Good Tuesday morning!
We had the privilege of having Claran Martin with us on Sunday. Claran is a Regional Minister with the EMCC, a member of the EMC’s National Team as well as the gentleman who helps resource, coach and equip me as a Pastor with the Evangelical Missionary Church.
Claran was with us on Sunday to bring greeting from President Phil Delsault as well as to give us some further conversation about what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
I don’t have Claran’s notes to share exactly when he spoke on, but I will share my thoughts with you about it. Following Jesus means going on a journey with him, a journey of transformation. Claran spoke from Matthew 4, where Jesus calls Simon and Andrew to follow.
19 “Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people!” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
I will make. Jesus calls us on this journey to follow him, but he does not call us into something that we must do alone. This has struck me on several occasions as I have been studying this topic. Many commentators, many authors reiterate the point that the Christian walk is not a lone walk. It is not something we endeavour to do on our own. Jesus asserts “I will make”. The transformation we experience as we journey with Jesus is not something we generate on our own, it is not something we make happen. It is something God does in our lives through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is also something that we are encouraged in by other Christians in our lives.
Claran made several other points during his time with us that I will try to outline briefly. First, the North American church is experiencing a time of decline. 60% of youth leave the church when they move away from their families, and of that 60%, 60% leave and never return. This is a startling statistic. Part of the issue is that the church has expected people to come to it, instead of realizing that the the call to follow Jesus is a call to go out, a call to be a blessing to the world around us. We need to go to those around us as a blessing, instead of waiting for them to come to us.
Second, Claran reminded us that our journey with Jesus is our own responsibility. We can’t rely on hearing a sermon once/week to grow as a Christian. In fact, did you know that you forget 80% of what you have heard within 24hrs? That is one of the reasons I am doing these blogs, to remind of what we have learned on Sunday and give you some thoughts/questions to ponder to keep it fresh in your minds.
What does it mean to you to let Jesus make you into someone who fishes for people? What is something you would like Jesus to work on in you to make you a better “fisher-person”? What is one way you can be a blessing to a neighbour, friend, family-member, co-worker or complete stranger this week? Follow through on your plan. Share your experience with a Christian friend.
Questions for families with young children:
Ask you child to think of a time when they received a blessing from someone? Ask them how that made them feel. Ask them if they have any ideas about how they can be a blessing to someone in their lives, and then help them to follow through on their idea/plan.