August 30, 2015
I knew H’s visit would be helpful, but I am surprised at how helpful it has already been for me. (H is one of our IMB partners working in Southeast Asia. He is here because he knows Steve and Janice and because some of us are planning a Christmas trip to Southeast Asia to work alongside Steve and Janice for a week. H is giving us an orientation to ministry there and some training to help us be more effective when we go.) Here are some of the things that have impacted me so far.
God is at work and our prayers have been part of His work. More than 10 years ago, Pastor Lon led our church to adopt an unreached people group, the Khmer of Vietnam (also called the 3K people). For several years, Lon and Kheng led our efforts, our prayer and went several times to Southeast Asia to share the Lord with some in our adopted people group (they were even arrested once) . Sometimes I felt like we were just a very tiny influence in a huge mass of people. We knew of others also reaching out to the Khmer of Vietnam, but mostly we just prayed and supported Lon and Kheng. As H shared his journey, I could see how his ministry is indeed an answer to our prayers. We did not know his name or his family, but the Lord knew and was preparing him to be an answer to our prayer.
I was encouraged to continue 3 Story Evangelism. (I hope you know what I mean, if not, ask and I will tell you more.) As H taught last night, I was challenged again to listen to other’s spiritual story. We need to learn where other people are spiritually. Knowing that will help us recognize what the Lord is doing in their lives. He always meets us where we are. He comes to us. He does not expect us to reform our lives in order to find Him. (Life reformation comes AFTER we meet Him.) I need to do better at listening to others and understanding their spiritual condition.
I was challenged to help others move in their spiritual journey. What can I do to help others take a step closer to Jesus? Can I answer a question? Can I share something the Lord has done in my life that would motive them to seek Jesus? Can I share a Bible story or biblical truth that they need to know? If I pay attention to my walk with Jesus, He will prepare me to help them take a step closer to Jesus too.
In the end, point people to Jesus, not to me. Yes, I am a pastor and yes, I want to help people. But in the end, I am not a savior. Jesus is the Only Savior. They need to find Him. If my pride, my selfishness, or my insecurity gets in the way, I can distract their focus on Jesus. I need to be sure that my witness points to Jesus, not to myself or even to our church.
I am glad that H was here. I was greatly challenged. How did his message and his life challenged you?