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Last week I met with a number of leaders from other denominations at CrossPointe Foursquare Conference Center in Christiansburg, Va. They gathered at the invitation of Chuck Shoemake, director of the Center for Spiritual Renewal, a Foursquare ministry of pastoral care housed there. These denominational leaders were interested in our efforts regarding the spiritual renewal of ministers.

In preparing to share with the group, I was led to a passage in Mark 2. I’m sure you remember the story of the people who picked up their paralyzed friend, placed him on a mat and carried him to Jesus. Unable to get through the door, they climbed on the roof, dismantled a portion of it and lowered him down. Jesus was so impressed by their faith that he declared the man’s sins forgiven and his paralysis healed! Then it dawned on me that this was a clear outline of how you would hope your peers would respond if you were in a desperate situation. Obstacles simply become stepping stones into a preferred future when one’s passion to help outweighs one’s fears or inhibitions.

  • Define Reality: Ignoring, debating or judging the condition of those who need help will not bring them deliverance. (Mark 2:3)
  • Determine a Response: Actions speak louder than words. Sympathy helps but it does not bring about transformation. (Mark 2:3)
  • Commit to Resource: Vision without adequate resource is just a slogan. What are you personally willing to commit? Time? Money? Counsel? (Mark 2:4)
  • Celebrate the Renewal: When people who have been knocked down rise up and overcome, celebrate! Others will be encouraged and God will be honored. (Mark 2:12)

Sensing Kingdom responsibility for our fellow sojourners is important, but taking serious responsibility for our own lives is also critical! We would all do well to remember that we are neither indestructible nor irreplaceable. Did I hear someone say Sabbath?

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 NKJV)

By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor

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