“Not so with you – leading the Jesus way”



THe SIM Malawi team at SLC 2013

Spiritual Life Conference 2013

Every July SIM missionaries leave their homes and ministries to decamp to the Kamuzu Academy, two hours north of Lilongwe. What is the cause of this strange behavior? The Annual Spiritual Life Conference (SLC)!

SLC gives everyone in the field the opportunity to take a week out, to enjoy challenging Bible teaching and enjoy meeting up with colleagues in a more relaxed atmosphere, and to catch up with what is going on around Malawi. And this year was no exception.

The Bible teaching was led by Joel Grey, Country Director SIM Burkina Faso, who gave up a week’s holiday in the USA to be with us. He took as his title “Not so with you – leading the Jesus way” and walked us through different examples of Biblical leadership – some good and some not so good.

The title of his series of talks came from Mark 10:42-44 and the words Jesus gave to His disciples after James and John had asked to sit at His right and His left: ‘Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.’

Joel Grey, Country Director SIM Burkina Faso

Joel challenged our view of leadership and how, unlike James and John, we would never be so presumptuous as to make such a request because, after all, they just wanted to be or to feel significant! He took us through the disobedience of the people of Israel demanding a king to lead them, against God’s will, and the cowardice of Saul. He showed us the humility of Moses and we looked at the kind of joy and peace that only God can give.

But he was not talking at us all of the time. He gave up two half-hour sessions on separate days to allow time for ‘mini-retreats’ or guided Bible study. For many people these times alone with God in a busy schedule – life and SLC – were two of the highlights of the week.

Family sports day 'fun'!

But SLC is not just about Bible teaching; it is about having fun, playing sports and games and also bringing otherwise unheralded talent out in the Talent Night! So there was time for getting a face full of flour on Family Fun Day, for drama and dance on Talent Night and also for chilling and chatting with friends and colleagues in the Common Room or over a cup of coffee (eventually) during break times.