For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:3-7
This Sunday we discussed in our gathering how endurance and pressing into God’s Word is a must for God’s people. We were challenged from God’s Word and the teaching there from to soak in God’s Word, to be patient as we sit in God’s Word and God’s presence daily, walking in His truth and His kindness, pressing forward in faithfully laboring in God’s love. We know how easy it is to move on and seek to “move up” in this life. We are hard pressed to find spiritual leaders who will press down instead of up in their leadership of others. It’s often a popularity contest more than a suffering and serving daily labor.
This is yet another reason why we have chosen the model of ministry we have, not to pridefully say we are wiser or smarter, but rather to simplify our methodology in an ever-increasing desire to simply preach and respond to Jesus Christ and Him crucified for us all who simply believe and follow.
I earnestly hope and pray that this approach to ministry will be more and more embraced among traditional church “goers” as well, that we would BE the church more than “go to” the church buildings in our community.
May we steadily gaze into the heart of our God by simply daily soaking in His Word and responding in the power of His Spirit TOGETHER. This is a “corporate” opportunity – meaning something we do TOGETHER.
House church activity here in the states sadly has an in-growing reputation. Traditional church goers can quickly look back as I have at the leanings toward house churching in the not so distant last and remember a tendency to become in-grown. A simple remedy for this is a constant hope and labor toward multiplication instead of separatist behaviors. Jesus communities (local church small groups or house churches) can’t as easily become ingrown when we are so obsessed with Jesus and making Him known. His great commissioning of us to go into all the world and make disciples of Jesus becomes what we focus on instead of worrying whether we are liked by other believers or impressing them in any way.
We should be so all-consumingly oriented around the labor of love Jesus has called us to that His face is our constant focus as His labors occupy our lively and ever out-reaching community life.
Paul and Silas labored among the Thessalonians to the point of being kicked out of their region. May we press into the Lord and into the lives of the communities we have been sent to no matter the physical consequences. I have been aware in the last several years of fruitful but under the radar ministry of many hours of Gospel labors each week that have gone unnoticed and I am glad for that (I’m probably breaking gems off my crown in glory now by mentioning these labors… ha ha, but I share this for your encouragement in your unnoticed labors of love; this is why I don’t mention my specific labors in private).
As we labor on, my hope is to see co-laboring teams more and more. We are called in many moments of our days to labor on without notice or community, yet may we more and more be in community as we are able and as God allows as we labor in the love of Jesus.
In this way we will have the constant reminder of one another’s sensitivity to the Word and Holy Spirit, and we will stand out as the family of God cooperating with one another and showing adoptive love to those God draws into community with us as He seeks and saves the lost through our showing and sharing the Gospel love of Jesus!