We just completed 21 days of fasting at Maranatha Church. I am pretty impressed with the results.
We work very hard to see the vision that God gave us come to fulfillment. We are passionate about the mission that He has put into our hearts. Each week, hours and hours are invested in the exploration of how we express our ministry, how we carry out our responsibilities and how we accomplish the task of making disciples (Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20). We are creative in how we communicate our passions. We are diligent in keeping the vision in front of the people. And we are passionate about seeing positive results.
Our current expression of mission fulfillment looks like this:
God has called us to change lives by connecting people with Jesus Christ.
This is expressed by utilizing three strategic terms:
GROW: spiritual growth – getting closer to God, increasing our commitment to Christ, move toward Christlikeness.
CONNECT- increasing the number and quality of our relationships with others. Experiencing true unity in God’s Spirit.
SERVE: using our talents, gifts and abilities to minister to others and to honor God.
We feel that if people will make advancements in each of these three areas, we will all win. But much of the time, we feel as though we are not seeing the results that we would hope for. Sometimes it feels like we are spinning our wheels.
Over the last 21 days, some things have changed.
Rather than a bunch of meetings to strategize about ministry, instead of trying to talk people into committing to Christ and His church, we actually did some incredible ministry. Honestly, we were a little too busy getting the work done to spend too much time talking about it.
Here is basically what happened:
The earthquake in Haiti was like the sounding of a battle cry for the people of our church. They went to work, they gave, they volunteered, they prayed. While that was going on, we observed some amazing things: people were expressing spiritual growth – people were working side by side with others, meeting new friends and getting closer to old friends – and people were giving selflessly of their resources and time. You got it: GROW – CONNECT – SERVE! It looks like God utilized a crisis to mobilize us. And results are that we are seeing, first-hand, mission accomplishment!
In addition, our worship services have taken on a new level of intensity and purpose – pretty exciting!
I believe that the timing of the fast was crucial. We have been launched into a season of fruitfulness. The foundation of prayer and fasting prepared us for this season.
In the future, I have no intentions of working less or taking the ministry less seriously. I do, however, intend on keeping the focus of our church on seeking God first. That way the results are up to Him rather than me.