Monday, December 1, 2014

20 Years & Counting

While stuck in a Coffee shop due to a continuous downpour I have much time to read the Prophets and to reflect on things consequential. Often we do things inconsequential, no lasting impact, let alone eternal fruits. Today I am celebrating the completion of 20 years in full-time ministry. Even the term, "full-time" can be misleading as if ordinary Christians only engage in part-time ministry. For in truth all Christians are priests and kings, engaging in full-time ministry, each according to one's calling and gifting. This is also my final month on sabbatical and by month's end I shall have enjoyed 6-month long sabbatical. As far as sabbatical is concerned it is planned as I had completed 6 years of teaching and further having achieved my golden Jubilee of 50 years. If one reads Lev 26, the Jubilee year is a rest year or sabbatical coming after the sabbatical year or 49th year, making Jubilee a double sabbath of 2 years in length. Lev 26 also makes the case that one should return to one's land in the year of Jubilee and confirmed by the Jacob's call to return to his own land after a period of working for Laban, I had ventured to follow God's leading in His Word. How can I not be influenced by God' Word having made it a habit for read it for hours each day, more so during these 5 months of rest. I have more than 50 sermons, more than 100 messages in my armoury ready to be unleashed when New Year beckons.
Yesterday after the church service ended, the chairman-elder called me to join him and others in the visitors' room. After 30 minutes talking with and prayig0ng for 5 visitors, we spent 90 minutes talking with 2 elders and a Korean missionary who has been a long time member of the church. The elders wanted to find out what actually transpired in my appointment as some leaders are still wondering why their request for me as senior pastor was circumvented by my appointment to a Ranau church. After clearing any misunderstanding that could have arisen, we had some heart to heart and soul to soul talk about what is good for the church. I was not asked for my opinion but I ventured to offer a few suggestions including shorter services. Our services have been going for 2 hours and 20 minutes on average. I told them that I had invited 4 or 5 people to church in recent weeks but when these people enquired about the length of service they were shocked to hear church services could go on so long. Yesterday's sermon went for 57 minutes and it was good (I learned much) but could be more effective if it were 10 minutes shorter. As attentive as I was, turning to the pages of my Bible every time a verse was quoted, I felt my mind drifting after the 45 min mark. This generation's attention span used to sound bites and modern television and entertainment will find hard to last more than 40 mins, more so as sermons are monologues, one way communication which demands much of the hearers, even the most spiritual. After my talk with my elders, in fact these 3 elders are my closest friends for a long time, I felt reassured that my move to Ranau was right and I can't wait for the month to end and the moment I call Ranau home. I trust my next 20 years will be doubly blessed with a double portion of God's Spirit. This is my prayer Lord and You never despise the prayers of the poor and your prisoners.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Post

Recent Research on Revelation

In a crowded field of scholarship, I am delighted to see my name mentioned along with 40 or more scholars by Russell Morton's Recent Res...