This year my priority is a writing ministry. God continues to order these days by providing circumstances which have so limited me that I have been unable to commit myself to long-term person-to-person ministry. Others have picked up those responsibilities, freeing me for writing, my family, and short one-to-one counseling. The phone has been quieter during these months than ever in our lives!
When we understand that He is Lord of our time, we realize that interruptions are of His planning. They become opportunities to serve rather than plagues to keep us from functioning. We begin to experience the surprising miracle of living in the center of His will.
When we have developed the mindset of a steward toward our possessions we will view them not as this-is-mine-I-worked-hard-for-it, but as tools to unite the body—a home for prayer groups, cars for transporting kids to parties, coffee servers to share for large groups—instruments given to us by our Master for service in His Kingdom.
Realizing we live in a high crime society, I nevertheless see the closed and locked doors of our churches as a statement of possessiveness—this is our church, we have worked hard for it, we don’t want anything unseemly to happen here. Couldn’t alternate plans be arranged so little-used sanctuaries would be available like the cathedrals in Europe for continual prayer pilgrimages? How little quiet there is in this frenetic world. How few places for protected peace. We really do need to be offering sanctuary to secular society, opened doors to troubled hearts.
The fact that so many of our church buildings sit empty for major portions of the week perhaps poses questions of stewardship. Can we really justify spending such time and expense in building these structures which are only used a few hours weekly? If they are strictly for show or convenience, is this expenditure really in the interest of our Master? Are there ways we can make our facilities more functional? Are there community services we can perform which will demonstrate Christ-likeness to this world? Can we, perchance, do without a building?
Award-winning author Karen Mains continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This microfinance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.