Lord Jesus, my great High Priest,
You have called me to Your priesthood to carry on the work which You began. Fit me, I pray You, for this task, with such faith that through my voice even the disbelieving may listen to Your Word. With such hope that through my hands even the despairing may be held fast in Your grip. And with such charity that through my heart even the despised may know that You can never cease to love them. Join me so deeply to Yourself that no one I meet shall lie beyond Your saving reach.
Monthly Archives: July 2009
Lord Jesus, my great High Priest,
I plan to use these verses from Isaiah in the message I preach at Maranatha tomorrow. I think it is so full of hope, what a great chapter! One of my favorites.
Isaiah 35:1 Thirsty deserts will be glad; barren lands will celebrate and blossom with flowers. 2 Deserts will bloom everywhere and sing joyful songs. They will be as majestic as Mount Lebanon, as glorious as Mount Carmel or Sharon Valley. Everyone will see the wonderful splendor of the LORD our God. 3 Here is a message for all who are weak, trembling, and worried: 4 “Cheer up! Don’t be afraid. Your God is coming to punish your enemies. God will take revenge on them and rescue you.” 5 The blind will see, and the ears of the deaf will be healed. 6 Those who were lame will leap around like deer; tongues once silent will begin to shout. Water will rush through the desert. 7 Scorching sand will turn into a lake, and thirsty ground will flow with fountains. Grass will grow in wetlands, where packs of wild dogs once made their home. 8 A good road will be there, and it will be named “God’s Sacred Highway.” It will be for God’s people; no one unfit to worship God will walk on that road. And no fools can travel on that highway. 9 No lions or other wild animals will come near that road; only those the LORD has saved will travel there. 10 The people the LORD has rescued will come back singing as they enter Zion. Happiness will be a crown they will always wear. They will celebrate and shout because all sorrows and worries will be gone far away. (CEV)
I like to think of myself as a solutions-oriented guy. I am not all that crazy about spending lots of time discussing problems, give me a problem-solving session any day. Better yet, just solve the problem and let’s skip the discussion altogether.
All that being said, if someone were to ask me about the greatest need of our ministry, and in a larger sense, the greatest need of our culture, I have a pretty clear answer ready: leaders.
The answers to our problems are not in more money or more time or better buildings or a slicker program. We are not going to accomplish what God wants by hiring a great advertising agency or by working with an awesome consulting firm. What we need are men and women to step up and show by example what being a Christ-follower is all about. We need people on whom we can count. We need folks who get the idea that leadership means people watch and follow, hopefully even imitate. We are in desperate need of people who are not afraid to be on the frontline. Not a title, not a position, not a figurehead leader; real leaders. I think I drive our leaders crazy when I tell them time after time, “I want to be able to point to you and tell others, ‘just do what they do’”. To me, this defines a leader. They are trusted, they are respected. They arrive early and they stay late. They are there.
I am finding myself spending more and more time asking God to help us to develop great leaders. I am also dealing with some impatience in regard to some who need to be leading, but for some reason are not.
Romans 12:8 If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. (NLT)
Let me sum it up: if you are asked by God to influence someone for Him, get with it! If we have people in leadership who are called to be there, we won’t have to worry about success. It will find us!
I have some really great pictures from our recent trip to Guatemala. I have divided them into two categories: Casa Shalom and Rio Bravo. The first set shows our visit to the orphanage where our daughter and her husband serve as missionaries (thehansonsinguatemala.blogspot.com). We delivered shoes and clothes collected by Maranatha Church. The second post shows pictures from Rio Bravo, a very poor community where we helped serve breakfast to hungry children. I hope you enjoy the pictures and get inspired to do something similar. Just click on a picture to enlarge.
It seems to me that the most effective ministry is simple ministry. It is when we are fulfilling the most basic of commands of the Lord that we find what truly works.
Love God. Love people.
Ministry is too complicated. Strategic planning and tactical blueprints have their place. But nothing replaces the joy of pure ministry of taking care of the hurting, feeding the hungry and showing mercy.
Let’s keep it simple, folks. Let God’s love do its work.