We had the pleasure of attending church yesterday. And it was a church here in Lubbock where we have some history. Westminster Presbyterian Church is where a college ministry named LateNite met while Jenny and I were in school. I worked at the preschool and served the last 3 years of college on the LateNite staff. I say staff, but it was more a volunteer thing - wonderful.
We spoke at the two morning services. See my good friend Matt is the missions pastor there. I have been in a covenant group with him and 5-6 other guys for almost 10 years and now he's back where he used to be a youth pastor. So he asked us to speak during a Missions Moment and we were thrilled to do so.
As we stood in the sanctuary, Jenny and I realized that the last time we were there we were getting married. When we followed Matt out and up the center aisle after the services it was so surreal because the last time we did that we were arm in arm married all of 4 minutes. Now we're there with two kids and all the youth kids I served while I was there are grown and married or out of school - some of them have kids of their own - and the church has undergone a great transition.
They are currently looking for a pastor and a lot of the church feels like they have lost their vision for ministry. And Matt was preaching yesterday. And when I met with him Tuesday he has NO idea what to say so I was really interested to see what the Lord would do.
Matt preached from Nehemiah. And he stood there on the Sunday where the church (at their between-service congregational meeting) would decide if they should give him a raise or not. And he preached truth to that body. He told them that people come up to him and show him the broken walls of Jerusalem they see in their church and they tell him to fix them. And he told his congregation that his job is not to do the work but to equip them to do it. Nehemiah couldn't raise that wall on his own. That's not how God does it. He told them that their vision for ministry doesn't come from the senior pastor. He told them that their vision for ministry comes from God Almighty and it is to Him that we must turn. Nehemiah, when he got the report from his brother, fasted and prayed and that this congregation must fast and pray and listen to her Shepherd's voice and ask the Lord to lead them. He said that senior pastors are only supposed to take God's vision and help the body accomplish it. Men don't bring vision to a church. Only God does!
And so I sat there and watched my friend and brother preach the word and stand firm in the truth of God. And I too listened to his message and am praying for the broken walls in my own life and in the world around me. And I look forward today to picking up my sword in one hand and my trowel in the other and working for God's glory in unison with the amazing body of Christ He has placed me in. Not because I'm great. But because God is. Because, as Nehemiah tells the workers, "Our God will fight for us".
That's the cool thing about growing up. You get to be involved in responsibilities. You get to experience the majesty of God in the everyday by relying on Him to accomplish His plans through you. So I encourage you today - Monday - with this from Nehemiah:
2:20, "So I answered and said to them, 'The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build."
Have a great Monday!