Demonstrating God’s Faithfulness to the Jewish People
The July 2021 Developing Healthy Messianic Congregations Leadership Conference began with a flurry of excitement.
Early on a hot sunny Saturday afternoon, a mixed array of Jewish and Gentile Messianic leaders from the east coast arrived in the scenic mountains of Roanoke, VA, eager to learn from their humble teacher, Sam Nadler, of Word of Messiah Ministries.
Everyone was at various stages in their ministries. Some had Messianic fellowships ready to take to the next level. Others had Messianic congregations with growing pains that needed to be addressed. And then there were a few that had neither a Messianic fellowship nor congregation but were there in search of how to begin.
However, all shared the same desire and commitment to demonstrate God’s faithfulness to the Jewish people in each of their communities through being leaders of Messianic congregations.
Once introductions were made, everyone found a seat in the fellowship hall of the rented church and waited eagerly for their first lesson of the day, which would begin with praise and worship.
Unexpectedly, however, before the first word of prayer could be spoken or the first note of praise could be sung, the air conditioning gave out. And on such a hot day, it became clear we had to seek a new location fast.
Although not on the agenda, the broken air conditioning became the first object lesson of the day: as a leader of any size congregation, be ready for the unexpected, pray, keep your cool (pun intended), and of course, maintain a daily dependence on Yeshua, because His grace is our sufficiency.
With cheerful attitudes, everyone left the fellowship hall and walked quickly across the small parking lot to the well air-conditioned church sanctuary, and the weekend Leadership Conference was finally under way.
After prayer, praise, and worship, Sam’s biblical training and counsel began.
Messianic Leadership topics included the foundational need of prayer, outreach, discipleship, membership, women’s ministries, as well as children’s ministries, taking special note of the importance of training up our future leaders.
Why The Need for More Messianic Congregations?
God promised to preserve the Jewish people as an identifiable nation. Jer. 31:35-37
Messianic congregations are a testament to God’s faithfulness. They are living testimonies of a God who keeps His promises to Israel, and therefore, everyone else. It is a place where a Jewish person can walk in and immediately feel welcomed, and where they learn that maintaining their Jewish identity matters and that believing in Yeshua as their Messiah does not change that. Gentiles are still Gentiles and Jews are still Jews. We are one body in Messiah.
Strong leaders of healthy Messianic congregations are desperately needed to train and equip their discipled members to share the Good News with everyone that Yeshua is God’s saving grace for a lost humanity.
Living in the “Bible Belt” there are a lot of churches that love the Lord and do great work. Some of their leaders may understand the need of reaching the Jewish people in their community. However, many of those same leaders will be the first to admit they simply are not equipped to do so.
Therefore, Sam encouraged each conference attendee to introduce themselves to the surrounding church pastors in their areas, so that the Messianic leaders can help the pastors with Jewish individuals in their area.
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Matthew 9:37
For me, a mere tag-along observer, though I doubled as conference volunteer, I was enthralled by all I was learning. And from what I observed on the faces of the room full of well-educated men and women around me, they were as captivated as I.
As a Gentile believer in Messiah and a longtime member of a Messianic congregation planted by Word of Messiah in Charlotte, NC, I delighted in gaining knowledge about the inner workings of what it takes to develop a congregation from its beginning stages of infancy to a thriving growing body of Messianic believers in Yeshua.
As Sam expounded on each topic, my mind really grasped hold of the fact that our own Messianic congregation is one of vital importance in our community of thousands of Jewish people who don’t yet know their Messiah.
Additionally, under our strong and godly leadership team, members are discipled and well-trained for service. Jewish outreach occurs through various ministries including hosting Jewish High Holy Day and Holiday services, B’nai Mitzvah, as well as being out in the community sharing the Good News with all who have ears to hear, “…to the Jew first and equally to the Gentile.”
Each one reach one, Each one teach one
As everyone was taking notes and asking lots of questions throughout the entire weekend, excitement continued to build as leaders were exhorted to apply what they had learned through the foundational principles of 1) Prayer, 2) Contact-Making, 3) Disciple-Making, and 4) Leader-Making.
“The ‘Ministry of the Overseer’ was particularly helpful, as was empowering those who are coming alongside us and serving with us. Understanding the strength that the Sisterhood provides a congregation has inspired me to pour more into that ministry” Jennifer P.
“The teaching was incredible, enriching, informative and motivational. There was such clarity in your instruction as well as the literature. I am highly motivated to dig into the Congregations book as well as Messianic Discipleship to familiarize and internalize an action plan and implement.” Marvin S.
“I loved everything about the 2-day Messianic Conference. I love your book. Anyone planning to start a Messianic Congregation has a treasure trove in your book. You made it very special for all of us and your jokes were a hit.” Charles B.
What began two days earlier as a group of strangers coming together for a conference had ended with many new friendships of like-minded people with a heart for a shared vital mission to seek and save the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And because of Word of Messiah, who trains leaders to plant and grow healthy Messianic congregations, they were now able to do so.
We thank you for your prayers and we give praise to Yeshua for another wonderful conference!