Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Telling the Story...again and again

It's been hard to find the time and the words to write about this past weekend. I know that the events of the weekend and the exposure to the community of Belle Glade FL has had its impact on me. Any one of the small "good" events from the weekend was more than enough to out weigh the air travel debacle that preceded the weekend.

There are many things on my mind and in my heart to write. I'm going to just free write the thoughts as they come up. My advance apologies for the unorganized fashion. I seriously doubt that I'm going to go back and re-write or organize them later.

Belle Glade's First Baptist Church is pastored by a friend of mine. I've probably learned more about real ministry from Pastor David than from anybody I know. His love for the unchurched of any community and his burden for motivating the people of our churches to meet their needs is the real deal! While there are those that would say it is not a good thing to be so transparent about your feelings and emotions, it is his transparency that lets everybody know that he is genuine in his motivation to serve the community.

I can't begin to tell how much I enjoyed our conversations over the weekend.

There were areas that reminded me of my ministry trip into Eastern Kentucky last summer; areas of extreme poverty and an oppressing feeling of despair. It's almost as if there is just too much to do to be effective in meeting the needs. For every need met, there are still many that are unmet. There is far too much for one person--or even one church--to do. I hope that we were able to provide a moment of escape for the people in need. I hope that we were able to provide them with a day of fun. I hope that they heard our message of hope.

It is a little disturbing that such poverty exists in this land of plenty. It is greatly disturbing that the divide between the "haves" and the "have-nots" is growing so large. I am truly thankful that there are some very generous "haves" that make ministering to the "have-nots" possible; but we need more. We need the financial resources, but even more so, we need people that are willing to work. I thank God for lessons of love that are being learned at Belle Glade's FBC!

Knowing that there is much work to be done in the area of service gives me more reason to look toward retirement. I've seen plenty of good ministries that people are doing, but feel poorly equipped to get one started myself. My gifts don't fall into the areas of organization or structure. I pretty much need to be told what needs to be done. I guess my eyes are not tuned to seeing the needs that are right in front of me--something else to work on!

Sometimes I think it's funny how we do "mission" work. We took a group of people from Hopedale to Eastern KY to repair homes, teach kids and minister to the people of the area--working through local ministry groups. A youth group from Houston TX came to Southwest MO and did the same kinds of things for the people of this area--working through the local churches. I'd be willing to bet that there were church groups that traveled to the Houston area and did ministry in their backyard, too.

Is it just more glamorous to go do missions work? Do we think that missions work in our area needs to be done by outsiders? How much more could we do here if we didn't spend the time and resources to travel?
I know that there are times when we need to go; places that need our help, but are we going at the expense of the people in our own communities that need help?

Over the past several weeks I've had the privilege of witnessing pastors from different churches talking to people about Jesus after my part in their events. It is an incredible blessing to see that the Holy Spirit is moving in the lives of the people that come to these events. I don't know how many have been truly changed. I don't know if there were professions of faith. I don't know if people have been motivated to share the gospel of salvation in Jesus. I try not to worry about the numbers. I try to stay focused doing what I've been called to do--tell the story!

God loves you.
Jesus died for you.

John <><

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