Do You Qualify?

earthI am thankful to be a part of a church family who is serious about the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. Over the coming weeks we have teams serving in New York, Baltimore, Senegal, and Guatemala. Still others will serve our local community through ministry in nursing homes and homeless shelters. Many will be involved in prayer-walking and in leading block parties.

Whatever gifts and abilities a person has—there is a unique place to plug in and be a part of reaching the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Some, however, still doubt they have anything to offer. They feel intimidated about signing on the dotted line and committing to serve. I can’t speak or preach or travel 2000 miles…

So…just for fun, I’d like to share a simple poem that outlines important qualifications required for involvement in ministry.

As long as someone can check at least one thing on this list, they are good to go…

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Providing Harmony

IMG_2775The recent Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Retreat was a whirlwind of activity. I enjoyed having lunch with DiAnn Mills, Steven James, and Alton Gansky. I studied storytelling with the expert, Steven James. Had a conversation with Todd Starnes of Fox News. Stuttered through a mini-conversation with Brian Bird, movie producer. Soaked up praise and worship time with Rachel Hauck.

Starstruck? Absolutely. To the point of it being a little embarrassing.

“So, um…yeah. I, uh…think you’re awesome.”  Sigh.

I found myself prayer-whining. “Lord, who am I kidding here? I’ll never be a best-selling novelist or screenwriter. And why in the world should I take a class on How to Handle a TV Interview? And Lord, my writing critiques were brutal. Everything seems wrong. I should pack up and go home!”

His still small voice broke through the gloom. Child, are you finished?

“Yes, Lord. I’ll stop whining now.”

Good. Because I didn’t call you to be a soloist. But I did call you to be part of the choir.

God used echoes of a devotion by Edie Melson to break through my pity-party. We’re not all called to be Billy Graham, C.S. Lewis or Max Lucado. Our Lord calls and equips us to be us. We are created to use our uniqueness for His glory. And not just in the writing world.

God’s choir is on a much grander scale.

Music_Notes1He has his people providing harmony by teaching first-grade Sunday School, leading a children’s mission group, and changing diapers in the nursery. He hears the sweet refrains of a servant-hearted deacon serving the Lord’s Supper and a young pastor pouring out his life for his flock. God’s choir is rich with mothers teaching His truths to their little ones and a warrior in the midst of a spiritual battlefield counseling someone in crisis to choose life.

God calls number-crunchers and administrators, planners and servers. He seeks those willing to minister to teenagers and those with a heart for senior adults. He entrusts and equips some to care for those with special needs and others to quietly engage the spiritual realms in prayer.

He calls us to use our gifts and to join the chorus for His honor.

We do not have to carry the weight of being someone else.

Beautiful, liberating…


 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 ESV