By: Bishop Mike Ainsworth
I was thinking this week of the importance of our work and ministry as believers and ministers during this global pandemic. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is one more reminder that we live in a fallen world.
Because of the pandemic, churches all over the globe are changing models for discipleship, children’s ministry, and weekly gatherings. More than ever the church is being “seen” as pastors utilize video streaming and ministry moves outside the box and beyond the walls.
My prayer is that we would have the testimony of Noah. “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time and he walked faithfully with God” (Gen 6:8-9).
What a powerful description of a true relationship with God – walking with God! Over the last few weeks, Trisha and I have been taking lots of walks together. The idea is to walk together in the same direction, at the same pace and to arrive at the destination together. We don’t want to lag behind or become impatient and get ahead because we don’t want to wait on one another. This in-step walking characterized Noah’s relationship with the Lord. Because of this deep relationship with the Lord, he was a credible witness of God’s grace and power. He was faithful to share the message in spite of the circumstances that surrounded him or the responses of those that heard him (Acts 1:8). Noah worked to win as many people as he could: “By faith Noah, when warned of things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith” (Heb 11:7).
Noah’s testimony reminds us that while our words are powerful, it is our life that backs up the message of Christ we share with others. We are living in the days of sermons we see, not just hear.
Sermons We See, by Edgar Albert Guest 1881-1959
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one, any day;
I’d rather one would walk with me than merely tell the way;
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear.
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear,
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do.
For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give.
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11)
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.