Working with heart, soul, and reason
The most recent District Apostle Meeting came to its conclusion with a festive divine service. And it was precisely this work that had been accomplished over the previous days that Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider chose as his main focus. He sees this as a guideline for making the right decisions—even for our members in general.
"Naturally people are always interested and often wonder what we are up to when we sit together and talk for days at a time," said the Chief Apostle at the start of a transmission service on 15 March 2015 in the congregation of Schaffhausen-Neuhausen. "How do we work in this circle? We work with our reason, we work with our hearts, and we work with our souls—that is a really great combination."
Work method in a large group
"We start of with prayer," he explained. "When it comes to making a decision or setting a new course, we begin first and foremost with a prayer, because we naturally need the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Without Him there is nothing we would want to do anyway."
"We also need our faculty ofreason. And then we also need to acquire the necessary knowledge," said the Chief Apostle as he explained the second phase. "What does it say in Holy Scripture?— There we must do some research." He went on to note that additional expertise is also necessary in many other areas. "This is not something we acquire on the occasion of our ordination! We need to read up on things and study what they are all about!"
The third phase is a lively exchange of experiences, but also of feelings and sentiments. "This is where the heart, and our brotherly love, come to expression," he related. "At times we become aware that we still do not have enough information on a certain subject—and at such times we must simply acquire more knowledge. On other occasions we notice that we need more time for exchange. But very often we also feel that we need more of the Holy Spirit: let us pray more often and more sincerely."
A guideline for personal decision-making
"This is also a nice piece of advice for our young people: why not do the same!?" stated the Chief Apostle as he drew this comparison. After all, he pointed out, "Our young members have many decisions to make in life."
"The dear God has given us the faculty of reason. Please make use of it!" he said in reference to the second phase. "At times you have to study a bit and engage in some personal reflection: what is it that I still need to know? What are the facts and realities?"
"The dear God has also given us ministers who have experience," stated the Chief Apostle in reference to the next step, namely exchange. "So let us please exchange experiences with them and get some advice from them! Now I have the necessary knowledge, along with the experience of my brothers and my sisters. I have also spoken with my parents, so I now know how they feel about this too."
And in conclusion he once again made reference to prayer: "Dear God, please tell me what I must do now! Dear God, now I need to know what You expect of me!" he said as he described the right attitude of heart and its results: "At some point we will then have peace in our hearts. Then we will know: that was the correct decision! That is what we will do now! That is what will please God."
"Let us work with reason, with our hearts, and with our souls," summarized the Chief Apostle before going on to add, "and let us apply the knowledge, our exchange of experiences and feelings, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to useful effect."