Saturday, February 11, 2012


Last weekend I had the opportunity to make a solo visit to my mother in Texas. John held down the fort at home with our three boys. On Sunday I took Mom to the church that supports our ministry and gave a brief report to the congregation in lieu of their regular Bible class. Afterwards we participated in the worship service.

When it was time for the serving of the Lord's Supper, a group of men stepped forward, but three of them stood out to me. John and I had met them the first time we stepped foot inside a church as adults. That was sixteen years ago at a little congregation just miles down the road from the church that now sponsors us. It's where we were converted to Christianity and married. Those three men were, at the time, just one man and his two young sons. Since shortly after our conversion, we've been missionaries, always traveling and never really settling in. It's been a while since we have been to a traditional worship service. We spend most of our time now among unchurched people, and the time we spend with the new Christians we disciple doesn't look anything like a traditional service.

As the group proceeded to pray over the bread and juice, I thought about how confusing the whole service would be to a non-Christian. I know, because it wasn't that long ago that I was that non-Christian. I realized that those three men had been living in the same town, attending the same type of church most (if not all) of their lives.  They don't consider themselves missionaries, although it was the father's parents who told us about Jesus. As concerned as they are for the lost, they would probably struggle to empathize with someone who finds traditions like the Lord's Supper confusing. While it stands to reason not every sermon they hear speaks to their hearts, I bet they haven't heard one in a while that just doesn't make sense at all.  I realized as I looked at those men that I wish I had had a father like that one and that I had been raised like those boys--in church among good people. I have often wondered how different I would be if I had been raised according to God's word, the way family was intended--the way many families at our sponsoring church have lived for generations. But that's not my reality and that means God has equipped me to serve in a different capacity.

That family is a pillar in the community and the church. John and I aren't made to do what they do--stay in one place year after year, holding down a steady job to love and support a family that faithfully goes to church every Sunday. Yet, without families like theirs, we couldn't do what we are made to do--travel and engage ourselves in the world's affairs among the fatherless and confused, introducing Jesus to anyone who will listen. To follow through with the analogy I started when I called them pillars, we know that Jesus is the foundation of the house that God is building. What we add each time we bring in a lost soul is a brick to the structure. I suppose we could be considered the mortar that patches cracks and prepares the surface for new bricks. It's not a glamourous job and sometimes downright dirty, but when you step back and look at the house in its entirety--foundation, bricks, pillars, and mortar--together I believe we're a beautiful sight for the builder.


  1. Beautiful, thank-you for sharing. Add my dad to those bricks. Did I tell you he was saved in the hospital a few weeks ago? He has attended the last 2 Sundays at church and as a new Christian at 62 years old he needs some of those pillars to lean on while he tries to make sense of it all. Love you and praying for you.

  2. nice blog, and nice post. keep up the good work.