The early church demonstrated faith daily. They lived together many times as a family. To become Christians, many people in the first century had to forsake their families. To them the church became their family. They stuck together, in fellowship with one another and God, and evangelized in order to add to the family. Do we have the faith of the early church? I hope and pray that we do.
This past week we were privileged to hear a series of sermons from Todd Clippard on the “Tools of Evangelism.” I hope that everyone found them as educational, encouraging, uplifting, and motivating as I did. Todd did his best to give a shot in the arm. The question remains, what are we going to do with it?
Recently, while handing out tracts at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, an observation was made. An offender came out of the exit door and saw that the officer checking IDs at the entrance door had his head turned. He got back in the line to go into the cafeteria. When he did, he turned and saw me. Then he sort of laughed sheepishly, left the line, and exited the building. I bear a slight resemblance to the chaplain. We both have glasses, receding hairlines, and gray beards. So, perhaps, he thought I was him, but regardless, he knew that he was seen and decided to not go further with the violation of the rules.
Easter weekend, 38 members of the congregation travelled to Louisville, Ky to participate in the oldest and largest leadership training program used in churches of Christ today. Lads to Leaders is something I have had the privilege to be apart of since I was a child myself and wish to instill its importance in the hearts of our youth. This program is not about competition, trophies, receiving ribbons, or even staying in a nice hotel. It is about providing the church with effective, year-round leadership training tools that will help congregations stay alive for many generations to come. We want to instill the Word of God into the hearts and actions of our youth and adults so that they will stand firm in the faith and hopefully bring others to understand the Word as well. Lads to Leaders is about teaching “Bible things in Bible ways”, not how to be better than someone else.
My friend Andy Brewer wrote this article last month and it got me to thinking. What do we put before Jesus, His church, God, and our salvation? We are not promised tomorrow; in fact, today may be our last day. What is holding us back from being the faithful Christians we are supposed to be? The “Rich Young Ruler” was a man who had it all, but was spiritually poor. He allowed the things of this earth to keep him from Heaven. We must all count the cost of faithfulness. Like the man with the pearl of great price or the treasure in the field, we must be willing to sacrifice to obtain it. We can all strive to be spiritually wealthy. –Josh Robinson