Sitting on Ready
Apr 11, 2016
Some years ago, a southern gentleman passed on to me a memorable comment on the idea of service to our Lord. The elderly saint said it this way: “A servant should always be sitting on ready.” I saw this in action with the recent transition of the AFAM Network from my wife, Jane, and me to Osaze Murray and his wife, Hadiza.
In mid-March, the twelfth AFAM (African American) Congress on Discipleship ended with a historic transfer of leadership. The AFAM Network sponsors the Congress and, after 16 years, it was the right time for a younger man to lead the Network. Osaze, campus director of The Navigators Bowie State University ministry, was sitting on ready. God led Osaze and Hadiza to respond after a very carefully prayed-through and thought-through process.
The purpose of the AFAM Network is to increase the number and strength of African American disciplemaking leaders. Though its primary ministry is The Navigators Missions and NavCities, the AFAM Congress reaches out to churches, organizations, and ministries in the broader African American community.
In 2001, Jane and I, and our team of faithful servants began the work of increasing the single-digit Navigator African American staff count to what is now 97 passionate, committed workers.
Transitions are never easy. They take a readiness to give up and a readiness to take up. To give up one’s role means that the present leader sees the vision as being bigger than his personality. It is a step of faith. Conversely, the one who takes up a new position must also step out on faith. He must hear from God for himself.
As Mike Jordahl, the Navigator Field leader who serves AFAM, said during the ceremony, “Osaze, you can’t wear Rich Berry’s armor,” recalling the day a young David of Old Testament times was tempted to take up King Saul’s armor in the battle against Goliath. My “armor” was designed to fit me. Osaze must know that his “armor” will be provided by God and is made for him alone.
The ceremony at last month’s AFAM Congress made the transition official, and 450 participants witnessed it. The transfer to a godly man with strong leadership skills affirmed the vision of generational ministry. We expect the new cohort that Osaze will lead to do even greater things.
For Jane and me, this is an important and exciting time. We will continue as Navigator staff serving with Nav Encore, but our ministry will focus on helping churches and individuals develop intentional disciplemaking ministries in the Atlanta area. Meanwhile, our posture remains the same: Jane and I are “sitting on ready” in our desire to remain steadfast in our service to our Lord.
If you wish to learn more about The Navigators AFAM Network, please click here.