Pastor’s ponderings

“Are we doing ministry out of a sense of abundancy or scarcity?”  This question was posed during a webinar I attended this week, and I think it truly strikes at the heart of the majority of church ministry today. Amidst the chaos and confusion created by a potential denominational schism, the ramifications of dealing with a pandemic over the past few years, watching a society that is becoming more and more divided in all that we say and do, amidst these things, and many more, we are hesitant to live out our faith in the fullest way possible.  Churches all across the land are dwindling in people, finances, and energy.  They have become focused on the scarcity of their resources and fearful of what the future holds.

            2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work” (NRSV).  God provides abundance, ensuring that we always have enough of what is needed to do what we have been called to do, blessing it and multiplying it, often in ways we can’t even begin to understand that we may share abundantly in every circumstance.  God’s ministry is one of abundance, not scarcity.  Jesus’ ministry is one of abundance, not scarcity.  Our ministry as Christians is one of abundance, not scarcity.  If we want to see a change in the world, perhaps it is time that we change our focus.  Instead of being “the glass is half empty” people, we need to be a people who recognize that “the glass is half full.”  For when we change this mindset, we begin to see all sorts of possibilities.

            Remember, God always provides us with enough; we are never lacking in what is needed to share the good news.  The first disciples didn’t have a bank account, or a church building, or a calendar full of activities.  What they did have was faith in Jesus and a willingness to go forth and do what he asked of them.  They prayed, they pooled what little resources they had, and they went forth into the world. And, because they did so, the church grew, and it grew abundantly!

            One of the most well-known passages of Scripture is the 23rd Psalm, and in verse five of that text is the recognition that “my cup overflows.”  It’s not half-empty or even half-full.  It is overflowing with the abundance of God’s blessings.  Perhaps this is what we all need to ponder as we discern how we are being called into the future.  Perhaps this is how our focus needs to be transformed.  Perhaps this singular transition can make all the difference in the effectiveness of ministry in the world today.

                                                            Always pondering,     

Pastor Steve

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