Sunday, November 11, 2007

Flexibility

I remember one of the first things I ever learned being a part of mission trips is the simple word: Flexibility A big thanks to my youth pastor Tim Jack who never ceased to remind us the importance of being flexible in any and all situations. Well, I have changed a lot but some things never change. Missions and flexibility are synonyms; they are like family. You can't have one without the other! It was certainly true today. I spent a lot of time this week studying and refining my message for the HIV/AIDS graduation and church service. The plan was for the church to do worship and announcements for the first hour and ACTION Zambia would get the second hour. One leader said I could plan for an hour with a message of 45 minutes and some prayer after. That would be perfect, I said. As it turns out, after worship and then announcements and then a choir and another choir and then another one, we were at the 11:00 am hour where the graduates had a procession down the aisle, there was an introduction of the CROSS project and then a song and then a short challenge and then a diploma giving ceremony and then a skit and than my wife and her group sang and then at 12:15pm, after a service that was over two hours, I was introduced to speak. Now, mind you I have been in a lot of church services over the years where I am to speak and I am used to my speaking time being shortened by whatever, but I was just concerned at this point that I had almost more pages to preach from than I had minutes to speak. But, God was good. I picked and moved and shared and focused on the essentials and in the end, I think people were encouraged and I finished at 12:30, their usual ending time. I just kept reminding myself, that this service and preaching and what not was not about me. It was also a great practice for me as a preacher to continually boil down the sermon, to keep asking myself what is the main point and what can you do without. Our kids did great, amazingly great. Actually, Julia struggled but she hasn't been feeling very good, so we will give her some grace. The song that Stephanie and the ACTION ladies sang was really great, with harmony and the whole bit. They actually started clapping twice during the song and then had a huge applause afterwards. Thanks for your prayers. I meet with 10 pastors on Tuesday to start a 20 week preaching discipleship as we study and prepare and preach through the book of Philippians.

1 comment:

Schwartz Fam said...

Hey roomie :) Knowing what little I do of Africa, they probably would have been fine to have you preach for another 2 hours! Thanks for updates on the blog man. Prayed for you and the fam... keep the faith.

-John