The Search Is On

April 4, 2016
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.

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About the author:

Iris Ford

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    How the church will grow.
    Your message is right on.
    Unfortunately many Presbyterian church attenders put themselves on a pedestal.
    I for one left after 65 Years of faithful attendance and participation I found a wonderful welcoming church that is growing with young people And is very community committed.
    They practice what they preach.

    Great food for thought Iris.

    Thanks Iris for another thoughtful devotional. Blessings.

    A Perfectly Beautiful Devotional, Iris.
    Blessings to you.

    Thanks for this word today Iris and may God bring you just the right person for the job, as only He can.

    Thanks for the early Monday meditation.
    Our church is also looking to fill up the permanent spot for minister. God is working for us all. God has ways for all of us, as we all wait for His timing to grace us with our needs.
    Blessing to you as you serve our Living Lord Jesus Christ.

    Having been involved in a church committee debate over the colour of paint I was struck/stung by this devotional. Absolutely, we need vibrant, caring, joyful churches which rise above such things. But I was struck recently by a comment that conflict is inevitable in the church, but God’s challenge is to do conflict well, so the issue is not that we quarrel over the colour of paint but how we handle and resolve that conflict. Would that we would learn to disagree agreeably. Conflicts need to be faced not avoided. It’s all there in Romans 14.

    Dear Iris, Well spoken in your devotional today.
    Yes this will be a challenge to get a person to fit our needs at our church. I think we should find someone out side our comfort zone to go maybe in a different direction to bring in younger people to our church. We seem to be settled into a retirement mold filling our church and I’m not speaking against it, but we are not seeking out to younger people. We need to come out of our shell.
    Keep the devotionals coming.

    Hi Iris, appreciate your email and concern for the church. I have two millennial and both are seeking churches where we are more than church goers but disciples of Christ. I believe we all want to experience churches where after church we actually share and talk about Jesus, love the Lord and help out each other but our community. Be disciples of and for Christ. I am not sure what ordinary means anymore but I believe we are all seeking real relationship with Jesus and not just the going through the motions of doing church.
    I love your devotions and how you take ordinary day occurrences and show God’s connection to it.

    Thank you for your most interesting, spiritual words today. We searched for a new minister for many months. A fine young man who is leading us into this century, thinking outside of the box to encourage all ages to find our God and place them on their faith journey. God’s plan is coming forth.
    Our young man is working with the committees of the church. We thank God for His Spirit that is working through our church and pray that He will lay his plan with your church. Yes, our Lord works with us through all our weakness and we His people do not lose heart. Thanks Be to God for His grace, His mercy and His love.

    Your new minister will be pleased when he discovers you ….

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