Leave it all on the field! Student athletes play for the love of the game and many hope to land scholarships to further their education. Coaches will often encourage their teams to work hard, out-perform their opponents, and play with class. While it is true that some athletes are just gifted more than others, all women and men still pour out their souls to push the team forward. Followers of Jesus should be no different. We are all commanded to love and make a difference. We should be leaving everything we have on the field while evangelizing (loving) the lost, last, and the least.
By now, many of you have heard that another pastor and I kissed a pig to culminate our community VBS in Lewistown. We encouraged the children and their parents to donate offerings to the pastor of their choice. In total, there were five pastors represented with labeled cans. Mysteriously or maybe miraculously, Reverend Jim Thomas and I came in tied for first place. Our churches also donated money to promote "Heifer International" which provides live animals to villages in order to support families with food. http://www.heifer.org
The total raised to date is $931 and counting. This amount can buy a heifer that will produce milk, butter, and cheese, and possible new calves, it can buy chickens that will produce eggs. In all, the people in villages around the world will benefit because our VBS gave extravagantly! The challenge we pastors offered was simply the catalyst to build excitement.
In 17 years of pastoral ministry, I am learning one hard and fast truth. Time is short and many people around me don't know Jesus nor have bowed their knee to Him. In light of this, I choose to do whatever it takes to bring the light and love of Jesus to one more person. Some might think kissing pigs is a bit outlandish and way over the top (Some might think it unprofessional). That's alright.
If kissing a pig provides children with milk and eggs, if it allows a mother to feed her family, and if a village in Africa or Asia gets healthier, than I'll kiss a hundred piggies. If kissing pigs teaches our young children the importance of tithing, serving, and loving others, then I'll kiss two hundred piggies. Ministry is often filled with such serious and sometimes painful encounters and so if I can have some fun while furthering the Good News of Jesus Christ then I will go the extra distance.
What are you doing to further God's kingdom? What are you sacrificing from your life in order to promote Jesus and his love. Wait, you are doing whatever it takes to bring Jesus to one more person. Right? I hope so.
"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his
fellowman has fulfilled the law." (Romans 13:8, NIV)