I believe today and tomorrow will be a landmark day in the life of my wife and the other two ladies who are heading to Mauldin for the annual SCCOG Women’s Retreat. Matter of fact, as their Pastor I have a specific prayer I am praying for them this weekend.
First, that they would connect with God in a way like never before. I believe the speakers have a word from the the Lord and this will be an encounter like never before for each woman attending.
Second, that God would use this time for them to connect with each other in a way like never before. Each woman has their own set of worries and struggles. Time away like this has a way to encourage and empower one another in their walk with Christ.
Third, that God would use this time for each of these women to connect with the will that God has for each of their lives. Along with being wives, mothers, employers, employees, etc, sometimes Gods will can have a way of being silenced with all the noise. I believe that this time will prove to be enlightening in regards to the will and desire God has for each of them in all areas of their life.
When I was 15 I was given a Bible which belonged to my Grandfather, Capt. George Ellis Tallmage, USMC Ret. It was in my fathers possession. It was a KJV Thompson Chain Reference which was given to my Grandfather in the 70’s by the congregation of First Assembly of God in Walterboro. It was passed down to me as a gift a few weeks after I announced to my family that I accepted the call to preach. This particular Bible sits in my office right next to my desk.
In the first few blank pages of this Bible there are a few things penned, mostly by my father. Here is one quote which I have read often and still retain in my memory today. I would like to share it with you. I haven’t found where it is attributed to anyone else so I will give the credit to my dad for this quote.
The way I love my neighbor is the way I love myself. – George E. Tallmage, Sr
There is a lot of truth in this quote. If the greatest commandment is to Love The Lord God with everything you are, and to Love your neighbor as yourself. Then it is only accurate that the way I love those around me is deep down what I think about and how I love myself.
Another Easter weekend is in the rear view mirror. If you are unfamiliar about why we make such a big deal about Easter you can read in the Bible, John chapters 18-20. For all of my ministry friends I hope this past weekend proved to be one of your best weekends of the year. Maybe you didn’t quite reach the goals you set out to reach. Can I give you a word of encouragement? Just because you didn’t hit the number you were reaching for it shouldn’t get you down.
At the time of this post I have only been at the North Aiken Church of God for about 7 weeks. Sure, we had some expectations but I haven’t let those expectations control me. We plan, we execute, but ultimately the rest is up to God.
For instance, we were planning for an attendance goal of 75 people. We have been averaging 50. We had a total attendance of 55. Although we didn’t meet our planned goal of 75 there are a few things that we were able to execute by having that goal. If we were going to hit 75 we had to free up space in the sanctuary. So, we created an environment where children ages 2months – 5th grade can learn about Jesus and the purpose of Easter. That freed up close to 20 seats in the sanctuary for the guests that we’ve been inviting. We had a nursery for kids 2 months thru 2 years. A group for kids ages 3 thru 5 and a group for kids in k5 thru 5th grade. In total there were 13 kids present.
Here’s what I have learned and I hope is an encouragement to you.
Don’t allow the fact that you didn’t have the number of people you expected and planned for make you unbearable to be around.
Don’t allow the fact that you may have had a record breaking attendance make you unbearable to be around.
Don’t forget to put the same amount of prayer and planning into this coming weekend.
Don’t forget to reflect on what God did this weekend in spite of us.
Don’t forget, it’s not about you it’s all about God and His plan and purpose for those he’s allowed you the opportunity to shepherd.
In closing let me add, the most important thing I believe that could have happened did. At least two people recognized that they have been trying to go through this life alone and recognized the need to turn it over to God and trust in Jesus.
What was the highlight of your weekend?
If you are a ministry leader what’s some sound advice you would give to other ministry leaders right after a big weekend?