It is so easy to forget that we are not alone in the work of the Kingdom of God. Many times we are like the Prophet Elijah, and we feel like we are the only ones left who are trying to keep the faith. The reality, however, is far different.
As I attended the 2018 EMC General conference in April, I was reminded that as Christians we are members of God’s Household, a family with innumerable brothers and sisters. Some have gone to ahead of us in death, and some have yet even to know the beauty of a life lived fully in Christ, but all of us are one in the Holy Spirit. This is seen beautifully in the Connectional relationship of the Global Evangelical Methodist Church.
Across many Nations and Regions, through tribes and tongues and ethnicities, we find in every one the smile of God. The ethos of partnership has birthed church planting and revitalization efforts everywhere; and as God’s People have purposefully intentioned to remove the obstacles out of God’s way, growth has flowed freely. Over and over again the international superintendents used the phrase “Win the Lost at any Cost”, identifying their driving motivation and affirming that not cost was too high to be paid in the service of God’s Kingdom mission.
Here in the U.S., this same fervor is seen in our EMC sister churches. Like Refuge in TX, Crosslink in NC, Crossroads in ID, and Kingdom in WV; as they innovate new ways to multiply their impact in their communities. Like dozens of others, large and small, who are working with our Superintendents to take hold of the principles of Natural Church Development and seeing their Congregations expand in depth and in width. What is more, our EMC training center, Haggard School of Ministry, is now offering a new approach to ministerial education that will allow pastors to maintain their roots in their communities while pursuing higher education and gaining the skills they need to lead these kind transformational movements in their churches.
And we here at Pine Run are a part of all of this. From our tithe to the Conference which helps to pay for our superintendents to pastor our pastors and congregations, to our prayers for the ongoing work both here and abroad. In every way, we are a part of something bigger than ourselves, greater than this moment, more wonderful and glorious than our own success.
So keep your chin up and your eyes clear, bind up what is broken and strengthen what has grown weary; because we have a race to run.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
Let us lay aside every weight that encumbers us, and the sin that entangles us,
And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,
Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,
And is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
~ Hebrews 12:1-2 ~