Eyes on Jesus
August 14, 2018
This past month has culminated in a period of hearing incredulous accusations and feeling deep disappointment. In fact, I would have to honestly say this has been one of the greatest disappointments and deepest hurts in my ministry. A person from whom I have learned so much and admired greatly since the beginning of my own ministry—mentoring me from afar—had to resign from his leadership position in the church that he founded and started. He has had a tremendous influence on my life over the past 25 plus years. My heart breaks for him, his wife and children, the church he led, and the entire church of Jesus Christ, on which he had a great impact. We have lost a voice whose message was transforming. Due to personal choices, he lost his private and public influence for the kingdom. Agonizing.
Though I learned much from him, he was never my savior or my hope. There is only One, and His name is Jesus. He said that He would build His church, and the gates of hell will not prevail. Basically, Jesus is saying, “People will come and go, Satan will give his best efforts, but nothing will be able to stop My church from being what I have called it to be. My kingdom will prevail.” My disappointment in a person and a situation will never alter my hope and belief in what God is doing, or my commitment to be part of it.
I share with the NewPointe staff with great regularity that we are in a spiritual war. We have an enemy who will do anything and everything to divide us as the family of God and destroy us individually and together. We cannot forget that or make light of it. If we do, we will suffer the consequences individually and together.
Over my 30 plus years of ministry I have watched people come and go from the local church.The stories they tell have different details, but they prompt me to ask the same question. Some left because they were hurt over a decision that was made, some were disappointed they didn’t make the connection they hoped to find, some were angry because the church leadership changed. The stated reasons are many. Sometimes they begin attending another church and stay there for a few years before they are once again disappointed or hurt, and then they leave for another local fellowship. Others get cynical, and leave the church totally. No matter what the story, the question that comes to my mind is this: “Whom are you following?”
Regardless of the failures of individual people and leaders, God remains committed to the church. It is His chosen strategy, His unique design and plan. He has chosen to use flawed, imperfect, but transforming people to be His message and messengers to the world. God’s gift and plan for the world is the local church. It is the hope of world, living and teaching the truth of Jesus Christ.
Despite my heartbreak and disappointment, I am filled with hope. Jesus is still the Savor. He is still the hope of the world. The local church is still His delivery system, and I am giving it my 100% loyal best.