October 28, 2020

 

A Word from Walker

When you receive this newsletter you will have already voted or are getting ready to vote. This has been an intense battle to say the least. Because of that, it can probably be said by most that at some level they will feel a degree of relief when this political season is finally over. As I have said before, I don’t remember a time in my life when there has been so much angst and anger displayed over who should be the next president. It seems that from an emotional investment perspective people are “betting the family farm” on who they really want for their next leader. I can appreciate that fervor and sincere commitment to making sure that whoever they vote for reflects their worldview. But what if their guy doesn’t get elected? How should a follower of Jesus respond then?

If COVID-19 has taught us anything it is that what we ultimately value becomes what we seek to protect and preserve, sometimes at the cost of ignoring other important things. If, for instance, you value assembling together for worship above everything else, then you will do whatever you can to get back to your view of normal as quickly as possible. This means that the longer you have to wait to go back to gathering for worship without restrictions, the more frustration and incompleteness you will feel. Our frustration over not meeting together in regular corporate worship will then reveal that we have unconsciously defined our faith by one aspect of followership. As important as public worship is, it is not the only priority of a disciple of Jesus.

The same can be said about this election cycle. By all means, every Christian should vote their conscience. But doing this does not guarantee that what you believe to be right will prevail. What is your plan if your very worst fears are confirmed? Do you retreat or do you retool? I would respond that because the Bible tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ we should make adjustments so that we can remain faithful to the call to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. I was talking with a ministry veteran about this very thing and he reminded me that after all the unrest of the 60’s the Jesus Movement came on the scene and a revival swept through colleges and high schools. What if God is preparing us for the very same kind of thing for this generation of believers?

I pray that no matter what the outcome you will be ready to adapt and improvise your approach to ministry. God has gifted his church with resources we will need to Kingdom work no matter who sits in the Oval Office. I look forward to working with you in the coming months to see the name of Jesus made famous.

Your fellow servant,
Walker

October 28, 2020

 

Craig's Comments 

 
"...choose today whom you will serve...But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord." - Joshua 24:15

It is November in an election year! We have so many decisions to make as we seek what is best for our nation. We have already had so many polarizing issues this year with the fallout from Covid-19 and racial tensions. I met with a pastor recently who has continually worked to minister and serve a congregation with many different opinions as to how their church should respond to the pandemic. We all find ourselves in this whirlwind of decisions with varying implications that often seem as if there is no clear cut right or wrong.

As I write this you can be assured that I'm not here to answer those questions for you. The bottom line is that we all must consider what it means to "serve the Lord" as we read in Joshua. You would never think that there would be so many vastly different opinions on such, but that is where we find ourselves. A social media meme said recently, "I would never have dreamed a few months ago that one of my greatest pet peeves would be when people don't wear their masks correctly." This is not a commentary on masks, but simply that times have changed drastically and we must "choose this day whom you (we) will serve." This may have many applications as we attempt to seek first the Kingdom of God and love our neighbors as ourselves.

My favorite alternative to the confusion and angst of politics and health observations is serving God and my neighbor. Its amazing when we choose to turn our eyes upon Jesus and serve others that the dark cloud of depression tends to dissipate. While there are many limitations related to the pandemic, the Great Commission remains in effect.

God is doing so much as many of our churches have resolved to continue serving and loving our neighbors in significant ways. We have sent updates via constant contact, social media, and other ways to spread the word about our Thanksgiving hunger outreach, the eight Toy Stores serving across the Triad, Backyard Bible outreaches, a new group serving Unreached People Groups locally, church planter training, and many other opportunities of service.

We remain excited and optimistic as so many are finding their niche of service across our PMBA churches. We also continue to be available for those seeking assistance when it comes to connecting with their community in existing or new creative approaches. So as you continue to consider whom you will serve during this season of great need, how will God use you to transact, transform, and translocate His great love by means of the Good News of Jesus Christ?

Hands to the plow,
Craig