This Sunday at North Aiken Church of God I will continue to preach through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am spending this week working through Matthew 5:33-37.
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’
But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
– Matthew 5:33-37 (ESV)
Today is a special day for a number of my fellow Church of God brothers and sisters in South Carolina who have completed MIP. The Ministerial Internship Program (MIP) is a nine month intensive program for those individuals who have successfully completed and attained the first rank of credentialed ministry in the Church of God. In short, during this nine months the candidate and their spouse will sit under a supervising Pastor, meet each month in a class room setting for instruction, complete book work daily, and be tested each month on material studied.
This is a great step in moving forward in ministry. This program is draining, intensive, and can be intimidating. Having completed MIP in 2011 myself, I can say that I am better for having gone through it. Though it may be the things listed above, it is most importantly worthwhile. Paul instructed Timothy in our Holy Scriptures to “Study to show yourself approved unto God a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed.”
Having completed MIP you are now able to study and prepare for the next rank of Credentials in the Church of God, that of Ordained Minister. Remember, completing MIP should not be seen as an arrival. To complete MIP doesn’t mean we have arrived. It’s simply a fuel stop along the journey of ministry. If I had the opportunity to speak into the life of those completing MIP as well as those starting in ministry here is my one piece of advice. This is that one thing which we should hang on our wall and write on our hearts.
Don’t allow your passion for other things to be more superior than your passion for the Gospel.
It’s easy to get sidetracked in lesser important things than what we are called to. We are called to be about Gods business. His business is His word. Our life must be about sharing his business with others. No matter if you are full time, bi-vocational, or simply working in a field other than “church” work. Your greatest passion must be about the gospel. Share his word that’s what you are called to do.
Having completed MIP, what’s one piece of advice you would give today’s MIP graduates for their next steps in ministry.
Until May I will be at Central Church, located on Hilton Head Island South Carolina, completing my Internship for MIP. Pastor Carr just finished a series called Famous Last Words and WOW…it was great. I was only able to catch the last two messages in the series in person but was able to go back and listen to the rest of them online. This is a must listen to series. Whatever you are doing I would suggest going to Central Church’s website HERE and either listening online or downloading the audio for future refrence. I can’t express how honored I am to be able to be a part of this community over the next few months. If your in the Hilton Head or Bluffton Area and are looking for a place to call home with people to call family, you really need to get to Central Church. Seriously, your invited and will leave knowing your cared for.
Starting this Sunday I will be filling in at Hardeeville Church of God with the Preaching responsibilities until further notice. It’s going to change up my weekly routine just a bit and there are somethings that I was use to having time for that will have to wait in order to make sure I am prepped and ready to go each Sunday. I am thankful to be able to help out but hate the circumstances in which I get to fill in. I am really needing to hear from God over the next few weeks like never before.
We are having a great time at Campmeeting 2010 so far. Due to getting time off and money we have made our trip into a little bit of a vacation mixed with Church Retreat. It has been a blast so far. We have done a few things to relax such as hanging at an extremely dear friends house, who opened their doors up so that we could bring the kids over to swim in their pool and catch up. Then we hit a place called Reedy River Falls in Downtown Greenville and lunch at the extraordinary Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakery. We got a few pics that I hope to upload on my photo blog soon.
The services have been amazing. God has really used two of the sermons so far to speak life into my heart and realize that we are not on the wrong track. One of the main things that God is adjusting us to is the fact that we are hid in him and we are going through a preparation period. Sometimes I get anxious and also frustrated thinking that I am forgotten and that nothing will open up but God is hiding me close to him, waiting for His timing when He is ready to do the work through me. My response is, Let it Be. Overall it is a great week and have made some pretty great memories.