"Reaching Full Potential"
As a pastor one of the greatest joys you experience is to see the church as well as individuals in the church grow to their full potential in their service to the Lord. On the other hand, one of the greatest disappointments for a pastor is to see individuals and churches fail to grow to full potential in their spiritual pilgrimage. Over my ministry, I have had the opportunity to experience both the rewards and disappointments that come in ministry.
It is always inspirational to read the story of someone or of a church that rises above the expectations of those around them. We are inspired by churches that seem to rise above man’s expectations and to do wonderful things in the Lord’s service. It is these kinds of performances that bring out excellence.
Unfortunately, few churches rise to this level. Instead, they are content to take care of their own and to go through the motions of being excited about what the Lord is doing around them. If this is true of churches, it must also be true of church members, since the people constitute the church. If we are to regain momentum in this country more of our churches need to believe the words of Paul found in his prayer for Ephesus. He closed his prayer with these words, “Now to who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think __ according to the power that works in you __ to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20, 21 HCSB).
The January 21, 2010 addition of the Baptist Courier contains an article about Bennettsville Second Baptist Church. This church seems to have turned a deaf ear to those who are filled with excuses for why we can’t do things for the Lord. Instead, they have involved themselves in a wide range of ministry activities. Without going into details, here are some of the things Second Baptist is doing.
-1- Annual mission trip to Honduras
-2- Gives 13% to Cooperative Program
-3- Involved in a home mission project in West Virginia
-4- Maintains a strong prayer ministry for people they know
-5- Has an ongoing rebuilding ministry for victims of Katrina
-6- Active in a wide variety of community oriented ministries
The most amazing thing about Second Baptist is that it averages 60 in Sunday school. Obviously, they have not accepted the argument that they are too small to do great things for the Lord. Instead, they have believed that “through Him they can do all things”. While I have not talked to them, I believe they have learned a lesson that every individual and church should learn. They have learned that if they are faithful to the things God has given them to do; He will give them even more things to do.
I was personally inspired by this article about Bennettsville Second Baptist Church. It gives all of us an example to follow. God may not call us to do the same things but He does call all of us to do something. It should inspire each one of us individually and as a church to discover that something He has for us and to do it with all of our might. It should inspire us to refuse to except mediocrity and to aspire to do great things for the Lord. It should inspire us to refuse to accept the not big enough or wealthy enough or talented enough to do anything.
If our churches would develop that kind of can do attitude and to expect God to do far and above anything we can imagine, we can turn the tide of godless humanism that is sweeping our country. It is time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and get busy.