“A Place of Transition” (Part 2)
Last week in my blog I was discussing an “estuary” as a place of transition. Remember an estuary is an inlet where the salt water of the ocean meets the fresh water of the rivers that ultimately flow into the ocean. We saw that just like an estuary is a place of transition, so too is New Durham Chapel a spiritual “estuary”. NDC has served as a place where God has been transitioning people from a state of darkness into a state of light. What a privilege it is when God brings a person from darkness into the glorious light of a relationship with Himself through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Another factor that makes up an estuary is that there has to be a number of consistencies that help provide for a smooth transition in the wild life and the habitant. The marshlands in South Jersey provide consistent seasonal changes that make both growth and stability possible at the same time. In the church of Jesus Christ having certain things that are consistent will also provide for growth and stability at the same time. Of course one of the most important consistencies we can have is to be building upon the foundation of the Word of God. Remember Paul’s words to Timothy when he tells him in his 2nd letter, “and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. So that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (v. 15-17, NIV). So we see using the Word to lift up the name of Jesus in a consistent manner is foundational.
I also believe another key to growth with stability is consistency in those who serve in key ministry roles. This doesn’t mean that God never moves people along to other places of ministry, for He certainly does, but it does mean that there needs to be a core group committed to seeing the work through and are being transformed by His grace in their personal lives. This also doesn’t mean that key people never give up their leadership roles to others, for this would surely lead to stagnation. In fact Paul reminds us in the 4th chapter of Ephesians that leadership roles are given to train the next generation of leaders for the work of the ministry. He writes, “It was He who gave some to apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for the works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (v.11-13, NIV). The ministry is all about preparing others for the work of ministry and service for Christ. We are not going to live forever in this flesh.
These words from the Scriptures remind us of the importance of consistency and faithfulness to God’s Word as we serve Christ. I would like to close with few words from Jesus to the church in Philadelphia in the 2nd chapter of the book of Revelation. Jesus says, “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Since you have kept my commandment to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth”, (v.8+10, NIV). Let us use our “little strength” to build on God’s Word and continue to serve Him in a consistent, faithful manner in the place of transition He has set before us.
All for Christ,
Pastor Rich Sivo