and of proficiency. We are to be people of a certain kind, by God’s power through the indwelling Holy Spirit. We are also to use our spiritual gifts from Him by that same Spirit so that the work of the body is fully achieved. Ultimately, successful passing of these tests are dependent on one thing: a leader’s relationship with Jesus Christ. Those who wish to lead must first follow, and in that vein, Paul offers himself up as an example in 1 Corinthians 11:1.

1 See Ephesians 4, Colossians 1:28, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

2 The Pastoral Letters (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus) give insight

into the kind of leaders Paul was expecting the church would


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