“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:7, ESV)

As we have been studying the book of REVELATION at Redeemer, we are learning that there is much comfort and hope for the believer in the last book of the Bible… but there is also much warning. In John’s Revelation, believers are warned to stay active in the spiritual battle. We find great strength in knowing that the Lord and His army are victorious on the Last Day, and that all those who have faith in Christ are saved. But we also see that there will be great destruction and punishment for those who reject the Lord. Therefore, as Christians we are compelled to continue sharing the saving Gospel of Jesus, and to bring more people to Christ to be saved.

And so our ministry as a “lighthouse” in Carlsbad becomes even more critical, as we realize that the Lord will be returning for judgment soon (Rev. 22:7, above). We cannot afford to spin our wheels … or worse … fall asleep at the wheel!   Rather, we must be careful to ensure that any and all of our ministry effort is directed at Gospel-oriented mission that will bring both the sobering awareness of God’s Law, as well as the soothing comfort of Christ’s Gospel and His free gift of salvation.  Quite simply, we must work to make our ministry count!

We need to ask ourselves if what we are doing in ministry is just activity … or is it mission? Since we know that the Lord will separate the wheat from the weeds on Judgment Day (Matthew 13:24-30), we cannot allow ourselves to just be busy between now and then. It is a challenging truth that activity does not equal effectiveness. We have to continually ask ourselves how any program or event at Redeemer either brings the light of Jesus to people, or brings people to the light of Jesus – that’s what being a lighthouse to the community and the world means.

Often you may hear me express it this way: we need to “do fewer things better.” This is a direct challenge for us to make our ministry count. We don’t want to just fill our calendars with events and programs that are familiar and “easy,” we want to find ourselves working together on the kinds of things that really make a Kingdom difference – and require all of us working together to make happen. This is our challenge.

At Redeemer, like most churches, it is difficult to give up something good to make room for something better. I believe that when do, however, we will find that several good things happen[i]:

  1. Our volunteers are spread less thin. They have margin in their schedule for family and ministry.
  2. Our members and leaders are healthier. When we are focusing on too many things, too many events, and too many meetings, we have less time for personal health and relationships.
  3. We experience excellence rather than mediocrity. If we focus on too many ministries and programs, usually all of them become average (or worse), but none of them become excellent.
  4. We better communicate the urgency and significance of our mission. With too many messages coming from our church, our community and our own members don’t know what we’re all about.
  5. We are freer to live out our identity in Christ. With less busy activity our members are able to build relationships with people outside our church who need Jesus.

May more souls be in heaven on the Last Day because of the work that we do today.

Pastor Augie

[i] Concept from Michael Lukaszewski (michaellukaszewski.com)