Recently, our church Treasurer Diane sent a reminder to the members of our church council, reminding us of year 2015 annual church budget planning exercise.
And it is also around this time of the year where our various teaching departments in the church will consider what plans they each intend to place before God.
And my usual thought is that the budget planning is a much easier task than the teaching ministries of the church. The teaching ministries in our church covers pulpit, small groups, Sunday schools, youth/teens bible studies groups, Adult Bible classes, WWBI study groups, prayer service devotional sharers, etc.
Today, I would like to take the opportunity to encourage all who are handling the teaching of the Word in this local church of ours. Time and again, we do hear our teaching leaders speak about their discouragement. This brings to mind John 14 on how the emotions had intensified upon the disciples when they realized that Christ’s departure was imminent. They were very discouraged and frustrated. They were also highly distressed because amongst them, one was going to betray the Lord. Back in their minds, their world seemed to be falling and one of the the questions that troubled them was, “We haven’t got any idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
As ministry teachers, we need to learn and tune our ear to hear those reassuring words of the Master Teacher: “Let not your heart be troubled… I will pray to the Father and He shall give you another Comforter” (John 14:1, 16)
It’s normal that even the very best Sunday School teachers will sometimes experience discouragement. Such feeling is the result of human effort unaided by the power of the Holy Spirit. I for one, is not spared from this folly. Paul in his Ephesian epistle said “Find your strength in the Lord” (Eph 6:11). This implies an unlimited reservoir of support and help that God has for all of us. A further implication is that strength from the Lord is specifically directed toward any given area of human need or weakness.
Occasionally, I also hear some who will say that “they are not gifted in doing this or that!”. Let’s be assured that finding your strength in the Lord’s ministry and especially if it is a teaching ministry, has to be one that is “waiting on knowing, understanding, accepting and relying on some precious truth about the teacher and his or her relationship to the Holy Spirit”.
And to this, we should have the confidence and remember that God through His generous grace has given gifts to all persons. Some of these are natural gifts. They are latent talents which become abilities or skills only through the process of disciplined effort. There are also special spiritual gifts from God. They are received as a result of an individual’s spiritual rebirth. Some would contend as to whether these gifts were given with the new spiritual birth or after the birth, or if they are given as part of the process of growing in Christian maturity. Maybe all three are valid! The assurance and confidence for us is to remember that when and where God has called us to in terms of work or ministry, He will provide.
As we enter into the final quarter of 2014 and look ahead towards 2015, may I encourage all of us to pray and wait upon the Lord and seek His will regarding the areas of service that we want to offer to Him. May you enjoy the last stretch of your ministry commitment in 2014 as the Lord enables you and be a blessing to others.
Elder Andrew Lim