Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Pass Me Not O Gentle Saviour"1 (Lyrics)
Our church is currently looking for a new minister. This is a beautiful retirement community and we are a church family that tries to reach out to all with understanding. What are the modern expectations of a minister today? The church in Canada is suffering as we slowly go down in the numbers attending. What is wrong? How would Jesus reach the community around us today?
Much is written about looking for the type of ministers who can be personal with parishioners, sharing their ups and downs with the Christian faith. As Paul points out in 2 Corinthians, we serve our Lord through our weakness far more than through our strengths. As Paul says:
2 Corinthians 4:16 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (NIV)
When we are strong, we think that we are doing okay, and others would be better off to follow our beliefs. But sharing through our weakness means that we need the Lord's Spirit in us to take what we accomplish, poor as it is, and make something greater out of it. It is not what we do that is so wonderful but the work of the Holy Spirit through us.
Are we failing to admit our weakness as we try to share? Do we come across to others as know-it-alls, instead of as humble followers of Jesus Christ? Paul didn't have it easy as he reached out to others who were being very critical of his ministry. In our world today, the interest among young Millennials is for something spiritual to be revealed as powerful. They are not interested in "ordinary" Christianity. They are just looking for some power to effectively take them beyond the material to the spiritual. This sounds promising, but how do we first reach them when all we are inviting them to do is attend our church?
What do our strangers think constitutes spirituality today? What are they looking for to strengthen their young lives? When the Holy Spirit enters our daily lives we are renewed by what is spiritual: Christ in us, the hope of glory. We need to help our grandchildren find the wonderful truth that the spiritual part of our lives is in the hands of Jesus, as His Spirit fills us with hope and love. This love is what we share with all those around us, both in church and in our local communities. That is how the church of the future will grow, moving with God's love through community after community to the glory of God. We do not lose heart!
Prayer: Lord, fill us with Your Spirit that those who meet us will be touched with Your love as they also kneel before Jesus and say, "My Lord and my God!" Amen.