Steps to Follow: Strength Multiplied by Jesus | News, Sports, Jobs
Once upon a time in the Civil Air Patrol, we lost a lot of clergy. They didn’t want to have their fingerprints taken to continue serving, and many left. one of us “regulation” assigned a chaplain to each unit, especially units that had cadets or teenagers in the program. Part of their training consisted of moral leadership, which had to be taught by a chaplain. In an effort to meet the demand when there were so few chaplains, the national office established requirements that those who were not ordained and could not meet the requirements to be a chaplain could still serve. . These included people who were pastors but could not meet the requirements, as well as Sunday School teachers and others who had undergone training to teach the moral leadership curriculum. This has helped us to cover slots for chaplains. They were not appointed as chaplains and could not do the job of chaplains, but they had the power to conduct courses in moral leadership. The Civil Air Patrol is not the only group facing a manpower shortage.
Likewise, Jesus realized that “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2). He anointed or called people to go to nearby towns to spread the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven.
He ordered them to do the following things: “Do not carry a purse, bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. Whichever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’…Stay in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide for you, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house” (Luke 10:4, 7, 9 NRSV). They should “cure the sick” and tell them that ‘The kingdom of God has come near to them.’“These people walked before Jesus, who could not be everywhere, and did the work so that the people’s harvest could be brought in. Jesus told them not to be excited about what was happening to them, but that their names were “written in the kingdom of heaven” (Luke 10:20).
We live in a world that needs to hear the Word of God more than it has in years. People are disillusioned with their leadership, denominations run counter to the beliefs of the people they serve, our government has its own agenda, which is generally more focused on what leaders want and what they get out of it, than on representation the people who place them in power. People need their spiritual needs met and they thirst for the Word. Likewise, it was in the time of Jesus.
On the day of Pentecost, which we celebrated several weeks ago, the words of Joel 2 were quoted by Peter: “I will pour out my Spirit on all men. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will have visions, your old men will have dreams. Even on my servants, men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.” (verse 28, Acts 2:17-19). Said a little differently, the word of God will now be proclaimed by all, young and old, men and women. For those gathered at Pentecost, this was a major change.
You are called to be one of those voices today; Are you ready to tell them about your faith and encourage them to come and follow you? Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Are you fishers of men for Christ, or are you fishers of fish?
Pastor Kathy Behrens, Picture Rocks and Tivoli United Methodist Churches