Recent Thoughts

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We Press On Toward The Goal

A Vision For Ministry

“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” Fitzhugh Dodson

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 3:13-14

Indeed there is a “bad feeling” that creeps up when we start noticing that we are just pushing forward without an overall goal being accomplished. Even when we jump on a car with the desire to run free like the wind and take off without a planned itinerary, the goal to achieve is precisely that one, not have a plan at all, thus behaving totally opposite from what is expected. That in itself is a goal.

Although this "bad feeling", as I said before, is there when we lack a mission, we can easily be caught in our day to day lives in such way that this feeling, this desire or even need to “get” somewhere is muted. In our own lives, in our personal ministry, in our family ministry or at church, a muted or oppressed need for direction is very dangerous and will lead us to a dreadful waste of time.

Today May 21st was very sweet and sour day for many. Some had a great time cranking jokes about Harold Camping’s prediction and other where shocked by the reality of them being still here, in a world full of pain, suffering and now for many of them added debt and shame. Those of us who from the start dismissed his prediction based on a simple scripture passage have a question to answer now: Are we to sit in the chair of the scoffer or are we to address others urgently with the Gospel? We could either have the wrong goal like Camping or we could have no goal at all. Honestly, which one is worse?

When thinking and praying about the God's worship, and in this case I mean by worship the musical and singing praise part of the whole service, I have come to understand that I personally did not have any goals at all. How am I waking up every morning, sailing in the sea of seminary knowledge, to use Dodson’s illustration, and not know where I am going? This was even more evident to me when a dear friend of mine requested that I share with him the importance of a vision and structure of the Worship Ministry. When asked “Why is it such a big deal for you that we have a vision or goal if Sundays are being taken care of?” I stood frozen without words. I could believe this was not obvious for my friend but what I couldn’t believe even more was the fact that it was so obvious for me that I never thought of an answer to that question. Nothing came up, nothing popped into my head... just silence.

God in His marvelous grace has given me a glimpse of this vision and by His grace I will be able to take this, meditate on it and really give shape to my personal and family ministry.

For this we praise and lead others into the worship of our Lord: That by knowing Him for a little through praise and worship, we may know Him better through scripture and our personal time with Him." This of course is nothing but a ripoff of C.S. Lewis words in his book Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Now that credit is given to he who credit deserves I must say that this for me was God’s clear answer to my prayers. I have come to understand clearly now my purpose in ministry and it is like the heavy fog has cleared and I can finally see the road!

I will certainly meditate in the implications of this, I have faith that this is just the beginning of God’s specific revelation in my life, my wife’s life and my family. We have both found in this very simple statement a sense of tangible purpose that will allow us to sharpen our arrows and hit the desired target with more precision. This of course does not mean that we won’t miss, but by knowing failure we will recognize success... cross-centered success, godly success.

So I formally introduce to you our Pajon Family Ministry’s vision:

For this reason we strive each day: That by encouraging others to know Christ for a little through praise, worship, music, art, teaching and friendship, we may all know Him better through scripture and personal time with Him.

What I have shared with you all is work in progress. Surely this will start to mature and God will allow me to see all the ramifications of this vision. But as of today we are a family with a mission, a family with a target in front of us that, in Christ, we will pursue every day for His glory and His kingdom!

Blessed is Your name Lord!