God has brought you here this week for a reason. It’s important for you to be here because what we are doing is important—I believe that this revelation is the single most important project on this planet today. While we do care that our brothers and sisters have enough to eat, good medical care, and proper education, our concern is for their eternal soul. God has given us this opportunity and this responsibility. You have made the choice to be a leader of the Fifth Epochal Revelation. There have been great spiritual leaders of Urantia in the past. There are great leaders here with us tonight. And this week we will train and develop great leaders for the future.
Trustees from Urantia Foundation, members of the UAI Representative Council, the International Service Board, national and local association leaders, leaders of Urantia Book Fellowship, study group hosts, and other leaders from all levels of this revelation are here at this symposium.
Tomorrow you will get to meet descendents of Forum and contact commission members. We also have a special guests: Carolyn Kendall, who was a member of the original Forum and Cathy Jones and Tonia Baney, who created IUA which today is UAI.
Take advantage of this week to talk with the leaders of this revelation, ask questions, and share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas. Build your social network within this worldwide community of Urantia Book Leaders. They will be your own personal support group that you can turn to when you need help or encouragement. You do not have to struggle with frustration or confusion when you personally know someone who is willing to share their hard-earned experience and wisdom with you. Being a leader does not have to be a lonely position.
One of my favorite speakers is a man named Doug Wead. He tells a story about when he was in college they staged protests against world hunger by refusing to eat lunch at school. If it was anything like the food at my school this was not much of a sacrifice. But, they said —“Look at us! We are not eating so that starving children can have food to eat.” But when he got older and out in the real world he learned that empty plates don’t feed hungry people. You have to do something to feed hungry people. We need people to prepare the soil. We need people to plant the seeds. We need people to bring in the harvest and bake the bread. We need you to do whatever God has led you to do. Leadership requires action.
I believe that we are here tonight because we want to feed hungry people. The food we offer is the bread of life —a new revelation of Jesus’ life and a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. Many people are hungry for the food that The Urantia Book has to offer and you are the salt with a saving savor.
What this world needs most is to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men. We need teachers and leaders to proclaim this new revelation of Jesus and his message of salvation to a world full of hungry people. So, let us share the bread of life with our family and friends at every opportunity—because empty plates won’t feed hungry people.
The Urantia Book reveals the importance and value of leadership and organization. Everything from Paradise, through the Grand Universe, to planetary governments, down to the family unit benefit from organization and leadership. Adam and Eve spent their first six days on Urantia planning and organizing. The apostles were organized into specific tasks and responsibilities. We, too, need to be organized and we need good leaders in order to do what needs to done efficiently and affectively.
UAI’s mission is to foster study groups and promote in-depth study of The Urantia Book. Our goals are to produce teachers and leaders for the Fifth Epochal Revelation and to share these teachings with our brothers and sisters of Urantia. By doing these things, we bring man closer to God, introduce God as the loving Father of all mortals and all mortals as the brotherhood of man. This is our spiritual mission.
We often talk about “our mission” but Mark Kurtz reminded me that this is not “our” mission. This is the mission of Christ Michael, for he authorized The Urantia Book project, and all of us are participating in “his” plan in accordance with our Father’s will. Could there be anything more important than this? Could there be any greater opportunity on this planet than to serve as a leader of this revelation?
One of the most important lessons to be learned during your mortal career is teamwork. The spheres of perfection are manned by those who have mastered this art of working with other beings. Few are the duties in the universe for the lone servant. [Paper 28:3, page 312:2]
It is impossible to learn teamwork without a team. Being part of an organization, association, or a group of people gives us the opportunity to become part of a team. As a member of a team we have greater opportunities to serve, increased resources to serve more people, and a platform from which to shine our light farther and wider.
In civilization much, very much, depends on an enthusiastic and effective load-pulling spirit. Ten men are of little more value than one in lifting a great load unless they lift together—all at the same moment. And such teamwork—social co-operation—is dependent on leadership. [Paper 81:6, page 911:2]
A group needs leaders to coordinate their efforts, multiply their individual capabilities, and bring them together as a team. Those of us blessed to be part of the early days of this revelation have a big job to do—a great load to lift, “ We need leaders to guide and encourage those who are inspired by this revelation to lift this planet up from the depths of darkness and into the light.
If we suddenly find ourselves alone on a dark city street, where do we go to feel safe? We go to where there is light. When there is a power outage and we try leave a dark room, who leads the way? The person with the light. When we struggle to find our way out of spiritual darkness, who shows us the way? The person with the light.
You are the light of the world. A city set upon a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and be led to glorify your Father who is in heaven. [Paper 140:3, page 1570:14]
As a leader of this revelation, you are the person with the light. Do not hide your light under a bushel but hold it up for all to see. People, like moths, are attracted to the light. So, let your light so shine that others may find their way out of darkness and glorify our Father—for you are the light of this world.
In Paper 163, Ordination of the Seventy at Magadan, when Jesus said farewell to the seventy after their ordination, he told them that the gospel of the kingdom must be proclaimed to all the world, to gentile as well as to Jew. He told them to teach that man’s whole duty is summed up in this one commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself.
Simon Peter followed by telling them to have courage for they will face hostility and to have faith and trust that all they need will be provided to them. He told them to possess zeal and enthusiasm in attending to the Master’s business.
He told them to always pray for more laborers to be sent forth into the gospel harvest. He explained that, when one so prays, he will more likely say, “Here am I; send me.”
I believe that each of us is here tonight because we, too, have said, “Father, here am I; send me.”
And that my friends is what leadership really is.