Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
Thatthe mountain of the LORD’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And peoples shall flow to it.
Many nations shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.” Micah 4.1, 2
The Christian Ministry: Part I, chapter I
Charles Bridges (1794-1869)
“What an extensive medium of pouring forth the light and life of the Gospel upon a benighted world! What a vast and valuable body of moral influence would it spread throughout its widely expanded sphere! How would its wise and kindly control of ‘the madness of the people’ impose a check even upon the political convulsions of the earth! And what an unlimited flow of national, social, and individual blessing would be communicated to our own, and to every land through this divinely-appointed channel!”
Once, during a course on pastoral ministry, my students were complaining about the pastors they had known and observed in churches – that they didn’t seem very energetic or fruitful. “Is this the best we can do?” asked one. Then another asked, “Do you think pastors are working up to the level of their ability?” I answered, “Most pastors are very gifted and eager to serve. They do not lack ability or desire. But they are working up to the level not of their ability, but of their vision.” Meditate on Charles Bridges’ vision of how local churches might affect their communities, when the blessings of God are abounding in and flowing from them. Is this the way you think about your church? We need more pastors with vision like Charles Bridges and Micah.
Can you summarize your vision for your church in a brief sentence? Put succinctly, what do you expect to be the impact of your church in its community and the world?
Contexts for Ministry
In our book Fan into Flame we examine four contexts for the work of ministry: the work of shepherding, the local church, the Kingdom of God, and the times in which we live. Unless we’re considering all these contexts in our ministry of the Word, and planning and working accordingly, we will not realize anything like the vision Micah foresaw for the Church in these last days. Order your copy of Fan into Flame by clicking here.
An Age in Flight from God
Our churches are caught in the middle of a conflict of worldviews, between those who are seeking the Kingdom and righteousness of God, and those who are in flight from God. Our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, puts this conflict into a proper Kingdom perspective. The course is free, and you can register by clicking here.
Your prayers and gifts make this ministry possible. Please seek the Lord in prayer about sharing with us at The Fellowship of Ailbe. You can use the Contribute button at the website, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.