A few days ago, I wrote about passions. How as Christ followers, we should be passionate about following Him and carrying out our mission. We can have other things that we are passionate about, but Jesus should be something that we undoubtedly have a passion in our souls for. Around the same time, I came across an article that stated we should not rely on our passion for ministry, because passion can run out. After reading the article in disbelief, I discovered that it was written by someone that I have never agreed with on anything that he has written, and his argument against passion is just added to the list. Let me explain.
I do not mean to make lite of anyone’s profession when I say this. But ministry and preaching every Sunday is not an easy thing to do. If you haven’t done it personally, realize that you might just not understand what all goes into it. And that’s fine. Again, I’m not arguing that my job is any harder than anyone else. But it is difficult. And I don’t think I could do it week in, week out if God had not given me a passion for preaching His word. That’s why I changed from Youth Ministry to Preaching, because God changed my passion. I still really enjoy working with and being around teenagers. But my passion is preaching His word week in and week out. Without that passion for Jesus and for preaching His word, I don’t think I could handle all the demands that ministry and preaching have.
But that is not what I want to focus on in this post. It was just something that got me thinking. You see, in my last article about passion, I stated again that passion for Jesus and learning more and more about Him should be paramount. I heard about a 12-year old this week that is doing just that, and it gave me a renewed hope. Our Wednesday night Kid’s ministry lost one of our own a couple weeks ago. His family moved out of state. The last week he was here, we cancelled Adult Bible Study, and the Kid’s ministry along with myself threw him a going away party. The teachers, on their own, got together and bought him a teen study Bible, we played games, and ate pizza.
My wife told me after this past Wednesday night that the Kid’s ministry must have really had an impact on our friend that left. You see, the week before was spring break, and we don’t do any Kid’s programming that week. But this past Wednesday, our friend who now lives in Michigan, called one of the teachers and asked if he could participate in the Bible lesson time over the phone. Even better than that, we know that he was truly listening, as he was apparently answering questions after the lesson time.
Now, it is my heartfelt prayer that our friend can find a group to connect with in MI, not because we don’t want him in our group, but because he needs to be in a group that he can connect with face to face. But the fact that he has been impacted enough to want to continue learning even over the phone is pretty incredible. He has a passion building for Jesus in his heart, and it shows.
Let me ask you. Do you have that kind of passion for Jesus that you would call so that you could be a part of a lesson? Do you have a group of people that you have connected with so much that you would do anything you could to continue connecting with them? That’s what the local church is supposed to be. That’s why I love the idea of small groups, even if you’re in a church that could be classified as a small group itself.
My wife and I have a group that meets at our house. Right now, it’s just four of us, but we hope to expand that. Actually, the prayer is that we can reach our neighbors through this group. But for now, it’s just the four of us. And I can tell you this. I miss it terribly when something happens and we are not able to meet one week. Sometimes we meet and just talk about life. Other times we actually do a session of a Bible study. Sometimes it’s both. But here’s the thing. We, as Christ followers, have been built to be in community. And that community should be together more than just an hour or two on Sundays.
Following Jesus passionately means finding a community of Christ followers to be connected with. That’s why I have a passion for the local church as well. The Church has a lot of flaws. How could it not, it’s run on earth by flawed human beings. But it is the Bride of Christ, and a community meant to help each other walk as Christ followers. If you are in the Carlsbad area and don’t have a church that you gather with regularly, we would love to have you at Central. If you are not in the Carlsbad area, please find somewhere that you can join a community of fellow Christ followers!