I want to encourage someone today. Remember, your labor is not in vain. Sometimes we labor hard and fail to see immediate results. At times, we appear to work harder than those around us and achieve much less. We talk to teenagers, but they don’t seem to listen. We preach messages, but no one seems to apply them. We challenge our friends, but they don’t seem to take us seriously. We pray hard, but it seems like our prayers are hitting the ceiling. We serve faithfully, but no one seems to reward or notice us. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” The passage states two things about reaping: 1) It happens in due season and 2) It happens if we don’t give up. Sometimes we haven’t reaped because it’s not our season as yet. When we give up, we abort the process before ever experiencing results. When I was a kid, I planted many seeds without results: apples, green peppers, mangos; you name it, I’ve planted it. One day, I decided to plant some tomato seeds. Not only did the seeds sprout, but the plant actually bore tomatoes. Talk about being on cloud nine! If I gave up after my first or second planting attempt, I would have never reaped my harvest. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Archive for October, 2010
I always enjoy meeting new people. Attending a Chamber of Commerce network breakfast this morning gave me the opportunity to meet business leaders in our community. Events like these give you a greater sense of what’s going on in your community because you get to hear people’s stories. Here are just a few:
- Someone that started her own parental consulting organization. Not sure how it all works, but there are some parents that sure need some coaching.
- Someone who has an opposite story to me. I started out pursuing music, but switched to pursue a greater love for teaching, preaching, and pastoring. He started out pursuing ministry, but switched to pursue a greater love for music.
- Someone who just moved to the area five days ago and presently looking for a church home.
- A Chamber of Commerce employee who went to my hometown as part of her honeymoon cruise. I couldn’t help but light up inside as she ranted and raved about the same beach that my wife adores.
- Our church is located in a high rental community. Met someone today that is passionate about helping people find apartments to rent.
- The owner of an ice-cream shop. While most ice-cream shops carry flavors you can get anywhere, she runs a shop that majors in tropical flavors that you must get from there.
- Someone who triggered an idea that could translate in another way for us to impact the community. Not sure if it’s something God would have us do, but it sure has been ringing in my mind since she mentioned it.
One of the greatest dangers in ministry is unwillingness to forgive. As leaders, there are many people that hurt or disappoint us intentionally and unintentionally. People you pour into leave you. People you trust betray you. People you challenge misunderstand you and gossip about you. Some cause division. Some are irresponsible. Some slander your name, church, organization, group, or anything else you lead. The offenses are too numerous to mention. Hebrews 12:15 says “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” I think this is true both publicly and in our hearts. Bitterness can defile a group of people when it not dealt with. I also believe that bitterness can defile us individually if we don’t deal with it in a healthy manner. Bitterness is a root that becomes a huge, fruit bearing tree if not uprooted in its infancy. The longer the bitterness lingers in our heart, the more complex it is to uproot. The biggest favor we can do for ourselves and those we lead is too forgive as soon as possible.
Our Outreach Director, Robert Theodore, has been doing a fantastic job in helping The Bridge serve the city. Two Sundays ago, we headed to Franklin Park in Washington DC to serve the homeless. We fed them, prayed with them, and shared Christ with them both nonverbally and verbally. The great thing is we were not the only one who was there. Two other groups also came to the park to minister to the homeless community. It’s simply a reminder that we are a small part of God’s vast kingdom. God calls us to simply do our part. Here’s a recap of our experience:
Artist, TolumIDE, was one of the performers at Expression Live. I found out later that she and the band didn’t get a chance to rehearse prior to this performance. You would have never guessed. I felt so proud of Buddy Jordan, The Bridge’s bass player, and his band. They rocked it out!