Many of our ministries are stressed and challenged with all the things coming at us from government regulations, a down turn in economy, and a flux in cultural values both within and without the church. As I prayerfully evaluate my next steps at times I find myself longing for calm, clarity, and in all honesty, I want it to be easier.
My selfish desires are unfortunately not supported any where in the Scriptures. Rather, the Scripture documents the delivery of divine promises and the execution of the Lord’s provisions in the context of great challenge. The promise of a son is given to Abraham and Sarah when they are humanly beyond the season of child-bearing; the promise of nationhood included a period of slavery and a chase to a Sea shoreline; the promise of land occupation required the removal strong entrenched nations; the permission to return to the land to rebuild the city walls and the temple required perseverance in the face of opposition; and the promise of a Messiah, as you know, was cloaked in all kinds of demonic opposition.
Consider how these historic pressures in biblical times yielded simple ministry. What I mean is that the pressure of the day, the challenge of the season, regardless of the source yields a simple dependence on the Lord for ministry. Instead of spending time in programming and self-promoting, the pressures that come on us from government, the economy, or the culture encourage us to pray, to confess our sins, to study the Word, to discern what really matters, and to pursue what will last for eternity. These are the simple ministry steps documented in Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Acts.
I most be honest and confess that I still want it to be easier, however, I am so encouraged to see the fabric of biblical history from the Scriptures and to find peace and strength in the Lord’s pre-determined plan for simple ministry. At the moment I do not know how to respond to all the challenges facing us personally and as a College, but I have a hopeful direction. I would be so grateful if you would partner with me in simple ministry to discern the most appropriate next steps.