Pastor’s Desk April 15th

Scripture Passage:  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then said I, “Here I am; send me.”  Isaiah 6:8
Dear Friends,
     The past few days have been interesting.  I have been a part of several committees down through the years that have been responsible for filling empty positions in churches, associations and now the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Technology may run the world, but it still takes people to operate the technology and make decisions about the future.
     People of our modern generation are very reluctant to commit their time to anything church related.  I understand young parents raising small children being hesitant, but I cringe when others refuse and use their busy schedules as an excuse.  Retirees tell me they have worked hard all their lives and now they want to be free of responsibilities and schedules.  I get it.  I really do.  No one really wants one more thing “on their plate,” but someone has to do it and not everyone is qualified.  The ones who will serve are already busy and serving in multiple facets of ministry in multiple places.  The ones qualified who will not serve are normally busy with recreational pursuits and personal hobbies.  The analogy of the Little Red Hen fits perfectly here.  Everyone wants to eat the baked bread and enjoy the benefits, but no one wants to help do the work.  If everyone took that attitude, nothing would ever get done.  The Little Red Hen will eventually experience burn-out and quit or die from stress related symptoms.  If everyone does something, then no one has to do everything.
     The Scripture passage today says much about the volunteer spirit.  It is so important to listen for and be able to hear the voice of the Lord.  Sometimes that voice comes from someone God sends your way to ask.  He has impressed your name upon their heart and revealed your talents and the way they can be used in accomplishing a particular task.  They probably see more clearly than you do and have already been praying about asking you.  I know personally that when that occurs I have felt a conviction and kindred spirit that assured me it was God and not just them talking.  I also have had a longing and desire to do more for the Lord and please Him for an extended period of time.  The position I am asked to fill is something I am good at and passionate in spirit about.  Another way God speaks is through reading His Word and listening to the preached Word.  The burden I have felt that is initiated by the Word of God has never led me wrong.  It is as if God is saying, “See, this is what I want you to do.  I have put it in writing and hand delivered it to you through my messenger.”  I may be able to delay my response for a time, but to refuse the burden I feel in my heart is something I cannot do indefinitely.  The “Voice of the Lord” does not go away.
     Finally, there is the importance of having a willing heart.  A willing heart is governed by the Holy Spirit and characterized by the fruits of the Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-23   It is evidenced by the humility of a servants heart and the lack of prideful egotism.  It desires to glorify God in all it does and lacks the desire to be publically recognized.  A willing heart thrives to please God, enjoys the satisfaction of a job well-done, and appreciates being appreciated.  So the next time you are asked to fill a position, listen for the voice of God and pray about what you are being asked to do.  Read your Bible and ask God to speak to you through His Word. Be aware of God’s revelation to you through the preached Word, and just have a willing heart.  You will make my job a lot easier.
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny