Posts Tagged "ministry"

Wreck Me Again – Tami Kalhagen

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Wreck Me Again – Tami Kalhagen

Galatians 6:8-10  Those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to live the life of a refugee.  This past week I had a number of encounters with the subject, causing me to stop and contemplate what God was speaking into me.

First I ran into a missionary friend who works with refugees on a regular basis.  It is not uncommon to meet John with a foreign friend who has come to America for help or education.  This evening, the young man was from Tanzania.

Then I rented the movie, The Good Lie.  Expecting to see a chick-flick, it turned out to be the story of 3 men from the Sudan who were rescued from a refugee camp in Kenya.  I was wrecked. Not only had they run hundreds of miles from war on their homeland and seen their village destroyed, they then went to live in a camp where conditions were incommunicable.  Coming to America was extremely difficult too as their family was split across the nation, they had to quickly get jobs to sustain themselves, and there were so many things they didn’t understand.

Having a couple of kids who have encountered refugees in their ministry work, I talked with my daughter, Kari, who was home from college.  She talked about the child refugees she worked with in Bangladesh.

Monday morning as I grabbed the mail I was surprised to find a newsletter from Arrive Ministries (World Relief).  “Every refugee has a story.  Each one has a story of loss, dislocation and persecution.”

Well, I didn’t think I needed to be hit over the head with a hammer, but when God wants our attention, he makes no bones about it.  Life is not about doing what I can handle, but doing the work God needs me to do each day.  I know he will give me supernatural strength to do the unimaginable. Wreck me again, God!

 Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

 

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“You’re Leaving?” – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

“You’re Leaving?” – Pastor Matt

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Christian life is the idea that God uses people to run his church.  As we are all people, we can attest to the fact that we tend to take a good thing and make a right good mess.  I have occasionally asked myself, why would God use selfish humans to spread his good news around the world?  There must be a better way?  In Matthew 28 Jesus simply hands his disciples his rolodex and his daytime planner and says, “go and makes disciples of all nations.”  He leaves the building of the church to Peter, James, John, Mary, Bob, Janelle and  ______ (insert your name).

If I were Jesus, and I could still feel the freshness of my wounds, I wouldn’t be leaving the building of the Church in the hands of these scallywag disciples.  I would have rented a warehouse right next to the temple and started a very hip and contemporary worship service called FUSION 360.  But that isn’t Christ though is it?  To our amazement, he trusts us to do the work of the church like a father who knows his son is now a man.  We find an example of this in 2nd Timothy:

But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.  2 Timothy 4.5

We find in this passage a unique perspective of Paul.  He is at the tail end of his ministry.  He is writing to encourage Timothy to keep up the fight in the proclamation of the Gospel.  In many ways, this letter is a type of “passing on the mantle” between Paul and Timothy.  Paul is finishing his work whilst Timothy is still fresh.  What is fascinating about this passage is that Paul tells Timothy to discharge all of his ministry duties.  Timothy is to join Paul in Rome and take his place.  But he is to leave all the work that he had accomplished in the hands of others.  In many ways, Timothy will be acting as Jesus did in Matthew 28.  He is giving up his work into the hands of people that might not care for his ministry the way he must have.

This tells me a number of things.  First, whatever ministry I am doing/volunteering is not my ministry.  It is a ministry in the global movement of the Church.  Second, if Christ is willing to place the building of his kingdom in my clumsy hands, I must recognize that others will be willing and able to do the same job and perhaps do much better.  And third, there must be a point in the ministry where we work ourselves out of a job.  In other words, in any ministry we are apart of, we need to make it possible for that ministry to succeed even if we must leave.  And that means, among many things, to cultivate the kind of relationship we see between Paul and Timothy.  Paul takes the inexperienced Timothy under his care like an apprentice and then hands the authority and work over to him.

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Good Leadership – Pastor Mark

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Good Leadership – Pastor Mark

I have watched many leaders over the course of my life.  I have been fascinated with some who have impressed me with their ability to lead.  I have been angered with some who have used their positions for illegal and unjust gain.  I have been unimpressed with others who have used their ‘few moments in the sun’ to accomplish their own personal agendas.

Personally, I have had the privilege of being trained by good leaders who taught me the importance of listening to the people I lead.  Over and over I heard that my position was not a gift to be used as I saw fit, but a public trust.  I have learned many of my leadership lessons the hard way, by making mistakes.   For example, I have learned that just because my closest friends agree with me about a decision is not an indication this is the direction to go.

I am reminded this week of the point in Israel’s history when the new king Rehoboam was asked by the people to lighten the load that had placed on them by his father, Solomon.  Rehoboam did not give an immediate answer.  He first listened to the elders.  Their advice was, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”  (1 Kings 12:7)

But Rehoboam rejected their advice and consulted the young men who had grown up with him.  These advisors said, in essence, “Tell these lazy people they haven’t seen anything yet!”  His choice to go with the advice of foolish advisors led to rebellion and to the ultimate division of the kingdom.

For all leaders it is important to remember that every decision comes with a corresponding consequence.  Whether you are leading a family, a company, a ministry or a state, it is necessary to choose your battles wisely.  It is possible to win a battle but lose the war.

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I’m serious – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

I’m serious – Pastor Matt

I have a friend that talks big.  I remember times when he would talk about someone or a situation in anger.  He would say things like, “I was a second away from picking up a chair and throwing it through the window.”  Or “I was literally going to punch (such and such) in the neck.”  I’m sure we all have some character in our lives like my friend.

Now I know what he was trying to do.  He was trying to relay how angry and potentially violent he was.  But there was one little problem.  He was generally a very calm and nice person.  He only spoke about being violent; and, no one ever saw him do anything remotely violent.  So whenever he went on his verbal tirades, I tended to roll my eyes and not take him seriously.  So his “big talk” eventually had the opposite desired effect.  It became a joke.

1 Corinthians 4:20 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.”

This passage really hits home for me, because all too often church, ministry, charity and love get boiled down to having an opinion.  Here’s what I mean: we tend to value our ideas about things like church, ministry, charity and love more than we value doingthese things.

Today we vote on the Presidency, but a vote is not 100% synonymous with personal action.  Yes, a vote is an opinion on values that you hold, but just because you have an opinion of values, does not mean you live your values.   Having an opinion of values is infinitely less valuable than living your values.  It’s the difference between someone who loves to talk about sports, and someone who plays sports.

I certainly have been guilty of “big talk” about church, ministry, charity and love, but I am reminded in 1 Corinthians that talk often amounts to just more talk—action amounts to God’s power.

How do you take action in God’s kingdom?

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