Summary: A sermon honouring those who minister in our church
“Giving God Glory for His Fishermen – Luke 5:1-11”
Gladstone Baptist Church – 18/2/07 am
You know, Pastors commonly suffer from weekly emotional cycles. Women have monthly cycles – Pastor’s have weekly cycles. You see, Sundays are a busy day – they are an exciting day – when the adrenaline runs and they are up in front of people preaching and running around like headless chooks. But once that is over, it is not uncommon for them to come off that high and hit the ground with a thud.
I don’t usually suffer much from that emotional rollercoaster – but this week I did. You know, I drove home from our Sunday night service feeling pretty low. Wondering what was the use of keeping on pushing. You see, the beginning of the year is always a very busy time because there is so much work involved with getting ministries up and running. It takes a lot of energy to get people excited about another year of ministry. It takes a lot of work to recruit teams. It takes a lot of organisation to make things happen. But sometimes you feel you are just hitting your head up against a brick wall. Sunday was a day like that for me …
You will remember that we’ve been plugging the vacant ministry positions and the help desk questionaire the last 3 weeks. Well, the first week we launched it, we had a great response – but in its full context – less than 50% of our regular attendees responded. That’s not unexpected – we probably only get a bit over 50% of our regular attendees here each week. I naturally expected that more would filter through over the next 2 weeks – but they didn’t. I could count the additional responses on one hand. That was fairly deflating because I dream of a day when everyone in this church is doing their part and ministering for God and his glory. I know we are not there - and in reality will never be there – but when you push and you get stonewalled – it is deflating.
Then I spent some time talking to some of the Connections leaders after church and hearing some of their struggles. Here we have an incredible group with incredible potential struggling to find leaders to run it. It has had to move from 5 small groups to 3 because of lack of leaders and they are even struggling to resource these 3 groups. I went home thinking – God what is happening here. Why are people not willing to stand up and be counted. Am I the only one who is committed to seeing your kingdom expanded here in Gladstone. Do any of you sometimes wonder why people aren’t willing to stand up and help you in your ministries? I know that many of you coordinators feel this way – I’ve spoken to many of you over the years. And as I journeyed home last night, this is how I felt, but I turned on my Bible on CD and what do you know what section of the Bible I was up to - the account of Elijah at Mt Carmel. Talk about God’s voice speaking out clearly to me … I felt a bit like Elijah did – I could relate, but as I listened God spoke to me and I could also claim the promise that God gave Elijah.
Do you remember the story - how Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah on Mt Carmel. Remember he built 2 altars and challenged the 950 prophets to pray to their gods to send fire down on the altar & consume it. They couldn’t of course. And then it was Elijah’s turn – but before he prayed to God, he got had 12 large jars of water poured over the wood and the sacrifice so everything was drenched – just to make it double hard for God. And you know the story – Elijah prayed and God sent down fire from heaven which consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones of the altar and even the soil it sat on. I dare say it also singed a few of the eyebrows and beards of those standing around it. God had proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was God and Elijah had all the 950 prophets of Baal and Asherah killed. But do you remember what happened next – Jezebel found out what had happened and sent word to Elijah that if it was the last thing she did, she would kill him within the next 24 hours. Elijah did what any self respecting man did when faced with a woman’s anger – he ran like the wind.