This weekend we were in Newark, DE where I attended college and was first connected to the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) – my denomination. We participated in their annual missions conference and it was a great time in so many ways. I’ll probably write a few posts related to our time there and some other networking visits, but here’s the initial salvo.
When you are trying to generate interest and raise support for the ministry you’re headed towards, you rightly believe that what you’re doing is of great importance. You hear God’s call, make sacrifices and put yourself out there to follow. Then you run into a bunch of other people doing a similar thing. And it is easy to try and justify in your head why your cause is the most worthy. Or on the other hand to be despondent because you’re at the bottom of the list.
But you listen to each person’s story, hearing the call of God in each of their lives and thoughts of comparison fade. In God’s service every work is incredibly significant and of inestimable potential. It really comes back to the cross, which seemingly is the low point, the weakest, most insignificant point of ministry in Jesus life. Yet, in God’s hands death turns to life and this ministry of suffering and sacrifice is the greatest of all. So, thinking about Jesus’ ministry and hearing about the work of others both humbles me and lifts me up. I am reminded of my limited perspective on what is significant and encouraged as I remember incredible power of God at work in weakness. I’m glad that whatever ministry I’m called to is not “worthy'” because looks better at certain points in comparison with others but because God himself is calling and working.
I think of St. Patrick who had an incredible impact on Western Civilization and how it all began with his enslavement to “barbaric” celtic people. If you’re not familiar with the story you should check it out.