Monday, June 29, 2015

Lasting Ministry

Recently my husband and I were back “home” in TN with my family.  While there I was discussing my parent’s church with my mom.  She mentioned how it was still doing really well.  Now, if you have followed my blog,  you will know that, nine months ago, their pastor passed away from cancer.

It had been a horrible shock to the congregation, yet it brought everyone closer together and closer to God. The amazing thing about it all, was that the people still went about their ministries and still did what they were previously doing.  Why? .…because Pastor Tom pointed them to Jesus.

You see Pastor Tom was an encourager.  People would have burdens for particular areas of ministry and he would encourage them in it.  He didn’t micro-manage what they did, and he didn’t make it so that they depended on him. In fact, all sorts of people have ministries inside and outside the church--in the prison and to the homeless, bus routes to poor neighborhoods and so on, not because it is organized by the church, but because they simply have a burden to do so. 

…and so a year later, those ministries are still going on and doing well.

The late Pastor Tom pointed them in the right direction (toward dependence on God) and they went and "did".

So mentors, teachers, parents, and friends, what can we learn from this man?

Don’t just spoon-feed them the Word, teach them how to feed themselves.  Teach them how to study the Bible

Encourage them in their burdens. Give them direction if need it but allow them to do the work.  Encourage them to take steps and then step back.

Pray! They will need a lot of direction, but not always from you. They need to learn how to hear from God--pray that they will.

Point them to Him, teach them to take those first few steps, and then back up.

You may be an amazing woman of God, but you will not always be around. The only One that will ALWAYS be around is God.  So give "Him" to those you mentor.

Think, you may not be here in a few months.  What then?  Can they live without you?  Can they have a thriving relationship with God without you?

One last story, before I close:  I remember working as a camp counselor at The Wilds.  I would have campers come to me with so many different issues.  I dealt with everything from bitterness to cutting to sexual sins to gossip.  If you can name it, I probably had to counsel someone through it.  

When I first started working with these girls, I would try to pin-point each problem and give them specific verses for each problem, but, later on, I realized something really important.  I realized that, yes, I needed to give verses and encouragement to help guide them through their issues, but, more then that, I needed to lead them into feeding themselves a daily diet of the Bible.

You see, after they left the camp and left me, they would have those exact verses that I gave them, but they couldn’t come to me every time they had a NEW issue.  They needed more than a few verses: they needed all the Scriptures.  They needed a daily relationship with God. They needed to have His help in every situation, small or great.  If I was no longer with them, they would have Jesus and His Word.

So. let's point people to the Bible.  Give them the Living Bread.  Teach them how to read the Bible.  Teach them how to feed themselves.  Encourage their burdens, point them in the right direction and then let God manage it.

We are dispensable but God isn’t. - Rejoicing in the Present

1 comment:

  1. He is the one constant in our lives... how wonderful to be able to depend on Him today, tomorrow, forever. Thanks Joy.