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.
We Are on Week Four...
We are on week four of my series on: The Five Lessons I Have Learned About Being a Rebel. I'll review my previous points first:
Lesson ONE – rebels who are remembered (for goodness sake), are not just against things as they are, they are diligently giving themselves to things as they should be.
Lesson TWO – the best rebels understand that respecting all people is fundamental in the pursuit of any goal, and under the Christian banner, love might even demand that we honor the “opposing” person over and above the cause.
Lesson THREE – a passionate rebel must be persistent in the cause and patient with the people who don’t feel it as deeply as the rebel does. The rebel still needs them. If you’re the rebel – don’t alienate people. Lead them.
Lesson four is about raising the rebel’s awareness of how they come across to other people. The rebel thinks to themselves, “I have good intentions. I am just trying to change things for the better. Why are people so resistant to my ideas?” They are genuinely surprised when they hear about how they make people uneasy. Rebels tend to forget that we judge ourselves by our intentions, but other people judge us according to our actions (Stephen Covey).
Truth is, rebels really do make other people nervous, because rebels are seen as people who want to change “everything.” That’s not far from the truth. Rebels are regularly talking about the things that need to be changed – with passion. That is what gets the rebel excited. That is what they feel called to do. Therefore, people can come to believe that “change” is the rebel’s entire agenda.
It’s therefore incumbent upon the rebel to regularly affirm the things that are good that already exist, if they want to be heard on the things that need to be adjusted.
Lesson FOUR – strategically, it is essential for rebels to authentically affirm what does not need changing before advocating for the things that do need changing.