The following is the text from my bulletin insert. I am designing a series of weekly inserts to help me better explain the Wesleyan Way of Discipleship. You can download a pdf of this insert at the end of blog.
This week, you are encouraged to ask a church member the following:
Do you prefer letting someone else do ministry on your behalf or are you ready to step forward and engage in ministry?
“I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.”
By now, most of you know this is the defining scripture for our Mountain Empire Craft Days Bottled Water Give Away. Over the last five years we have battled all kinds of weather and have successfully given away 12,000+ bottles of water. I know you may have thought me a bit touched when I first suggested this ministry. To be honest, it returns very little of immediate value to the church. I don’t know of anyone that has united with our church as a result of this outreach ministry. Yet, I know of 12,000 people that have received a bottle of water.
If you look closely at this passage of scripture, you will note that Jesus says, “When you did it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it unto me.” (—Matthew 25:40) I don’t know about you, but that certainly makes it seem worth while. To think that by serving others, we were in essence serving Jesus.
I say this in relation to my decision not to head up this outreach this year. When I came here five years ago, I said that I would be glad to show you how something is done. That is my role as the equipper talked about in Ephesians 4. However, it is now time for someone else to take the leadership role of this ministry. I can assist, but someone else now needs to come forward and do this ministry. I have “equipped the saints” to make this ministry happen. Now it is time for the saint or saints to step forward and say, “Preacher. I’ll make sure that people get water to drink. I want to make Jesus happy.”
Water. It’s something we often take for granted, but it is something that we all need. Part of being a disciple and growing in our faith involves stepping up and leading ministries rather than just sitting back and letting someone else do it for you. This is not a difficult ministry, but is does involve a commitment of time to make sure it happens.
So. Has God begun speaking to any of you about this ministry. We may have the option of doing it in town rather than on the MECC campus. It will all depend upon whether or not the Town of BSG also sponsors a craft festival like they did last year. So. Pray about it and talk with me if you feel God is leading you in that direction. Otherwise, we will not be giving away water this year.
I am just a simple United Methodist pastor. I am an elder in the Holston Annual Conference. This blog is my attempt to share the insights that I have gathered from John Wesley's writings and from others more knowledgable than myself in regards to Wesley. I am not a scholar. Perhaps you could best think of me as a practical theologian.