Ministry Fairs, at their best, do more than advertise to insiders what is going on in the congregation. They are opportunities to prayerfully examine the importance of serving. In fact, my message on Sunday is that very thing: how by serving we can discover that life is only fully lived when we give of ourselves to others.
Last Sunday, during our Mission presentations, I mentioned that I had witnessed an opportunity to feel how God's heart gets broken by the loneliness, the despair and the poverty (spiritual and physical) of our world. The image of the man asleep in his wheel chair along side the road still is with me. I wondered if this man had anyone in his life that loved him. It was especially poignant to me as I had just put my daughter on a plane to return to Washington DC. I so love her and was already missing her. But as I looked at this man, I could feel God say to me that the world is full of people who do not have someone to "put them on the plane." The world, even in the corner of the world where we find ourselves, has so many people who have no hope, no tangible sense that anyone cares. As I have said, our hearts need to break by the same things that breaks God's heart. As I looked on this man, I realized that my heart was breaking. The thing that stays with me is a sense that God was not only allowing me to have my heart broken (I'm thankful for that) but He was also saying to me "do something about it."
That's what the Ministry Fair is all about: doing something about it. Too often we are paralyzed by the size of the problem and therefore don't move beyond the emotion of a desperate world. I think that is a trick of the devil. If he can get us to just be "sad" and say to us "you can't really do anything about this... look at the size of the problem," then he is successful in paralyzing us. God has chosen for us a better way.
God so loved the world that he gave.... He gave! He wired us in the same way, for we have been created in His image. He has wired us to give... give of ourselves: our resources (financial and physical), our time and our hearts. What is it that we are doing at COTHA that you've wanted to do but haven't done anything about yet? Pray about that because I'm sure we have many, many people who have not made the kind of commitment that God wants us to make. Now is the time to do something about it.
God is with us, Sunday after Sunday. He is transforming lives around us through the ministry at COTHA. But He wants to do more. There is only one thing He needs to accomplish this. The one thing is YOU! So don't hold back because if you're not serving, you're not living, you're just existing.
See you Sunday and let's participate with God and change the world. That man who was sitting on the side of the road is worth it. Because God loves that guy and we do too!