We will mark 29 years of officership in June. 29 years of ministry. 29 years of praying, worrying, working, pushing on…29 years of Bible studies, sermons, visits…29 years of funerals, weddings, dedications. The past 5 years it’s been about administration more than anything…it’s been about leadership, decision making, team work, team building.
But nothing in all those 29 years has brought me more joy than preaching. It happened again today – the message was aimed more for the kids, and truth be told I could tell the adults were listening too! As we came down to the end I asked who would like to be prayed for, who would like to make a decision – who would like to leave a changed person. There were lots of hands…and one was a little girl, maybe 6 years of age.
I prayed for them all – I prayed for her. That God would have freedom to do a work in their hearts that would mean awakening Monday morning knowing they were different.
If you think of it – would you pray for them too? Would you pray for that 6 year old?
As way of passing I was 7 when I knew I wanted God to do a work in my life.
He isn’t finished that work either.
At the end of a challenging, if not productive work week, it is easy to feel good as the office closes for the weekend. Employees are filing out, wishing each other a good weekend and heading out to what they have planned. Last weekend Wendy and I were out on the road so it will be nice to be home this weekend.
There is a definite tide working in an office setting that is different to being “out on the front lines”. Those of us at DHQ dwell in two worlds – during the week we have administrative duties that support the people we visit on weekends. There is a great joy in rubbing shoulders with those whose responsibilities are more directly linked to hands on ministry.
In the April 2011 edition of Christianity Today, they ask the question “What’s a congregation worth?” The Answer comes from a study by University of Pennsylvania’s Ram Cnann:
- Church budget: $520,000 with 80% providing stimulus to the local economy.
- Suicide prevention $58,800 with $19,600 per person directly saved through clergy intervention
- Divorces prevented $22,500
- Crime prevention and re-entry $84,000
- Reduced crime rate $64,416
- Volunteer hours worked $94,770
- People getting off drugs/alcohol $78,750
- Helping people gain employement $725,000
Now multiply that by the number of churches in your neighbourhood…the number of Salvation Army Centres that do even more…supporting that kind of work is deeply satisfying. I thank God every day for His calling on my life.
“And Jesus went about doing good.”