You ever go somewhere not really knowing what to expect and come away glad you went? Such as? you may ask. Think of being asked to a gathering you really didn't want to attend, yet when you got there, something inspired you, made you walk away with ideas, and made you perhaps want to take on some new activities or insert energy into existing activities.
While I voluntarily wanted to work the LWML (Lutheran Women's Missionary League) Texas District Convention this past weekend, I didn't attend with any anticipation of anything other than sitting at our church's exhibit (Hope Lutheran Church and School's Uganda Mission) and explaining to people what that was and what we did there. When I arrived, I learned I was going to be soliciting votes for our proposed grant for the school. So, I went from teacher to salesperson in the flash of an eye.
While there, though, I took time to see the other exhibits, including missions. I met the (now famous) Muslim-converted-to-Christianity (Lutheran) gentleman and his mission's exhibit. He's a Lutheran pastor, and in speaking with him, I met a man who may have been very much like Paul. Hostile to Christianity now speaking passionately about Christianity, almost uncompromisingly. Across from our exhibit was another man who was from a region near the Middle East/Pakistan/India who was over a college ministry. His college ministry doing more than reaching Lutheran students while away at college, but rather a very mission-oriented ministry serving students (in pictures at the exhibit) from other parts of the world, possibly not Lutheran. I also talked to a pastor who came to Houston from Puerto Rico to work in a field only to find himself pastor of a church that used to be St. John's, now named in Spanish for the community just south of downtown Houston. All these men possessed a passion for their ministries, no matter how daunting the task may be.
When our pastor (Pastor Eric) returned to Lubbock from a family vacation, he came to the convention. I said something like this to him, "The men of Hope need to get this passionate about a ministry," I said. Not that the men of Hope aren't passionate about the ministry at Hope, but where do we focus our energy? (For those of you not from Hope, think of your own congregations.) In the past, we have said our men's ministry is about the following: being men of God as God desires for men in the lives of church, family, and community; being in the Word; being in fellowship; and being in service. I was impressed with the women who came by our booth to learn of our ministry in Uganda as they decided which mission project to vote on. They took the task seriously as I said the same thing over and over to each person who stopped for 10 hours or so on Thursday.
Clearly we have a mission in Uganda. Do we focus our passion for taking God's Word to that? Do we take on our own school to provide needed funds or work? Something to think about, but when you are around people driven by the Great Commission ("Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations..."), it makes you realize that our ministry, which is effective to a degree, could be doing much more.
Pray that we find that mission that sparks our passion and our energy. Pray that we find the time to give to that ministry in time, talent, and treasure. Pray we seek God's will in our lives with this kind of activity.
Finally, say thank you to anyone involved in LWML. We received the grant, and that was because God was in the works.
Hope Men's Ministry