I know I haven’t written in a while. I sometimes wonder about blogging. What’s the point? Why do I write? I think like maybe 3 people read my blog anyways… and that’s totally fine! I realize I’m not a scholar. I don’t hold a PhD or a Masters. I graduated college at 34. I have never written a book! I have never preached for a huge church congregation. I don’t have (fill in the blank) or I have never (fill in the blank). I say all of that not to knock myself or my walk with Christ…but I say that because I've heard from others (lots of others) that I need certain things mentioned above to be in the eyes of many an effective ministry leader.
That may be true. If you have accomplished the said above, this is not knock on you. Praise God that He gave you the ability to accomplish the things He set before you. I don’t know if I will ever accomplish the said above and I really don’t know the formula to being effective in ministry because it seems to change every five years. It’s a full time job of frustration and joy just to get people to “come” to church or to “serve” in the church. Yeah I know the church isn't a building and the church is supposed to “go” but work with me here. Anyways I’m not even sure that’s the point of my rant. As I sit and right out my thoughts…I came to this conclusion about being an effective leader in Christ’s church: Am I truly following Jesus with ALL of my life?
I recently had the joy of driving a distance or so to pick up a friend of mine that I've known for 17 years, Judah Tangshing. Now I say joy but at first I was a bit aggravated. Why was I aggravated? I was aggravated because it was a long distance and my vehicle is less than in the department of vehicles. It was going to cost me a lot of gas. Money I didn't really have! So I grumbled, complained, and went to pick up Judah. My attitude stunk…and then enter Judah.
Judah is a minister of the underground kind in Myanmar. They don’t allow the preaching of Jesus legally over there. Christianity is banned. Judah can be arrested for his preaching of the Gospel…and they can probably do more than just arrest for preaching of the Gospel. I asked Judah if he had been arrested yet! His response, “Not yet but I know it’s going to happen but that won’t stop me from proclaiming Jesus Christ to the pagan nation around me. These people need Jesus!”
It will be a lot to read here but do yourself a favor and read the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 6:19 – 34; 22:37 – 39; 28:18-20; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 9:57-62; John 13:12-15; 15:1-11 and then ask yourself, “Am I honestly Coming after Christ, Am I honestly Denying myself, Am I honestly Taking up my cross, and Am I honestly Following Jesus?”
If you don’t have a good answer for the above than you need to do some soul searching and ask yourself what YOU ARE allowing to take you away from truly following Jesus.
Judah understands and lives the above words of Jesus! Judah is faced daily with the threat of persecution, prison, and possible death from preaching the Gospel of Christ but it doesn't stop him. He is surrounded by pagan worship and lifestyles but he continues to pray and love people to the Lord. He and his family are poor but you would never know that from the smile he carries on face. And I sit here and complain about my vehicle and gas money...
Christians, we have so much passion for things like:
· Our jobs
· Our families
· Saving money, spending money, or making money
· Our homes or buying homes
· Retirement plans
· Movies, music, games, books, TV shows, and the like
· Being lazy, working, or having a “good time” because we deserve it
· How to run the church or the direction of the church
· Being right and never wrong
· My feelings
· Organizations/Charities/Causes that we represent
· Sleeping in
· Our Hobbies
· Social Media
· Having my kids in all extracurricular activities (sports, glee club, and the like)
· Our opinions being heard
· (fill in the blank)
· Do we have the same passion for following Jesus as we do for the things stated above?
· Are my priorities, God’s priorities?
· Have I really counted the cost for following Christ or am I busy being comfortable?
· Do I truly love God and people or is it something I just say?
· Is my faith in God or in my abilities…or people?
That’s my thought (rant) for today…maybe my last blog. Honestly Jesus says it better than I ever will.