Wow, it has been over six months since I have blogged. My one New Year resolution was to attempt to write again. So, here is an attempt.
Last week, I started a message series at our church called From Ordinary to Extraordinary and this week, I prayed through and finalized a message from Judges, Chapter 6 containing the story of God's call of Gideon.
I'm sure you are familiar with the account. God chose Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites, who had amassed an army of 135,000 men. After starting Gideon out with some smaller tasks and building his faith, God placed him in charge of 32,000 men from Israel.
But God had other plans. 32,000 was too many. Can't you imagine Gideon's thoughts. "What, 32,000 Israelites is too many against 135,000 Midianites? What is wrong with your math, God?"
God whittled 32,000 men down to just 300. Now, we're talking some serious odds by all human thinking. God was going to defeat the Midianites and he wanted to make sure that Israel couldn't accept the credit.
As a pastor, I was reminded this week about how the success of a church is found in obedience to God. It doesn't matter what the numbers on the attendance sheet, the offering tally and "amount due" line of the bills are. God will do what he says he will do and plans to do even with a remnant of people and a sparse amount of resources.
Pastors can, sometimes, get caught up and concerned with numbers and can begin making decisions, not on what God wants but on what the numbers say. Perhaps God has purpose in seemingly downward trends in attendance and giving. When he brings the EXTRA to our ordinary, he, alone gets the glory.
So, do we stop teaching and modeling the disciplines of giving and being faithful? NO! Faithfulness, obedience, generosity and fellowship are what God desires to see in his people. I'm simply stating that we, as leaders, as the Church are far better off when we trust God to do the Extraordinary through us - even when us are few.