It’s been an interesting week.

Last Sunday, I was marching in a parade through the main streets of Durbin, South Africa: Thousands of Christians marching through the streets singing, talking and waving. A few of the churches brought their choirs. The Salvation Army band was playing. It was quite a spectacle. This was a first for the World Methodist Conference and it was very effective. Durbin residents were lining the streets curious about this group of Christians in their midst.

It made me wonder. Could we dare to do that in Lynchburg? And I thought, why not? What a fun way to witness our faith.

Churches all over the world are struggling with the same issues we are and being with them taught me the best lesson of all. We are not alone.

I met a pastor of a three church charge in Australia who struggles with church attendance and trying to be relevant to a community that is increasingly secular. Sound familiar? 

I met the Bishop from Coasta Rica who leads about the same number of churches as we have in our Lynchburg District. Most of his churches are extremely poor and constantly face issues of simply feeding their people.

Then, it was time to come home, with a long 23 plus hours cooped up in an airplane. Uncomfortable and tiring but also filled with opportunities to read, to pray and most of all, anticipate coming home. 

Yes, I’m very grateful for the South Africa experience and the opportunity to get a worldwide perspective on my faith. I believe in many ways, the experience will strengthen my ministry. But most of all, the experience helped me appreciate our Lynchburg District.

I’m grateful for my family and friends.

I’m grateful for all of our pastors and churches.

I’m grateful for Lynchburg and surrounding communities.

I realize and appreciate how much we are blessed.

Friday evening and Yesterday, Steve Turner, Alex Duncan and I had the opportunity to lead a class of brand new Lay Pastors from all over the Virginia Conference. 

It was exciting to see their fresh enthusiasm as they bombarded us with questions. We closed the day with a special service where we laid hands on each pastor and prayed for their ministry. Then they insisted on laying hands on us and offered thanks for the teaching they received.

The new pastors reminded me of the fear and trembling we face each Sunday morning as we realize how God calls each of us to stand before a group of people as pastors and spiritual leaders. It’s exciting but at the same time, it’s also humbling.

So this morning, I’m grateful to be in my office with a Bible and Lynchburg District Directory in front of me. 

With renewed enthusiasm and a grateful heart I am praying for each of our pastors and churches.

I pray they have a day filled with a deep reverence for the God who called them to ministry.

I pray all of you will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit so that what you say and do today will reflect God’s amazing love and grace.

I pray you notice something special today as God continues to remind you that ultimately, God is in control of you and your ministry.

I pray you will experience a personal gesture of God’s love and grace.

I will be praying for you as you begin a new week that offers fresh possibilities for ministry.

I am praying for you to be the spiritual witness God called you to be.

I found this verse and pray you find it helpful. In the Third Letter of John 1:2: 

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

That bears repeating.

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”


1 Comment

Xantara · April 27, 2012 at 5:16 am

Finding this post has solved my pbroelm

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