Twelve of us from Calvary got to go on a work retreat at Camp Chetek this past Thursday through Saturday. We had five adults and seven teens go. We painted, caulked, sheeted interior walls of cabins, made curtains, moved bunks, cleaned up construction debris, washed dishes, and did whatever else the Camp Director Randy Tanis wanted us to do.
Why did we go? Reason one is because I have a special place in my heart for Camp Chetek. After I became a Christian, my first summer home from the Marine Corps, I spent seven weeks working at camp as a counselor to young people. While there I made a decision to go to Bible College and enter into the ranks of full time Christian service. Reason two is because our teens and adults need tangible ways to serve and extend themselves for the Lord. This summer hundreds of youth will be living in the cabins we helped to get ready. From those cabins, they will launch into a daily adventure which includes a lot of good food, wholesome fun, and preaching times where they will be challenged with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Where can kids go for a week where they are safe loved and confronted with the Lord without the distractions of this world? Thirdly, and most importantly, lives are changed at camp Chetek for the Lord.
This was a special and extremely fun time of working together for a sister ministry which is doing a great work for the Lord. But what about today, serving Jesus is not just about special work retreats or at church on Sundays. Jesus says ministry is supposed to happen on a daily basis.
Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Work retreats, mission trips, fair booths, vacation Bible schools offer special times of extended and concentrated service. But let us not forget the multitude of opportunities we have to serve Christ every day. Sometimes effective ministry is pretty simple with no flash and bang.
Mark 9:41 “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”
Ministry in the name of Jesus can be boiled down pretty simple. It is looking through His eyes at the needs of others and then with His help seeking to meet those needs. This is only profitable if the motivation is because of the love of Christ, for the glory of God to the edification of our fellow man. To truly get a blessing out of life, we must learn how to give our lives away. In the giving we find we end up receiving more than we could ever dream. Christian joy becomes happy when it is willingly spent for Christ’s sake on others. The most miserable people on the planet are self absorbed. Professing Christians are the worst, because they should know better. So then may the Lord help us to spend and be spent profitably for His purpose and plan.
Matthew 9:36 “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”
For the Love of Christ,
Pastor John Schofield