Pastor's corner December 16th
This Sunday we will be welcoming five new members into Grace Fellowship. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about it – and I want to tell you why.
Taking in new members is a wonderful thing, because it means that people are identifying with our mission and feeling connected to our congregation. It also serves as a reminder that our mission matters and loving people makes a difference. The simple “yeses” we will hear on Sunday is packed with all that richness!
But, in this case, it is also more than that.
One of the things I remember hearing early in my tenure at Grace was related to the families that are part of the Wednesday kid’s ministry. The church was able to reach the kids, but the rest of the family was a bit harder to reach. I remember many prayers being prayed for the parents of these kids. I also remember watching the way parents were treated whenever they came to the church – wonderfully loved and embraced. It regularly moved me.
Point being that sometimes it takes time to see fruit from seeds planted. It requires faithful service when there are no immediate returns. God honors faithfulness. I am absolutely delighted that I get to witness these years of investment paying off. Several of those becoming members are a direct product of our Wednesday ministry to kids.
So, as these new families join our church this weekend, I hope everyone who has volunteered to teach a class, serve a meal, clean up the kitchen, pray for the ministry and/or put an offering in the basket on Sunday – remembers that each of you are an integral part of their spiritual journey. Without your willingness to serve and give (often sacrificially), we would not be seeing what we are seeing this weekend.
Thank-you for your faithfulness.
You did not become weary and well-doing. Therefore, the time for harvesting has come, because you did not give up. Well done good and faithful servants.
Five Lessons I Have Learned About Being a Rebel Pt. 2
Last week I started my first “series” with Pastor’s Corner, where I’m addressing: Five Lessons I Have Learned About Being a Rebel. Last week I addressed my first observation:
Lesson ONE – rebels remembered for goodness sake are not just against things as they are, they are diligently giving themselves to things as they should be.
My second lesson has to do with a rebel’s disposition toward people. Rebels care deeply about causes and often when a cause is being engaged, lots of people end up paying a hefty price – especially those who stand in opposition to the cause.
Changing things and shaking things up is core to a rebel’s strategy. As a result, rebels are not usually very concerned about collateral damage (even if that includes people). It’s just part of the price (in their minds). Some things are too important to let people’s feelings, preferences, and/or opinions get in the way. If the fight requires that a few people get denigrated and demonized, so be it.
This may be standard fare in the world, but for the Christian, this is simply not an option. Addressing any and every cause must include a strategy that continues to value people – even people on the “other side.” People are not the enemy. People may hold ideas that rebels find reprehensible and downright evil, and yet these very people are still loved by God. In fact, they are God’s treasure.
Therefore, every redeemed rebel makes a clear distinction between the cause and the people involved (on both sides). They understand that sincere people can have different ideas about any number of issues and just because someone sees something differently does not make them evil, incompetent, or prejudice – modern political conversations not-withstanding.
Lesson TWO – the best rebels understand that respecting/valuing all people is fundamental in the pursuit of any goal, and under the Christian banner, love might demand that we honor the “opposing” person over and above the cause.
“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us…” (Romans 5:8)