A friend of mine posted a meme on social medial late yesterday afternoon, and upon reading it, I thought, what a great word for today's prayer. While it applies to pastors and would be just as fitting for a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday post, I think you'll agree, it fits well, this #effectiveSunday morning.
Consider this, from the great A.W. Tozer...
"Listen to no man who has not listened to God."
Isn't it amazing how quickly we can get wrapped up into perspective and opinions and ultimately, make a shift in our mindset where we view the world and our responses in ways that are less than Biblical and have little to do with or acknowledge our roots of faith in Christ.
I was reminded of a story that Jim Cymbala, Pastor at Brooklyn Tabernacle shared a few years ago. He tells the story of tel-evangelist back in the day, who made statements in his sermons, that quiet frankly got the attention and concern of more than a few people, but in particular Cymbala and his wife.
As God dealt with them to speak up, he finally spoke to a friend who was friends with the evangelist. It was a nervous phone call, for Cymbala's friendship had no where near the time and history to be able to navigate this conversation, but he stopped out in obedience anyway. It turns out the friend of the evangelist also knew the evangelist was stepping into dangerous waters.
When confronted, that the evangelist should close the ministry or God would, the words fell on deaf ears.
"Are you crazy? This thing is bringing a million dollars a day! What are you talking about, shut it down?" was the reply.
Needless to say, within months, it was over.
All because one stopped listening to God; having mentally shifted so far as the warning from a close friend who was listening (and had received confirmation in the person of Cymbala) was not enough to take heed and change course.
Likewise for our present time... the church will fail to be of any use, much less effective and efficiency when any position of church leadership becomes greater than the ministry and the material successes start to outweigh and dominate the spiritual successes. When the message is changed to keep the money coming; when things change for continued growth in numbers rather than growth in spiritual maturity, there should and must be cause for concern. If not, then danger is looming... usually not all that far from us, either.
Thanks for joining me, this #effectiveSunday, as we pray for the effective and efficient work of ministry, for the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ. May those in leadership and positions of influence within the church, great or small, have hearts and minds continually tuned to the voice and word of God. Pray for a strengthening of their resolve to seek His face and a desire to listen. Pray for wise counsel and advice, tempered with confirmation from others strong in the faith and full of the Holy Spirit. Pray for a move of the Holy Spirit as well; that God would accomplish the miraculous in our midst; always remembering God uses those who are humble and willing more than those proud and stubborn.
May God build His Church
By those willing to be a part...
For He is the Head of the Church
We, the body of Christ.
For His glory and the advancement of the Gospel.
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.