One of the great scenes in moviedom comes from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. After the typical Jones’ escapades, he finally reached the cave where the Holy Grail was kept (which is actually at Petra in the country of Jordan; one of my greatest disappointments was entering through that incredible rock façade, and, instead of finding a great labyrinth of caves, I found the back wall about ten feet away – stinkin’ Spielberg). Using the clues from his father’s journal, Indiana was able to overcome the first two booby traps. The third, however, seemed insurmountable. A deep chasm stood between himself and his prize. Trusting that he would not have been steered wrongly, he took a step into the chasm…and his foot landed on solid ground. It was then he realized that the bridge he was now on had been disguised with an optical illusion. After he did some more Indiana Jonesy stuff on the other side of the chasm, he returned the way he came – confidently running across the bridge while the cave began to collapse around him.
Imagine, however, if it didn’t collapse. Imagine that he builds a friendship with the guardian knight – giving him a sip from the grail every now and then to keep the ancient man’s centuries old heart beating. Each day Jones crosses the bridge, hangs out for a while, maybe gets some sword fighting lessons, then heads back to his camp outside the cave. Any fear he had over getting across that chasm would have been gone after his initial step. No longer would it be a leap of faith – it would just be a leap.
For many, their ministry in the church has become the same thing. The butterflies they felt the first time they taught Sunday School or walked into Awana or passed out food at the Foodbank have all flown away. Risky has become routine. The leap of faith has become a comfortable stroll.
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I am in no way denigrating the sacrificial on-going service of so many in the church. Strasburg Community Church could not function without those faithful servants who have been doing the same ministry year after year. We are all blessed because they are consistently blessing us.
Here’s what I am saying – maybe God wants you to do more. Whether you have been doing the same ministry for years or if you are new to ministry, maybe He wants to show Himself to you in ways that you have not seen in a while. Maybe He wants you to risk, to stretch, to step off the cliff so that you can experience the spiritual invigoration of landing on Him, because there is nothing else you could have landed on.
My challenge to you this week is twofold:
- Pray daily for the ministry that you are already involved in. This is the first and most important role for any servant of God. Ask God to give you new opportunities to see Him, to love others, to share His truth with the world. Ask Him to make the routine new again. Ask Him to make the safe risky again. I don’t know what the particulars of that will look like, but I do know what you’ll see – God working in you and through you in awesome ways. You have not because you ask not. Do you have the courage and desire to ask God to shake up your ministry and stretch you? I promise you, if you ask, He will do it.
- Pray for the Lord to expand your ministry reach. Ask Him to direct you to a new opportunity to serve Him. Then go to that ministry wall, or call Steve Musser or myself or one of the elders, and step into something different, something fresh. Take a risk. Go beyond your comfort zone. Step off the cliff into something that will give you the opportunity to absolutely fail if you don’t bathe the ministry in prayer, relying utterly on the Holy Spirit to do His work through you. It will seem scary at first, but God will bless you for it because you will be doing what He created you and saved you to do.
Please understand that this is not a recruitment call. This is not me sneakily putting out a desperate plea for workers while disguising it as a prayer movement. This is not about the church. This is not about a program. This is about you and me. It’s about us allowing God to take us places in faith and reliance upon Him that either we have never been or that we haven’t seen in a long while. It’s simply giving God a new opportunity to remind us that without Him we can do nothing, but with Him we can do anything.