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Our family traveled to the beautiful Yosemite Valley a few years ago. While camping there, we found ourselves roaming well-worn pathways into the night, to and from campfires and evening activities. Away from city lights, our children were both frightened by the darkness and exhilarated by the opportunity to explore this wonderland together.

After deciding as a group where we were headed, we appointed a leader who carried our biggest flashlight and determined the path the family would take. The rest followed with our own little lights. Each one used his light to illumine the way, sometimes pointing out a treacherous root or hanging branch.

Our greatest temptation was for each one to shine his light ahead of the leader or deep into the woods along the sides. Invariably, the one who did that would stumble on a root or slip on loose gravel unseen in the darkness at his feet.

I have found that being an associate in a multi-staff church is much like those nighttime hikes. The church leadership ...

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