When you think about the mission of the local church, what comes to mind?
For some people, they think of activities and programs. We run a PA Day VBS that has been very popular these past 5 years. We host our community for Canada Day celebrations.
Other people think of social action. As a church, we support Ark Aid as we serve those who need a safe place and a warm meal. Several of us volunteer at New Life Prison Ministries by being in contact with those incarcerated. We collect new clothing items for the Women’s Resource Centre.
But when I think of the mission of the local church, it isn’t programs or action that comes to mind. It is amazement that we are able to minister at all.
Recently I was praying for our leaders and families in our church – elders, ministry leaders, staff – and I was struck by the amount of suffering, hardship, and difficulty almost every single leader was facing. It was overwhelming to think of how weak we really are. Whether it was health issues or family dynamics, discouragement or difficulty, I couldn’t help but be overcome by amazement that the mission of the local church goes forward. We are so weak. I am so weak.
Many times I have viewed the mission moving forward with strength and power. And it does. But not the kind of power I’ve assumed. I am more convinced that the mission moves forward by God’s power being on display in our weakness.
The great missionary-apostle Paul had experienced great ecstasy and spiritual power (2 Cor. 12:1-7a) but then was afflicted to keep him from growing proud (2 Cor. 12:7b). He said that he pleaded with the Lord three times to remove some of his afflictions, but the Lord said “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:8-9).
In our weakness, God has seen fit to use us and advance his kingdom so that the gates of hell would not move forward. As I hear of how God is working – often in spite of us – I am amazed that our church moves forward.
Saturday morning we will gather for our AGM Ministry Review. We will see God’s provisions financially, hear of God’s advances missionally, and celebrate God’s power personally. It’s more than a meeting remembering what has happened in the past. It is our opportunity to rejoice that God’s mission advances through weak people like us who admit that our weaknesses keep us dependent upon him so that he gets all the praise and we remember how we need the help.
Are you feeling weak and wondering if things can move forward in your life? I hope you to see you Saturday morning (breakfast at 8:30, meeting at 9:00) so we can remember God’s faithfulness to us in our weaknesses!
As we gather for Sunday worship, we want you to meet with God and be transformed by the Word. Prepare your heart by reading the passage and listening to the songs for Sunday.