The Blessings of Cooperation
It was a great blessing and pleasure to welcome Lowell and Sheri Glick to worship with us yesterday. Most of you know that the Glicks are missionaries to Zacatecas, Mexico. Lowell shared a wonderful message with us while Sheri shared with the children. We watched a video telling about Lowell and Sheri’s work. If you missed it, it can be viewed here.
Before we prayed as a congregation for Lowell and Sheri, I reminded the congregation that engaging with a missionary in their work is not a one-way street, but it is a matter of Kingdom cooperation. We believe as a congregation in the importance of sharing the gospel worldwide. We cannot all go to the nations, nor are we all called to go, so Lowell and Sheri act on our behalf in fulfilling our responsibility to God’s global mission. At the same time, the Glicks count on us to support their work through prayer and financially.
As someone who has served on the mission field, let me speak bluntly on the Glicks behalf. First, when a missionary asks for prayer it’s not simply because they are supposed to. A missionary lives in a place of tension where daily provision and protection from the Lord cannot be taken for granted. A missionary feels the effects of the spiritual battle acutely (Ephesians 6:12), and therefore needs the spiritual equipment which prayer support provides. I encourage you to contact Sheri to become a prayer warrior on their behalf. Sheri’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secondly, it’s difficult for those who’ve not experienced it to understand, but being a missionary is a lot like having two full-time jobs. There’s the ministry to which God has called the missionary. This is where the missionary has a passion to spend his or her time and strength. However, in order to accomplish that ministry there’s the job of support raising. In order to spend the time necessary to do what God has called the missionary, they must also raise the support—financial and otherwise—that allows them to live, travel, and work in the place to which they have been called. Because Josanne and I have felt that tension ourselves, we want to do everything within our power to make that easier on our missionaries, so that they can give themselves more fully to the good kingdom work that God has for them. God has blessed most of us with an abundance. I would ask you to continue to pray for God to show you how you can use the blessings we have received to also bless others.
Josanne, Darvin, and I travelled to Columbus, Ohio last week to represent North Danvers at the annual meeting of the Central District Conference. We are still processing this a bit, but plan to set a time in the next few weeks when we can offer a report. I’ll be honest, there were some things that were very difficult for me there, that I will share. However, I want you to also know that we heard about good work being done in other places and we were able to meet and begin building relationships with those who share a kindred spirit. There were blessings along the way. Makes me think about cooperation with other congregations as well.
Lowell reminded us in his sermon yesterday that God has made us different for his purposes. Each of us are gifted in ways that the body as a whole needs, but sometimes that means that we rub each other the wrong way as well. Unity is our ability to recognize our common creation and our common goal—to trust that God has gifted us in different ways and that we use those gifts for one another.
I’m going to be in Memphis with Josanne tomorrow and Wednesday. You can always call if you need, however. I should be in the office on Thursday and Friday on the normal hours.
Start getting ready for our new series in Ephesians beginning next week. Ephesians shows us how we can be more a church that pleases God. Get ready to be challenged!