Think about Jesus…did he do all the ministry? At first, but he was doing the equipping. Then he sent the disciples out in two’s. Ultimately, Jesus’ ministry was equipping the disciples and directly serving those outside of the disciples. How many miracles did he do on behalf of or directly for the disciples? No healings…except for Peter’s mom. He did calm the sea for them too. So he did care for them “pastorally.” So his ministry wasn’t to them but for them.
The Church is the Body of Christ. Therefore the Church doesn’t exist to serve the Christian but for the Christian to serve. The Church exists to serve the Christian in their service!
C.H. Spurgeon said, “Let each man find out what God wants him to do, and then let him do it, or die in the attempt.”
4 Qualities of effective pastors:
- CALLING (Gotta Know It!)
- PASSION (Gotta Want It!)- You’ve got to love what you’re doing.
- DISCIPLINE (Gotta Work On It!)- “Before we can conquer the world we must conquer ourselves.” Oswald Chambers
- INTEGRITY (Gotta Earn It!)
I don’t know if you pray regularly for missionaries or if you know any. If you don’t, join me in praying for my friends of Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. I’m excited to continue in our Neighbors Project in Mayette, Haiti.
1. Acceptance by co-workers–other believers (Romans 15:31a).
2. Boldness in witnessing (Ephesians 6:19-20).
3. Clarity in communicating.
4. Deliverance from evil.
5. Extension of their ministry. The first thing a missionary needs are open doors.
6. Fruitfulness in spiritual endeavors.
7. Physical health. So many of my missionary friends have had to come out of the “field” temporarily for health reasons. It’s out of their control. So pray that God preserves their health so they can remain in their ministries.
Last year I challenged I our church to keep track of all unpaid service/ministry hours inside and outside the church, whether it’s in our choir or helping out with the Boy Scouts. We’re now keeping a running total for 2 reasons. 1) Are we externally-focused as a church? 2) It gives us a benchmark to beat in 2011. Of course, this will rely on people actually turning into me those hours.
Last year we had 80 people turn in hours that totalled 7356.5!
So far this year we’ve had 93 people report 6556.75 service hours.
Let me be clear: God saves us by GRACE through FAITH.
But faith is not faith until it is acted upon.
We falsely view righteousness or being a “goody-goody” as “doing no wrong.” So we practice “being good.” It’s “Don’t do this. Don’t do that. And you’re Okay.” But the problem with that approach is this: you can do nothing wrong and still do nothing RIGHT. Goodness is not the absence of badness. It means doing something right.
Do you really think God’s ultimate dream for us is doing nothing wrong? Is God’s ultimate plan a weekly pilgrimage to the pew? Is God’s highest aim the absence of sin?
150 Children getting ready for our vbs on Tortuga
Now that I’ve slept in my own bed, eaten my own food, played with my own kids I’m feeling rested and renewed. Being gone anywhere for 10 days without those comforts is difficult.
When I arrived in Haiti 10 days ago I wasn’t initially stretched by the differences. I had prepared myself for over a year. Over the 10 days I was stretched out of my comfort zone constantly. But I have to say that I’m shocked more about my return to the States. Guilty that I’ve got all this unnecessary stuff. Grieved that I ever said things like, “I’m starving to death,” because I hadn’t eaten in a few hours.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m overjoyed to be back. I don’t see myself returning in the next year. I don’t sense any calling to return long-term. But I’ve been humbled and I do believe God is calling me to be a voice for Haiti. It’s full of beautiful people and places. Haitians are working hard to make their country a better place. But I don’t think they can do it alone.
Sunday, July 10 was a day of rest. We worshiped with the mission church (in Creole). We recognized many traditional hymns and could sing along in English blending our tongues in praise to God.
Sundays at the mission are laid back and honor a day of rest. There are no planned ministries but many of the mission’s ministries run 24/7 so we were all able to hold or play with the babies in the orphanage or the special needs kids in the Miriam Center. Several went down to the Gran Moun to have conversations with the seniors who live there. Lori and I took the opportunity to bring in 2 of the street kids that try to sell us bracelets to the mission for a Bible study.
After dinner we packed and had our last night of all-group devotions. Because of costs associated with transporting us all to Port au Prince everyone taking the bus had to leave at 10pm for a 6 hour drive. We arrive at 4:30am, July 11 and waited in the terminal until our flight left at 4:30pm. What an exhausting day! We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale and are heading to bed, eager to get to our homes. A whirlwind trip that I’m looking forward to sharing more about in worship and on the blog in the near future.
It was a joy and privilege to travel with the Woodford folks (Randy, Lindsay, Sara, Erin, and Rolgard) along with our incredible FCC crew (Phil, Ken, Debbie, Heather, Connie, Elise, Kimberly, Rosemary, and Michele). It was a special honor to be able to go with my tough-as-nails daughter, Reagan, and my big sister, Lori. Happy 50th Birthday Big Sis!