Thursday, May 29, 2014
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
God is doing good stuff, Friend.
I just returned from an FCF Pastors and Ministers Conference in Chincha, Peru. What a great time we had! It is always a privilege to be asked to impart to other ministers. It reminds me of my smallness. Just a few thoughts as I recover my strength:
1. We met several pastors and renewed acquaintance with others. I was reminded that God has called and gifted men and women in places I can’t even pronounce. They are doing wonderful things and changing lives. I recall about 25 years ago sitting in a graveyard (the only place we could find privacy) in Aunse d’Clare, Haiti with 3 Haitian pastors. They were telling me about their ministries and the struggles they faced. As they spoke, I was overwhelmed by the reality that they had the same call I did, served the same God I serve, and were anointed by the same Spirit that empowered me. The only thing that I had to recommend me was the fact that God had graciously allowed me to be born in Oklahoma instead of Haiti. Because of that I was able to receive wonderful Bible training and preparation for ministry. That was all I could offer them. That has been my theme in missions for the last quarter century: taking this simple Message to places and people who would otherwise not be able to receive it.
2. Pastor Omar of FCF Peru made a statement in one conversation that struck me. He said that Peru has had lots of evangelists, but not so many teachers. He wanted his people to receive the teaching of the Word. He reminded me that it takes all of us to do the job at hand. Each of us has a piece of the puzzle, so to speak, of making disciples of all nations. We tend to want to hang around with those of like interest and gifting as ourselves. I love to teach, and I love to get around “teachy” people so we can discuss and debate fine points of doctrine. The discipleship process, however, requires the proclaimer as well as the explainer. In fact, neither one is much good without the helper and the administrator. Some plant, some water, but God gives the increase. Appreciate one another and give glory to God.
3. The Ministry of Helps is vital to the success of the Gospel. I watched the team of workers who made the event possible, and realized my part was very small. There were musicians, and sound people, and cooks, and clerical help, and kid’s workers, and a dozen other gifts that were essential to the process. We are all different, we are all gifted, and we are all necessary. As Peter pointed out, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. (1Pe 4:10 NLT)” He went on to say that some were gifted to speak, but others were gifted to serve. The values of a gift is not determined by the recipient, but by the Giver. Thank God for every anointed and appointed helper.
Somebody Said: Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn’t do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another. Vince Lombardi
Scripture Reading: It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. (1Co 3:7-9 NLT)
I am grateful that God has given me a little part to play in His much larger plan. But, then, I am grateful that He has done the same for you. Thank you for your service, whatever and wherever it may be.