Forging Young LeadersMay 28, 2012
By Pastor Brad Keller
The writer of the book of Samuel records a great truth that unveils both the purposes of God and the plots of Lucifer. The story found in I Samuel 13:16-23 tells of when the Philistines had conquered the Israelites. In order to keep them under their rule, they removed the blacksmiths out of the land. How clever! Israel was an agricultural society; plows, hoes, picks, and axes, were an absolute must for survival. Instead of removing them, their enemy simply took away Israel’s ability to create new ones and to maintain the old. This left Israel with no new weapons and dysfunctional old ones.
Destiny School of Leadership works like a blacksmith – we take the raw material of emerging leaders and turn them into something useful for the kingdom. In Israel’s case, when the blacksmiths were removed the nation was paralyzed – in the church’s case, if teaching and discipleship is removed, the church will be paralyzed. This is why ELN is so vital and effective in local churches, no matter what size!
With that in mind, here are four thoughts about blacksmithing that relate to our ELN program, the Destiny School of Leadership.
1) Blacksmiths constantly work with raw material.
Raw material is representative of unrefined, imperfect people. Never forget that most of the Bible’s greatest heroes came from this kind of raw material. I find it strange that in the church we often prefer the “finished product” above raw material. I believe the greatest sculptures are yet to be chiseled. Destiny School of Leadership is chiseling away to create 21st century world changers that will be change agents in an anti-God culture!
2) Blacksmiths melt the raw material.
Blacksmiths must melt the raw material before it can become useful. They use high temperatures to melt the iron down because it is impure in its natural state. The same is true when discipling emerging leaders. Remember, most raw material very rarely resembles the finished product – it must be melted before it can take on a new shape. Sometimes in dealing with emerging leaders who are being shaped by the hand of God, they tend to run all over the place because they are in a process of being melted down!
3) Blacksmiths pour the raw material into a new mold.
All raw materials have to take on a new form and shape to become useful. The blacksmith pours the liquid metal into a cast and it takes on a new form – a sword, plow, etc. Our interns take on new shapes as well as they discover God’s plan for their lives and begin to take on the image of Christ. We use three principles for shaping our interns: relationships, revelation and life’s experiences.
4) Blacksmiths sharpen new tools and weapons.
When the blacksmith takes the product out of the cast, rough edges need to be knocked off and tempering must occur. It’s a given that even people with transformed lives still have rough edges, so we are committed to pouring our lives into our interns, helping to knock off rough edges as mentors and teachers. And tempering must occur as well. This is where sparks fly as the blacksmith reheats and hammers what is being crafted. This process causes the new tool or weapon to become strong yet flexible – and these are the same goals we have for our interns! Our desire is that they will be impacting leaders with significant influence in today’s culture.
Blacksmithing is an ancient practice with a modern principle! It’s all about developing raw material. Destiny School of Leadership is like a blacksmith shop. We take raw materials and shape them into instruments of strength and great use.
To learn more about our nine-month Destiny School of Leadership, go to: www.journeychurchvt.com/dsl (http://www NULL.journeychurchvt NULL.com/dsl/)This entry was posted in Articles, Featured and tagged Blacksmith, Brad Keller, Destiny School of Leadership, Discipleship, ELN, Forging, Northeast District, Vermont. Bookmark the permalink.