Friday, March 24, 2006

Recommended Biography: "Agape Leadership: Lessons in spiritual leadership from the life of R.C. Chapman"

You've probably never heard of R.C. Chapman (left). I hadn't either until one of my mentors and friends Russell Sutherland gave me his short biography, "Agape Leadership," a few weeks ago.

Described by Charles Spurgeon as "the Saintliest man I ever knew," Chapman, who was born in 1803 and died 99 years later in 1902, was a hero of the faith. He was a pastor/elder, teacher, evangelist, hymn-writer, missionary... so much that lasted; and his life was like clay in God's hands.

If you don't mind me dropping some names for the sake of context, and if it means anything to you:
-Chapman urged John Darby (a Brethren stalwart) not to disassociate himself from J.N. Newton. In other words, he was there to try to inject grace into the first major split of, sadly, many hurt-filled splits in the Brethren movement. (Someone correct me if this was not the first split.) Chapman was still greatly respected by both men afterwards.
-Chapman also encouraged the great Hudson Taylor to go to China before the latter had ever set foot on the mission field, and was one of the first "referees" of the China Inland Mission, the mission organization Taylor later founded.
-Chapman sent two of his young mentees to work with Anthony Norris Groves ("father of faith missions") in India.

Little knowing these big names, though, the people of Chapman's day knew him instead for the little things he did; like giving to the poor, going to the train station without money and trusting God to provide a ticket (He did... on more than one occasion), having an open home, getting up early and cleaning his guests' shoes/boots, and giving to the poor.

Perhaps the main lesson I took from Chapman's life was this: Although God used him to accomplish so much, Chapman was lost to the world for hours every day. What was he doing? Spending time in prayer and Bible study. Convicting, isn't it?

I want to give my copy of "Agape Leadership" to the first person who asks me for it (I hope someone does!). Everyone else: the ISBN number of the book is 0936083050 and can be found on Amazon here. (Copies are available today (March 24, 2006) for as little as $2.55 used.)

Meanwhile, as I seek to pray more (I'm just beginning to taste what prayer is) and encourage others to do the same, I thought I'd finish with these quotes from Chapman's biography. Enjoy.
"Because the Lord's servant is 'continually ministering to others, he must be receiving fresh supplies from the God of all grace through all channels. Meditation on the Word and prayer should occupy the chief part of his time.' On most days [Chapman] read and meditated on God's Word for several hours..."

"...This time of study and fellowship with God was the source of his spiritual strength as well as his personal knowledge of God's will. He also made prayer his constant business. He spoke to God about everything that was on his heart and would pray anytime, regardless of what activity he was doing." (p. 64)

Chapman: "It is well for a child of God to pray for himself, but a more excellent thing to pray for others. God honours the spirit of intercession." (p. 70)

"With no desire to become an old man who mourned lost opportunities or looked back at what might have been, Chapman determined to live for Christ as long as he was able. In his later years, he accomplished that goal through fervent, intercessory prayer. Considering intercession to be 'my chief business now,' he spent much time in prayer, and requests came to him from around the world." (p. 71)
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ar TORONTO, CANADA | 2018+

MAY

22 Tue (1) 3pm mtg (JC), (2) 7:15pm patch prayer mtg
23-25 Wed-Fri holiday
26-30 (Advance voting)
28 Mon (1) 8:30am VT prayer mtg, (2) 7:30pm dinner (JVE)
29 Tue (1) 2:30pm coffee (BD), (2) 7:15pm patch prayer mtg
30 Wed (1) 9:30am VT Bible study, (2) 10:30am mtg (MF), (3) 11am leadership mtg (MF,SN,VS,DN)
31 Thu 7:45am b'fast (DM)

JUNE
2 Sat am & aft speaking at Guelph Men's Conf
7 Thu (Election day)
8 Fri MI online board mtg
9 Sat ~J's bday
23 Prayer Journey
26-28 speaking at Amplify Conference - Chicago
28 Thu leaving to Arkansas
28 - Jun 7 Fri-Sat holiday

JULY
... May 28-7 Fri-Sat holiday - Arkansas
20-22 Fri-Sun SL wknd w/ ML/J/A/B,Som/S,~J/C
30 - Aug 3 Mon Mon-Fri Kids Kapers camp

AUGUST
4 Sat poss. J/D wedding
10-12 Fri-Sun ~J's family wknd
17-19 Fri-Sun church-plant camping trip - Killbear
24-25 Fri-Sat writing training wknd - Hamilton
28 Tue 10am CCWM board mtg

SEPTEMBER
2-3 Sun-Mon new-staff retreat - Faith Mission
3-7 Tue-Fri VT retreat - Faith Mission
21 Fri MI in-person board mtg

OCTOBER
1-7 Mon-Sun Dollar-a-Day

NOVEMBER
Poss. time in Afr., India, Aus.
24 MI online board mtg

DECEMBER
29: KH/S wedding)

2019 on
Feb 15-18: MIer conference
Feb 16: Sat - 10-yr anniv
Feb 18-22: VT retreat
Feb 22-30: time off
Apr 1-3: poss. First Chair retreat
May 10, 10am: CCWM board mtg
Jun 25-29: poss. marketplace conf. - Manila
Dec: likely Indonesia, Australia