While we’re on Beginnings and Endings, I thought I’d bring up the very last ending, the Second Coming, ’cause Jesus is coming again. That will be a beautiful ending and beginning for us, but not for others.
When I was a new christian back in the 70’s (I’m dating myself now), there were all sorts of debates about the Rapture going on that didn’t matter. We were all concerned about how and when the Lord was going to return and what it was going to be like. I’ve gotten past that now, because it doesn’t matter. We have to be ready, every day for the Lord to return. We have to live our lives as if in the next moment He will return. We need to be about the Lord’s work every day.
This is a song that was a big christian hit back in the day… I used to sing it with my guitar and usually a bunch of people would join me. The video on this is from the 70’s, ’cause most of us grew up with Vietnam, war protests and political unrest. It seemed like the Lord was going to show up any moment and that is the time when this song was written.
I Wish We’d All Been Ready by Larry Norman:
Last week the Fanning the Flame team had our last face-to-face meeting with our coach, Joe Weatherly. He will still be available to us, by email and phone, and all the resources available from the ministry will be ours as well. However, He will no longer be reaching out to us — we must reach out to him. Like baby chicks we’re spreading our wings and going out on our own to apply what we’ve learned.
Joe explained that although our meetings are over, this is not the end of Fanning the Flame as St. Paul’s. It is not even the beginning of the end. It is possibly, the end of the beginning of our efforts to revitalize our church.
Where will we go from here? Well, our team will keep meeting. We’ll go back to the beginning and choose another strategy for improving the health of our congregation, and we’ll decide how to work on it. Our first strategy, small groups, is already up and running. We’ll keep praying. We’ll keep reading books and learning. We’ll grow in faith, and hopefully, what we’ve learned and done, will spread out through the congregation and even into the community.
Has it been worth it? I think so. I’ve grown in my faith as an individual, and I’m sure other team members have as well. I’ve learned some practical things about running a meeting, starting a new ministry or mission and persevering in spiritual disciplines. There has been an impact on our congregation as well. The pot is bubbling. What will rise up? Well, that remains to be seen. Keep praying of St. Paul’s dear readers. God is not done with us yet!