Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I Was in Prison and You Visited Me

I have been feeling a bit dry as of late. I always enjoy ministering to children and families, but it seems too often in the life of a pastor that we do not get out of the church nearly enough. Lord knows I don't. I live church. It takes a lot of work to move out of my comfort zone of friends (who are Christian), family (who are Christian), co-workers (who are Christian). I get tired of them (no offense if you are a member of the afore mentioned groups), but it's true. I have been praying for an opportunity to minister to folks who have nothing to do with my church. Being the faithful God that he is, he answered my prayer in fine fashion and with cornucopia of opportunities.

Tuesday I started as an assistant coach for a 5th and 6th grade girls basketball team here in Guymon. We meet at our church gymnasium and work on basic basketball skills and conditioning. It is really a great opportunity, and the catch is . . . none of the girls or the other coach attends my church. What an answer to prayer, but it doesn't stop there.

Today, I had a fantastic pastoral opportunity to minister to a fellow who, over a year ago, was nicked by the local police during a fight with several other college aged guys. He is serving a six month sentence in jail. His mother and sister asked for ministerial contact.

It is in times like this, as we are able to move out into the community, in an act of Holy subjection, that we are truly Christian. I say none of this to highlight what I'm doing, but that when we ask the God of creation, redemption, and sanctification for grace, we can surely anticipate grace!


Ben said...

It’s that cycle of Christian relationship that can be the biggest downfall of the church. Pastors expect their congregation to be out in the field ministering, while the congregation believes the pastor is the one who acts as a missionary to the lost. It’s hard to break out of the Christian Subculture and allow yourself to enter into relationships with those who are not followers of Christ. Especially if your life’s driving force is the work of Christ. This kind of living requires humility, vulnerability, and sacrifice, but is well worth it I think.

Scott Williams said...

One of the most difficult problems we face as humans is to break out of our circle. There seems to be safety within our circle, but we soon discover that when we hold on to our circle we begin a slow death, one that slowly leeches our energy and passion from us. God never intended for that to be our lives. Instead, he wants us to use our circle as a propulsion agent to reach out to those around the circle. I'm thankful that God continually creates opportunities for those who seek him.