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Growing God’s Way

Jemar Tisby

A Message of from RAAN’s Co-Founders

 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,

but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty (Prov. 21:5). 

As Phillip and I have seen God work in and through RAAN, we have learned that what God is doing takes time. We are like farmers waiting for the harvest. As James says,  “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains” (James 5:7).

Here are a few insights we’ve gained over the past year.  We share them so that you know what to expect from RAAN in the near future.

We Must Maintain Biblical Priorities

Phillip and I often discuss our priorities as we see them in light of the biblical teaching.  Our first priority is to attend to our personal relationship with God.  If we are not growing spiritually through a dynamic, dependent relationship with Jesus Christ we have nothing of eternal significance to share with anyone and we put our souls in peril.

Our second priority is to a spouse or significant other.  I have a wife and son.  Paul’s teaching about elders says, “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”(1 Timothy 3:4-5). Not that we are elders, but the principle still holds true.  We must take care of family first.

Our third priority must be to our studies.  As has been said, “A call to ministry is a call to prepare.”  We have the privilege of studying under godly and learned professors at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS.  Since we have such a great privilege to study here, Phillip and I want to absorb all that we can through our classes and assignments.  We simply must make time for the work of being a seminary student.

Expect Growth, But Slowly

The time we spend addressing our priorities impacts RAAN in a few ways.  Growth will happen, but it will happen slowly.

  1. Articles

Phillip and I are still learning and we realize that we don’t know much yet.  If we posted an article each week, we’d quickly come to the end of our knowledge.  Although we know lots of other Reformed men and women who can write for us, it takes time to choose topics. collect submissions, edit them, figure out a schedule and post new articles.

We will post articles as we have time to write and collect them.  With hope, this will be fairly often, but we cannot guarantee a certain pace.

2. We Will Respond to Comments as Soon as We are Able

I remember starting RAAN’s Facebook page.  Our first “likes” were from a few people in my contact list.  I remember milestones like ’10 Likes’, ’50 likes’ ‘100 Likes’, on up to nearly 2,300 Likes on Facebook and over 800 Twitter Followers today.

Both Phillip and I value each and every person who has taken time to interact with this ministry.  So we want to respond to your e-mails, comments, direct messages, and Facebook messages thoughtfully.  This takes time.  Please be patient as we reply.

3. We Will Pursue Quality Growth

If numbers were all that mattered we could pay for a few adds, offer prizes, contact some folks, and spread the word.  But numbers aren’t the only thing that matters. We labor as unto the Lord.  Therefore how we do what we do matters.  We strive to point out useful resources, seek out like-minded individuals, and write insightful material.  We refuse to let numerical growth jeopardize the quality of the ministry.

 Expect Progress, But Underground and Out of Sight

  1. Networking

Phillip and I were humbled and pleased at the response RAAN’s Anniversary video garnered.  We gained hundreds of new followers and likes in just a few days.  We were able to do this because we had diligently built up our network of contacts over the past year.  We will continue to do so and you can trust that even though you don’t see much action on the surface, we are constantly talking about and promoting RAAN among all kinds of people.

2. Soliciting Input

“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Prov. 15:22).  Both Phillip and I recognize the wisdom in learning from others.  We have been blessed to learn from men and women among our regular contributors, Advisory Board, and many more.  We will continue to ask for input from trusted advisers whose insights can provide the water to help the seed of this ministry grow.  We are also open and glad to hear from  you.  Just visit our website and go to the “Contact Us” page.

Growing a Ministry that Stands the Test of Time

By growing slowly, God’s way, RAAN will form deep roots that will ensure its longevity.  If we are to achieve our mission to provide biblically faithful resources, connect Reformed African Americans to one another, and develop theology in community then we must have staying power.  If we forego short term gratification, we will ensure long term impact.

Phillip and I believe that slow growth is the best growth in light of our circumstances and the Bible’s standards.  Although the world constantly sends us the message of “bigger, faster, now!” we adhere to the seed principle.  Growth God’s way is often organic, slow, and subtle.  But if we entrust the growth of this ministry to the Lord, we will look back and praise Him for His plan.

Thank you for your support of RAAN, and we look forward to growing this ministry with you.

Phillip & Jemar

RAAN Co-Founders

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